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The 21 BIG Lies That Limit Us

Author: Charlie Cook   |   December 2nd, 2014

Businessman In A Tight Cardboard“Be honest with yourself, and you will find the motivation to do what you advise others to do.” ~Vince Poscente

We all do it, tell ourselves lies to avoid facing the truth and taking action. And while these lies may seem small, they limit what we accomplish and our potential, at work and in our personal lives.

21 common lies we tell ourselves…

I Don’t Have Time

1. I can’t do that or I don’t have time, I’m too busy or whatever excuse you want to make. It’s what people say to avoid work, avoid going on a diet, avoid getting exercise or avoid making better use of their time. And it’s all nonsense, since you can make time and the lie actually means… “I haven’t made it a priority.”

Confused? Look up “100% responsibility,” and find ways to go from “I can’t do that,” to, “I will do that.” The breakthroughs come WHEN you acknowledge you’re lying to yourself, that’s when you can move forward.

2. I’ll start that tomorrow. Just remember tomorrow never comes. The difference between successful people and those who just work hard, is successful people have a habit of doing the things today others put off for tomorrow. It’s as simple as that.

If you aren’t planning on doing something right then, then when? The key is to schedule it and then stick to your schedule.

3. The timing isn’t right. In most cases that’s just an excuse for not making it a priority. E.g. “I’m too busy to start my diet now.” The reality is we’re always busy. The time is always right to take action by at least making a plan and taking the first steps to reach your goals.

4. I’ll decide later. Of course that’s like your teenage son saying he’ll clean his room later, which means, NEVER.

Everyone and Everything Else Is to Blame

5. It’s not me, but clients, who make this job so hard. By blaming others, you’re giving them all the power in your relationships, instead of taking responsibility for success yourself. The first step is to take ownership for having trained the people around you, including clients, to treat you the way they do. Then train them to treat you the way you want to be treated.

6. What I eat and how much I sleep doesn’t matter. You’re body is a system. Deprive it and you and your work will suffer. Get 7-8 hours of sleep, eat healthy 5-6 times a day and you’ll get twice as much done.

7. How I treat my co-workers or my family has nothing to do with how I treat clients. …maybe if you’re like Sybil with multiple personalities. But how you treat your friends and family, the clarity of your communication and how you set expectations at home, is directly reflected in your work relationships and vice versa.

Working Harder Is The Answer

8. If I just work a little harder I’ll get it all done. Typically when people work harder they get less done because they don’t take the time to get organized, take mental breaks to let their brains reset, refresh themselves, eat well, and get up and off their butts to get the blood circulating in their brains.

One simple trick is to take a few minutes, close your eyes, let your unconscious brain rejoin your conscious brain and go back to work with double the brain power.

9. That sounds like a lot of hard work.  Well yes, being successful is – unless you win the lottery. But if you want to be successful all you need to do is work smarter than the average person. Sure, you may make a few mistakes along the way, but for each one you make, you’ll be that much wiser than almost everyone else.

I Can Do It On My Own

10. I don’t need to ask anyone for help. Do you want to spend your life reinventing the wheel?  When I was 18, I assumed my parents were dumber than donuts. What I discovered as I aged was how little I knew, and asking others for help, advice, and guidance was the fastest way to reach my goals.

11. I can’t afford it.  Which is exactly what most people tell themselves when they are buried by work. You tell yourself you can’t afford the help you need, but doing so helps you work smarter and frees you from administrative tasks so you can focus on the real work that makes you money.

12. The only way to make sure it’s done right is to do it myself. While you may be good at many things, telling yourself this is a falsehood that limits your ability to get work done and enjoy teamwork. It’s true, when I first started out I thought no one could lick a stamp as well as I could but… I soon discovered that if I wanted to grow my business I needed to learn to let go of stuff others could do better than I.

The “I can do it all” attitude at work and in your personal life leads to becoming unorganized, overwhelmed by stress, and ultimately not delivering the best results.

13. Delegation takes too much time. It’s true that effective delegation takes time, but once you’ve trained your team to do the task,  it saves you time every time you need it done in the future. Delegation is an investment in your team. And it pays off over and over again.

It rarely makes sense, especially if you own the business, to do clerical tasks or any task someone else specifically trained to do it could do in less time.

14. Delegation absolves me of my responsibility. In fact that’s abdication, which pretty much guarantees the task you want done won’t get done right. Delegation requires you taking 100% responsibility that your staff knows: what you want done; when you want it done;  that they have the training tools to succeed; and that you’ll be there to make sure they get it right and acknowledge them when they do.

Conflict Is Bad

15. It’s better to avoid conflict. In reality it’s much more productive to deal with it before it becomes a big problem; address small conflicts right away so they don’t grow into big ones.

16. This is the way it’s always been, so it needs to stay that way. In other words,  you don’t want to rock the boat. But you should know, before it became the way it is now, it was something else. Someone, possibly in the spur of the moment without any thought, created the system you think you are stuck with. The truth is most of the barriers to success are perceptual, in your mind, not unchangeable or written in stone. So go for it, suggest a change or an improvement, and who knows, you’ll probably see it happen.

I’m Not Good Enough

17. I’m not smart enough. Maybe you don’t know enough now; that could be true. But you can change that. You can increase your knowledge and your competence.

18. I’m stuck. Things won’t get any better. Life is full of challenges. You can avoid them and limit yourself or embrace them and thrive.

19. Failing is a horrible thing. The truth is, if you learn from your failures, it’s the best way to improve at anything.

20. People won’t like me if I’m honest with them. Sure delusional people like to maintain their delusions and staying in the status quo, but most people prefer honesty and growth.

 21. You can’t have success and a great life. Nonsense. You can manage your life however you want if you take control and balance your priorities.

That’s it. Let me know if there are anymore.


The key, of course, is to admit which lies you are telling  yourself and you know what to do… Stop. It’s the best way to open more doors.


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