Despite having more opportunities at our fingertips than ever before, most people won’t leave their comfortable and predictable worlds.
In this post, you will learn the top 9 reasons people give when challenged to think bigger and reach higher. In the next post, I’ll discuss the 7 caustic responses given when their initial answers are challenged. These posts continue the theme of choosing to be audacious in 2022.
Those that follow me know that thinking bigger and reaching higher is my theme. When we think bigger, we can reach higher, and, this is most important, we can do what we once considered “impossible.” As an executive coach, author, and speaker, I have seen that principle in my own life as I went from being a manual labor worker to receiving my doctorate, becoming a college professor, and then opening my private practice, running half marathons, and much, much more. This post is particularly valuable for leaders, managers, supervisors, human resources, sales, and employees to understand the obstacles blocking their success and the success of their team.
Reasons vs Excuses
I generously label these reasons because that is what people claim they are providing. However, look closely and you will find these statements are just convenient excuses to stay comfortable in their predictable world. There they feel safe.
Read more about these excuses in my first book, Pivotal Business.
#1: Lack of Knowledge.
- “I don’t know how to do it.”
- “I didn’t know that was possible.”
- “I didn’t know who to contact.”
I start with this because those that ultimately accept the challenge to pivot to their next great, opportunity often are surprised. They admit their ignorance about the situation.
However, those that ultimately decline the challenge claim ignorance. While they may have been ignorant, their answers reveal a S.T.U.P.I.D. approach because they deny the possibilities.
Avoid being S.T.U.P.I.D. in your time of opportunity.
#2. Lack of Vision
Many good people genuinely cannot see beyond the ordinary, reactive world. They cannot strategize because they have become comfortable obeying what others told them they should or could do. So they continue to let life happen, reacting to what the world gives them. They don’t see the ultimate because they have never seen it before. Life becomes a “lucky” experience where some win and most lose. They only see themselves as winning occasionally.
As an old friend used to say, “If I didn’t have bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all.” No wonder he wasn’t committed enough to make his ultimate pivot.
At the same time, as I took the bold step to make my ultimate pivot, my vision increased to see what I never imagined. The fun part is that my future continues to unfold with more and more phenomenal opportunities.
#3. Lack of Confidence
I know that before I made my pivot, I couldn’t imagine being bold enough to defy convention. After all, I suspected others knew far more than I did and they claimed I wasn’t cut out for anything bigger. I couldn’t think bigger because I didn’t see myself as worthy of the ultimate success nor capable of making it happen.
Today, I find great pleasure in thinking, “I did it when they doubted me. Now watch me do even more.” Confidence is like a tomato plant. It doesn’t take a lot of water or nutrients, but with a steady supply, the results exceed your expectations. Without the water, the plant dies.
#4. Lack of Compelling Motivation
- “I don’t know. Maybe another time.”
- “I don’t want to.”
- “I just got comfortable.”
Leaving a comfortable bed on a cold morning takes having a purpose. Too many are so comfortable that they won’t pivot to anything other than the next convenient, entertaining opportunity. Forget purposely making themselves uncomfortable.
Too often it’s not “they” but “me.” We all have these tendencies. I know I am very tempted and give in to that weakness to take my foot off the gas and coast thinking, “I deserve a break.”
The solution is to find your “Why?” Find the motivation to take the risk, become uncomfortable, and then do far more than you ever imagined. Decide to live your life 100% alive instead of dying a little bit every day.
Do you believe that YOUR ultimate success is YOUR choice?
#5: Lack of Time
This is a popular answer. Most people have become so comfortable and filled their lives so full of ordinary duties that they won’t take even a few minutes a day or an hour a week to reach higher. Granted, we live busy lives but at some point, we must ask ourselves, “What is ultimately important?”
As an executive coach, I’ve politely challenged many small business owners. Unfortunately, some are busy running their IN their business that they don’t have time to work ON their business. They complain they are too busy with the tactical that they don’t have time for the strategy.
So how are they going to solve their persistent problems? Are they hoping life will magically fix them?
We all have the same hours and minutes in a day. If we want something bad enough, we will find the time.
I’ve seen many in their 20s, 30s, and even 40s return to or start college. Most had small children and a life full of responsibility. Were they extremely? Of course. Did they need to make sacrifices? Of course. But when they received their degree and pivoted to their new occupation, they felt 100% alive.
What ordinary activities will you sacrifice for your ultimate success?
#6: Lack of Energy
“You don’t understand, by the time I get home, I’m tired. I don’t have the energy to do anymore.”
I recognize many are exhausted from their daily lives. But what if they (you) arrived home to a message informing you that a distant relative has passed, leaving you $10 million. To collect, they need to contact the attorney immediately. How would your energy change?
Often our energy levels depend on our lack of purpose. We are depressed because we don’t have a vision of what is possible. But when we see it in our mind, we have far more energy than we ever imagined.
Focus on your why and you will find more energy.
#7. Lack of Principle
- “That’s not possible.
- “I’ve seen too many take the risk and lose it all.”
- “It’s not worth the time and effort.”
This is the worst response of all because, no matter what anyone says, this person doesn’t believe it is possible. “That’s not the way the world works.” They are convinced their current life is as good as it will ever get. Some believe that some outside forces dictate their life. For them, time is wasted time dreaming of what will never be. Their fate is determined. Accept it.
That is a very depressing, and misguided thought. We all have choices and making the choice to pursue opportunities leads to a better life. Of course, we must make good decisions in following the process. But choosing to believe that there is nothing better than your current, ordinary life is the best way to forfeit your future. Your success is Your choice. Think Bigger than the idea that someone or something controls your life and they don’t want you to be 100% alive.
Ask yourself, “What if I just did . . . ?” Then ask, “What if I continued doing that for a week?”
What impossible results would you start seeing?
#8: Lack of Opportunities
When you close yourself off to that thought that you control your future, you will be blinded to opportunities. They might be directly in front of you or surrounding you on all sides yet you won’t see them.
Because you don’t know what they look like or will believe they are for some “lucky” person.
But when you open your senses to the opportunities, the world shifts from black and white to brilliant color. Opportunities seem to appear out of nowhere because you are now looking for them. Even better, as you adopt this mindset and a spirit of collaboration, others bring opportunities to you. As I’ve written before, Great things happen when good people work together. Said another way, when two good people work together in a collaborative way, great things will happen.
Sense and Seize Your Ultimate Opportunities
#9: Lack of Process
Did you know there is a process to thinking bigger and reaching higher? I didn’t. I was one of those believing my life was dictated by outside forces. I didn’t know there was a process for thinking and behaving that I could learn and follow.
Imagine how my world pivoted when I took the time to study and follow the process.
Instead of saying, “I’m not . . .” I said, “Ok, I see how I can become . . . and do . . .”
Notice how the “impossible” became “possible” and then “probable.”
Once we have a process to follow, pivoting becomes much easier. The process makes our world much more predictable and therefore safe and comfortable.
The naysayers often claim the process is too complicated (as well as the earlier objections.) That’s where you find a mentor or hire a coach. If you know your “why”, you will find a way to follow the process.
Contact me for your FREE 20-minute Coaching Call.
THINK BIGGER – SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES
REACH HIGHER – DO THE WORK
DO THE IMPOSSIBLE – DARE TO REACH EVEN HIGHER THAN ANYONE EXPECTED
I am Dr. Loren Murfield, and I develop aspiring and emerging leaders pivot to their breakthrough success. Contact me today to begin your pivot.
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(c) Murfield International, Inc. 2022
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