What’s Stopping You?
by Leah Grant
You’ve been talking about pursuing your dream since high school. You’ve been stuffing a file with places you’d like to travel since you got your first job. You’ve envisioned what your boutique store would look like for years, even driving around searching for the perfect location, yet you’ve never taken that next step.
So, what’s stopping you?
In my coaching with clients they regularly share the obstacles that are stopping them from moving forward. At least fifty percent of the time, these items are perceived, not real.
Here’s a list of the most popular ones I’ve heard and how to avoid them:
1. I’m too old.
Years ago I heard the story of a 70-year-old woman who lifted a car off her grandchild and saved his life. When she was interviewed, instead of being ecstatic, she was melancholy and admitted that if she could lift a car to save a child what else might she have been able to do that she never tried. The interviewer asked her what she’d always wanted to do, but hadn’t tried. The grandma replied, "Go to college." The interviewer challenged her, "So why not do it now?" And so she did.
You are only too old if YOU decide you are. There are lots of stories of older Olympians, older singers and older musicians-fields typically associated with youth.
2. It costs too much money.
I have found that most people who make this statement actually have no idea what the item in questions costs. They are operating on some notion that it’s above what they would be willing to spend. Or they are not open to creative solutions and assume that they must pay retail for what they want-be it a new car, travel, or a house. There are many innovative ways to get what you want (and no, they aren’t illegal!)
Don’t make this statement unless you know the exact cost and have made the decision that the cost for the value isn’t there.
3. My spouse/children/parents/etc. wouldn’t like it.
I’m surprised to hear adults say this statement, but I hear it more often than one might imagine. First, you really don’t know how someone will react until you actually take an action. In most cases, you are speculating as to how they would react or assuming they will react similar to ways they have in the past.
Second, are you living your life to make them happy or to make you happy? Of course, if you have a family you need to consider how your choices affect them, but not to the point that if they may be uncomfortable with your choice you give it up without seeking a compromise or resolution.
4. It’s too hard.
This statement is another one that is usually based on incomplete information or full out speculation. You don’t know how difficult something will be for you unless you try it. Nothing is impossible.
Stop pushing what you want away until you decide you don’t want it anymore.
5. I’m too fat.
* "I’m too fat to go out to networking meetings and market myself. Who would want to hire me?"
* "I’m too fat to take professional photos for my website."
* "I’m too fat to get a date. No one will ever want to marry me."
Admittedly, I’ve heard these declarations from women far more than men, but a few of my male clients have said it too in reference to why they think they may have gotten passed over for a promotion or not getting hired for a new job.
While I won’t say that weight discrimination may not be at play in some cases, the bigger obstacle is how you feel about yourself.
If you believe that you are fat and feel self-conscious you will present yourself differently. When you aren’t confident and someone else is-they will likely get the date or the job over you.
6. I’m not educated enough.
Bill Gates quit college before earning his degree. There are countless stories of high school children who have opened businesses that have hit a million in sales.
Education doesn’t equal success.
If what you want to do requires a higher level degree than what you possess, figure out a way to get it.
7. I’m too <insert word or phrase> OR I’m not <insert word or phrase>.
Are you seeing a pattern here? Search your language and see if you’re shutting yourself down by believing in a perceived obstacle.
If you are, stop now and go take an action to pursue your dream. These obstacles do not need to stop you from achieving success and fulfillment in life.
Think about the grandma who said that if she could do something she thought impossible at age 70, what else could she have done in her life, then ask yourself, "What could I do if only believed I could?"
© 2009 Leah Grant Enterprises LLC
New Business Mentor Leah Grant publishes Startup Success, a weekly ezine. If you're thinking about starting a new business or are in the early phases of entrepreneurship, visit http://www.leahgrant.com