EP 72 – Stop Making Excuses and Giving Up Your Power
Hey, hey! It’s Friday, and you know what that means — time for Friday Bullpen Sessions!
What do you think of when you hear the word “superstition?” It’s easy to think of Friday the 13th, right? Do you remember those movies? They’re those horror movies with Jason and the hockey mask that we used to stay up late watching in secret when we were kids. Those are fun memories, but Friday the 13th also has a different connotation — bad luck.
We throw the word “luck” around a lot these days. “Oh, you’re so lucky you got that promotion!” “Wow, my sales numbers are down — I guess I’ve run out of luck.” We blame luck and superstition for the bad things that happen in our lives.
But here’s the problem with that mindset: When we blame “bad luck” whenever something goes wrong, we train ourselves to make excuses. We don’t take responsibility for our mindsets and work ethics, and we wind up feeling hopeless. We give up our power, and we end up believing that we’re not capable of success.
If that’s you, I want to encourage you today. We’ve been through one hell of a year, and we’re coming off a big election. Emotions are high, and many of us are not where we wanted to be at this point in the year. But that does not mean we just have bad luck, and it doesn’t mean we should give up the fight. We’ve got a month and a half left in 2020, and I want to help you make the most of it to shift your mindset and get ready to make 2021 great. Let’s go!
Are You Superstitious?
Let me tell you — when I played professional baseball, I was seriously superstitious. If I knew that I ran my poles, ran my sprints, did my jump ropes, and got the long toss in, I knew I was locked in. I believed I would have good luck during the game and pitch my way to a win.
But if I didn’t do my whole pregame routine, I started to feel doubt. I would psych myself out and begin to believe that I would have all kinds of bad luck during the game. I placed my expectations for my performance during the game totally on whether or not I’d completed my pregame routine.
I think a lot of us are doing the same thing right now. This year has been tough. It’s so easy to blame everything on the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us had fantastic goals at the beginning of the year that we just haven’t been able to reach, and the fact that we’ve been scrambling to adjust to working during a pandemic hasn’t helped.
We’re also just coming off a major presidential election. I don’t care who you voted for — this race was intense. And for those whose candidate didn’t win, I understand you’re probably feeling disappointed and angry right now.
Listen, I hear you. I’m not going to try to convince you that this year has been easy — it hasn’t been. And if you — like most of us — are in a position right now where you haven’t reached your goals in your career or personal life right now, I want you to give yourself a little grace.
But I don’t want you to make excuses. I don’t want you to chalk up any shortcomings you see in your life this year to “bad luck.” The pandemic didn’t make things any easier, and the election has been stressful for many of us, but neither of those things are excuses to stop playing the game. You may have had to make some adjustments this year, but if you’ve stopped learning, fighting, and growing in your business or life, that’s on you.
Right now, I want you to take a minute to assess yourself. Have you been making excuses? Are you blaming other people or circumstances for the goals you haven’t reached this year? If so, you are letting things you can’t control rob you of your power.
You Can’t Control Everything…
In life and in business, there will always be things you can’t control. You couldn’t control the outcome of our presidential election this year. You couldn’t control the pandemic. You can’t control it when your boss passes you over for a promotion or when you’re not picked to play during a game.
And I get it — it’s frustrating. Sometimes bad things just happen. Sometimes you’re hit with a decision or a diagnosis or an election result or an email that you weren’t prepared for and don’t know how to handle. It sucks. But here’s the thing: There is never a situation where some outside force is causing you not to have the results you want.
Let me give you an example: When I played professional baseball, I used to hear people make excuses like this all the time. People would say things like, “Oh yeah, my brother had the opportunity to play professional baseball, and he had the skill, but his coach hated him, so he never got to play,” or, “Yeah, I had the chance to play at that next level, but I hurt my shoulder, and I just couldn’t continue.” But at the end of the day, those are just excuses.
When you say things like, “I could have played professional sports, but the coach hated me,” you allow that coach to take your power away. You give up all your power and blame someone else for your failure to reach the results you wanted. Just think — instead, you could have sought other opportunities to play professionally. You could have had a sincere conversation with that coach to learn how to improve. Or, if you seriously felt the coach was unjust, you could have sought support from higher-level management.
The same thing applies to the COVID-19 pandemic. You could say, “Well, I was on-track to success, but then the pandemic happened.” But if you do that, you give up your power. Instead, you could say, “You know, the pandemic threw me for a loop, but here’s how I regrouped and learned to create success in these new circumstances.”
If there’s one thing in life you can count on, it’s that crazy things will keep happening. There will always be unexpected obstacles and excuses you could make. But there is one thing you can always control: your mindset.
…But There’s One Thing You Can Always Control
Even in the absolute worst of circumstances, you can control your attitude. You can control your mindset. You can control how you show up every single day to keep fighting and creating as much success as possible.
The biggest thing that is blowing me away right now is how often I hear people who truly believe that this election is going to determine the fate of your future. Now it’s true, certain policies might change as a result of this election, and you might not be happy with all of the changes. But does the outcome of the election affect the way you show up every single day?
I hope not. No matter who is sitting in the White House, you can wake up every single morning with that fire, passion, and drive you need to succeed. You can keep pushing and fighting. Sure, you may have to make some adjustments depending on whatever obstacles life throws your way, but if you maintain a strong success mindset, you can never call yourself a failure.
So here’s my advice for you today: Think about what you can control. You can’t control the outcome of your next sales call. You can’t control what your boss says to you. You can’t control the outcome of the presidential election. But you can control your mindset. And when you consistently show up with a strong mindset, you will create momentum, and eventually, that momentum will make you unstoppable, and you’ll start seeing the results you want.
And remember — as much as “bad luck” doesn’t exist, “good luck” doesn’t either. If you see a family member or friend or coworker succeeding, it’s not because they just have good luck — it’s because they’re hustling to create that success in their lives. And if you keep your mindset strong and your attitude positive, you can create that success for yourself, too.
Stop letting bad circumstances that you can’t control take your power away. Don’t make excuses and let anything or anyone else make you feel like a failure. Instead, take responsibility for the one thing you can control — your mindset — and start getting results.
At the End of the Day, You’ll Get the Results You Want
Are you ready to have all the success you want? Shift your mindset. Stop pointing fingers and blaming your circumstances for the results you haven’t gotten. This year has been challenging — but you don’t have to let the pandemic, the election, or anything else force you to quit. You can go out strong, and you can make 2021 your greatest year yet.
I hope you got a ton of value out of today’s episode, everyone! If you did, please let me know on Instagram! Share a screenshot with your biggest takeaways, and make sure to tag me, @andy_neary
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Until next time — stop making excuses. Take responsibility for your mindset, and get ready to be amazed at your results. Have a great weekend, everybody, and I’ll talk to you on Monday!
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