Change doesn’t happen by magic but as a result of taking action. If you want to move ahead in your business, if you want to excel in your leadership, if you want to create a successful start-up, you need to make it happen.
Some of the greatest obstacles you may face lie within yourself. Think of the language you use, the things you say out loud and to yourself, and ask yourself whether it’s supporting or undermining the things you want to achieve.
1. It’s too ambitious. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. Being ambitious is believing in yourself.
2. It will take too long. Every success story takes time. Dreams become reality when intentions turn into daily actions, and it doesn’t happen overnight.
3. What’s in it for me? Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others; unsuccessful people are always looking for a self-serving angle.
4. It’s not my job. If you want to be successful, if you want to be known as someone who solves problems and makes things happen, you have to make it your job whether it is or not.
5. I don’t know what to do. If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do things you’ve never done. Use your best judgment and forge ahead.
6. It goes against tradition. Success requires rebels, people who refuse to be limited by how things have been done in the past.
7. It can’t be done. Don’t give in to negativity and limiting thought before you’ve even tried.
8. I tried it before and it didn’t work. What can you do differently this time?
9. I’ll do it later. Procrastination means you’re stealing precious time from yourself.
10. I don’t have consensus. The growth of knowledge depends on disagreement. Sometimes you have to make the jump alone.
11. I’ll get in trouble. Don’t let a little flak get in the way of success.
12. It’ll never fly. Forget all the reason’s it won’t fly, and work on a way to manifest some wings.
13. I’m not in charge. You’re always in charge of your choices and priorities.
14. That’s someone else’s responsibility. Accept that you are the cause and the solution of your own success. That’s your responsibility.
15. I’m not qualified. Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you can accomplish.
16. I don’t have the staff. All you need is a few great people.
17. It’s not feasible. Believing it can’t be done is the first step in assuring that it won’t be done.
18. I’ve always done it this way. Let go of what you’ve done before. Innovate. Blaze a new trail.
19. No one asked me: Don’t wait on someone else to show leadership abilities and capabilities. Take the lead and run with it.
20. It will take too long. Unless something is coming along to make the need obsolete, there’s no such thing as taking too long. Usually this phrase is coded speech for “I don’t want to do it.”
21. It needs more thought. Don’t neglect to plan, but remember that the best way to get something done is to begin.
22. There’s no clear vision. Create your own vision and clarify it by looking within, past your fears.
23. It will never be signed off upstairs. Be persuasive. Learn how to bring upstairs downstairs and show them the view.
24. I don’t have the authority. Leadership is not wielding authority; it’s about empowering people.
25. Is it really worthwhile? Don’t you owe it to yourself to at least try to do something remarkable?
26. There’s too much red tape: The authority of those who lead is often an obstacle to those who want to excel. Be persistent. If there’s a mountain of red tape, make a way through it.
27. Let someone else deal with it. Accept responsibility for your actions and be accountable for your results. Take ownership of your ideas, your responsibilities, your mistakes–then you can take ownership of your success.
28. I’m doing my best. When your best isn’t good enough, do better or find another way.
29. Why bother? Because it matters. Especially if you want to succeed.
30. It’s hopeless. There are no hopeless situations, only people who have grown hopeless about them.
31. We don’t have the budget. Work like you don’t have any budget, take risks like you don’t have a care in the world, and challenge yourself as you never have before.
32. I don’t even know where to start. Pick up whatever is in front of you and do it. Get started. That’s step one.
33. It’s too radical. Nothing is too radical for a world that is radically changing.
34. I can always do it later. Procrastination makes easy things hard and hard things harder.
35. Everything is a problem. Even when this is true, every problem has a solution. Get to work.
36. I don’t have the skills. If you have the ability to learn and you’re willing to work hard and resourcefully, you’ll get it done.
37. It’s too forward-thinking: Forward thinking is the intersection of creativity and innovation. Keep moving always.
38. I’m going to wait for guidance. The guidance you need is generally the guidance that tells you to trust your educated instincts.
39. I’m waiting for answers. Ask yourself if you are asking the right questions.
40. I need permission. Do you really? What’s the worst that could happen if you proceed?
41. It’s too complicated. Put on your thinking cap and figure it out.
42. Why should I even try? Because if you don’t try, you’ll never know what’s possible.
43. I failed at this before. With what you learned in the first attempt, you’re much better situated to succeed now.
44. I don’t have the courage. Points for honesty–but now go find the courage. You have one life, one chance to make a mark on the world. Don’t look back and wish you’d done it.
*Originally published on Inc.