5 stupid excuses for giving up

Your excuses for giving up are pathetic, and deep down you probably know it.Today, I’ll be presenting 5 stupid excuses for giving up. Last week, I wrote about consistency, and simply about giving up. Consider this post, then, the end of a trilogy.

There’s a saying that goes: “If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.

Boom. Love it.

If a project is neither necessary or interesting for you anymore, there’s no shame in abandoning it. But otherwise, there are only excuses for giving up on working towards our deepest dreams and desires.

And I wage that there are only stupid excuses for giving up the project of building one’s confidence.

With that, I hereby line up five of these excuses and debunk them one at a time:

 

#1. “I’ve tried everything

First of all, no you haven’t. Because if you did, you’d have succeeded.

Second, let’s even say for a moment, hypothetically, that you’d literally tried everything and still not succeeded. Ask yourself what’s most likely: That A) somehow it just doesn’t work for you out of everyone who’s tried everything, ever, or that B) there’s one or more steps which you simply haven’t done properly.

 

#2. “It’s too hard

Too hard for what?? Nothing is “too hard” if you do it in achievable magnitudes. In other words: Break it down into smaller bits and don’t do more than possible at a time.

Even if you’re about to take on a major endeavour, you gotta start wherever you’re at. And all the better if you start slowly and accelerate gradually. If you’re gonna run a marathon, you’re not gonna start off by doing all 26 miles at once. But if you can run 20 minutes three times a week, you’re off to a decent start.

Wanna start your own business? Read the three best books in your field and you’ll be way ahead of the vast majority.

 

#3. “I’ve given up on everything else, once more won’t make any difference

This isn’t something we say out loud, but a piece of inner dialogue. It’s habitual thinking out of habitual action — or lack thereof. And it’s a painfully obvious result of low confidence and self-esteem.

If it’s important to you, it does so make a difference that you don’t give up. And that, plus the fact that you’ve given up on “everything else”, even if it’s an exaggeration, is all the more reason for you to not give up on this one.

 

#4. “I haven’t got the time

Just like the “I’ve tried everything” mindset, this mindset is one of limited resourcefulness. It’s probably the most common and reasonable one on here. — But it’s still no more than an excuse.

You see… WE ALL HAVE 24 HOURS EVERY DAY.

There is no such thing as “I haven’t got the time”. There is only wrong prioritizing and lack of energy, and these are amenable obstacles.

Getting a coach is a hugely effective way of solving this.

 

#5. “It feels safer and more comfortable doing what I’m used to

Like #3, this is one of those unsaid excuses we only tell ourselves, and that is just eerily close to its origin in fear, insecurity, and low confidence/self-esteem.

Look…:

The biggest risk is to bet your entire life on fear-based habits and instant gratification.

We’re here once. No reasonable basis for thinking otherwise. So let’s establish all the confidence we need. Let’s not waste our only chance by letting fear and insecurity get in the way.

Let’s stop coming up with dumb excuses for giving up on our true goals.

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Forget about forgetting your insecurity — here’s what to do instead!

Only when we accept our insecurity will we get confidence to move on.Deep down, we’d all like to be able to simply forget — or delete — our insecurity.

Some people will claim that we’re better off having insecurity. Because it’s a natural, human trait that keeps us grounded and in touch with our humility.

But when someone with certain ambitions also has low confidence… They just wanna find that insecurity and simply press ‘delete’.

I know you’re out there, and I totally hear you.

However, here’s why we need to go about it a different way…:

Obviously there’s the fact that doing away with a considerable part of our mindset tends to be a time- and ressource-demanding process.

But there’s also the fact that when we want to get rid of something, first we need to accept it.

Those of you who struggle with stress and panic anxiety will know this. The more we fight it, the worse it tends to get. It doesn’t start to go away until we calmly and openly acknowledge and accept that it’s there.

It’s like that for all imaginable problems, really.

Hell, just imagine trying to walk on a broken leg because you won’t accept that it’s broken. Not exactly clever, yeah?

When we accept something, we grow a little. I’m all about personal growth, and this case is no exception.

Because, just like with stress and anxiety, when we embrace insecurity, its influence lessens because we allow ourselves to contain it.

When we’re big enough, we can contain anything. Including the things that have been opposing us. And if we simply absorb our obstacles, they’re no longer in our way.

Pretty cool philosophy, right?

Furthermore, if you’ve ever been insecure, you’ll always remember that feeling no matter how hard you try to forget it. So really, it’s no use. But the root of the matter is, it’s not about forgetting; it’s about learning to ignore it at the right moments.

And yes, I specifically use the word ‘ignore‘ here. Some might think me self-contradictory for talking about embracing insecurity first and  then simply ignore it. But really, this is how confident people do it.

Given the right set of circumstances, anyone can feel insecure about something. This is basic, primal neural functions at work. We’re hardwired to look for trouble. But that doesn’t mean there’s really anything to be insecure about. So we need to learn to distinguish between real and perceived threats. Then, we’ll be able to tell our insecurity to calm down when it’s not useful.

Which, in fact, it rarely is.

Now, apart from acknowledging your insecurity, there are several things you can do that will naturally diminish it.

If done right, meditation helps. Also, exercise is always a good thing. Eating healthy and getting enough sleep should go without saying. (And then, of course, there’s confidence coaching, which I most heartily recommend!)

Different things work for different people. But however you live your life, always remember this:

Everyone feels insecurity. Even confident people. It’s what we DO about it that shows our real character.

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Okay, so you messed up. Now what?

If you messed up something, you might feel embarrassed. But mistakes are necessary if you wanna build confidence.Okay. So you did something wrong. Maybe you made a social blunder; maybe you carried out some task and failed. In short: You messed up.

For people with low confidence, failure can be downright devastating.

I know. Because I used to be ashamed of things I did or said. All the time.

And I’m not talking about calmly realizing one’s wrongdoing and immediately learning from it. I’m talking an involuntary panic-anxiety-attack-like-muscle-spasms-complete-with-grinding-teeth-and-making-noises sorta sensation.

With an inner voice going like: “Screw you! You messed up, and you’re useless! You’re unable to do anything right, and you should be locked away! You messed up, and that’s all you’re ever gonna do!

Every day, several times.

And it doesn’t even have to be something big. It could be a misused word, a social faux pas… anything.

When non-fident people react drastically to making any kind of mistake, it’s because non-fidence is often accompanied by low self-esteem, perfectionism, and insecurity.

When we have low self-esteem, we tend to judge ourselves more vigorously than we would our peers. If we don’t like ourselves, we’re hard on ourselves. Simple as that.

But moreover, if we don’t allow for ourselves to make mistakes, we develop perfectionism. Which, in turn, makes it seem so much worse to us when we do make a mistake. — Or even do something in a manner less than “perfect”. (Which, as I’ve written about before, is a BS notion.)

And then there’s the insecurity, which doesn’t allow for much space for mistakes, nor for even trying. This is governed by the amygdala — the reptilian part of our brain — most commonly known for our “fight or flight” mechanism.

See, amongst our primitive ancestors, social identity was way more important than today. Dangers were all around. If you messed up something, it could get you expelled from your tribe and thrown out into the wilderness on your own.

All of this perfectly illustrates the dangerous downward spiral of non-fidence. If we have low regard for ourselves we make less space for ourselves to make mistakes. This, in turn, causes making mistakes to be even more likely, which, then, will only lead to much more self-loathing and shame.

Because we DO make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. We know this perfectly well, yet tend to act like we’re the only flawed person alive.

But here’s the kicker:

Confident people make WAY many more mistakes than less confident people.

The more confident you are, the less regard you give to other people’s opinion about you. The higher you think of yourself, the less you worry about making mistakes. You know perfectly well that your rights outnumber your wrongs. You know perfectly well that you’re able to learn from your mistakes.

Indeed, if you don’t make mistakes, you can never learn. And if you don’t learn, you don’t grow.

In other words:

For every time you messed up something in life, you had the opportunity to learn, grow, and prevent yourself from making the same mistake again.

So get out there and mess up. Badly. Learn, improve, repeat. And as you learn and grow, watch as your confidence grows with you.

ACTION ITEM:

The next time you’re embarrassed about something, use the following method:

  1. Stop what you’re doing.
  2. Breathe. Ten long, deep breaths.
  3. Think. Realize that whatever negative response on your part are merely thoughts, and that they’re not necessarily true, constructive or favourable.
  4. Choose how you want to feel about what happened. Do you genuinely want to be ashamed? Or would you rather accept, learn, and grow?

The choice is yours.

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