Most do not hop out of bed professing “I feel like doing this today.” Most of us have to force ourselves to do what must be done to have what we want in this life. When you are serious about what you want and about doing whatever it takes to have what you want, you have to force yourself. If you continue to rely on your feelings telling you when it’s time to get going, you’re going to remain exactly where you are. And if you’re like most people I know, that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.

We get multiple calls a week from business owners who are VERY clear on what they want in their life. When I ask them, they can tell me what that looks like, they can articulate the hours spent, the money they want to generate, what they will do in their free time and exactly what it will look like when they have “arrived.” Rarely is there a single detail missing.

We get multiple calls a week from staff who are VERY clear on what needs to happen to support the goals for the firm and what role they play in it, and rarely is there a detail missing.

So everyone is crystal clear on what you want and what it looks like, but you don’t understand why you can’t have it because you have tried everything. We are following our systems, you say; we are delivering excellent service and getting the work out the door, but we’re still not reaching goals and the results are not coming. In fact, sometimes we are operating in the red or moving backwards.

The system must be broken, right? The system no longer fits us, right?

NO! Your reasons and excuses are the problem. Your reasons and excuses are the graveyard of your dreams.

The top 5 “reasons” we hear:

  1. I don’t have time;
  2. I am waiting for X;
  3. I already tried THAT, and it didn’t work;
  4. I don’t know how;
  5. “WE” (vs. “I”).

STOP. Stop listening to the head trash you tell yourself. Stop tolerating everyone else’s excuses and reasons. Stop starting every sentence with “we.” Yes, you are part of a team. Yes there is more than you, but for YOUR PART that you play, change your language to start with “I” vs. “we” when it comes to what you can do.

It comes down to this: How badly do you want it?

If you’re not forcing yourself (with cold calls, unrelenting follow-up calls, enrollment, networking, marketing) to do what really needs to be done to get you to your goal and dreams, you believe your reasons. You’re lying to yourself that you “tried.” You’re checking a task box that I “did it.”

If you’re not talking or face to face with someone (for whatever role you serve in), then you’re giving in to your excuses. If you’re not where you need (or want) to be, then you need to 10X your human, relational contact. You need to smile and dial, schedule lunches, get networking, make calls to every person who has called in to your office and follow up with an email and a snail mail letter. And then rinse and repeat forever, until you’re on a beach and retired.

Create the accountability in your life; insist on it like your success depends on it (because it does). The most successful people in this work surround themselves with unrelenting accountability. Have everyone on your team declare each week’s “FORCE” goal for the week. HINT: NONE of it can be interacting with paper or a computer. Tell someone, “I am locking myself in a room and making 20 calls a day from 8:30-10:30 every day. And then I am going to email them and say ‘Hey, I just left you a voice message’ and I will blind copy you to hold me accountable for the next 90 days until this becomes a habit and I not only enjoy it but can’t wait to get to it, because I am getting the wins!”

As Jim Carrey said in his now-famous commencement speech, “The decisions we make in this moment … are based in either love or fear. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality.” We rationalize, justify, and persuade ourselves into making the decisions that “make the most sense” – which is often our way of hiding the fact that we are just too scared to take action or stop spending our time on busy crap because it’s safe, we know how to do it, we like doing it and we feel like doing it.

You can’t fail when you force yourself, but we have unfortunately witnessed failure because of the absence of forcing yourself.

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Molly Hall