“I should really …” “I wish I could …” “If I just tried …” How many times in the past month have you said at least one of these? What opportunities lie just out of your reach? The ones you’d love to capture if they weren’t so risky, difficult, or disruptive to your comfort zone?
What excuses are you using to justify your situation? Time, money, connections?
You’re not alone. Most people come up with very convincing arguments for maintaining and defending the status quo.
Some are valid (fewer than you think). But don’t use these two. They don’t hold up anymore.
ALPHASPIRIT / ISTOCK / THINKSTOCK
1. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO
Just last week I was speaking with a sales rep about using social media and similar tools to increase his ability to connect and communicate with clients and prospects. His response, “I’d love to do what you’re talking about, but I’m not a tech guy. I don’t know how to use all that stuff.”
You’re not a tech guy? Are you planning on having a career that lasts beyond the next five years? Then you’d better learn to be a tech guy. That’s how business gets done today.
That’s like saying, “I’m in sales, but I’m not really a people person.” And that is just one example.
The point is, whatever you need to learn to move forward is only a click away and often free. Don’t have your MBA and can’t afford to go back to school for one? No problem. A few years ago The Wharton School put its entire first-year curriculum online for free. Several others have followed suit.
In other words, in today’s world, when you say, “I don’t know what to do,” you’re really saying, “I’m not interested in learning how to do that.” The two are fundamentally different.
2. I’M AFRAID OF WHAT PEOPLE WILL THINK
No matter what choices you make, you’ll never have everyone’s approval. Some say go right and others say go left. By default, you’re bound to disappoint someone.
Some people will say you take too many chances. And some will say you play it too safe.
Working to please the crowd is tempting. Having someone reinforce your decisions feels good. The problem is, the crowd doesn’t see the world the same way you do.
They have their own ideas about what’s right, wrong, worthwhile, or too risky.
And while it can be beneficial to gather opinions, you have to remember that’s all they are — someone else’s speculation about what’s right. No one can accurately tell you what the outcome’s going to be. They can only share an opinion based on their own experiences and their own biases.
Are you willing to base your future entirely on what other people think?
Of course not. You’re too smart, too good, and too talented to let that happen.
So let’s start again.
“I’m going to …” “I’m starting …” “I’ve decided …”