You may call them reasons. We call them excuses. After coaching and developing a number of great individuals, we’ve highlighted the most common excuses we hear when people don’t want to step into their leadership and experience the true impact they can create.
1. I’m not powerful enough.
Is it that you’re not powerful enough or that you’re afraid of your power?
Our own power and influence is something we are born with. We all have strengths, voices, and values waiting to be shared. Different, yet uniquely powerful. As we assimilate into mediocrity, we suppress ourselves from the power we hold. We believe the lies that tell us that we need to “play it safe” and “avoid looking bad” – heck, that’s how most of the world lives!
Your presence makes an impact. You are already powerful. So it is not that you don’t have power or influence or credibility … it’s that you already have those – and you’re afraid of what using them could actually do for your life.
2. I can’t handle the responsibility.
If I already have what I need to be a leader and make a difference, then here comes the call – it’s time to be responsible, it’s time to take action. To some, that sounds like a lot of work. Being accountable for your impact and for the effect it has on others can be terrifying for some people.
So we stagnate. We do nothing.
Have you ever noticed that analyzing your next step or rationalizing your pro/con list takes up more energy than actually doing something?
If we took action as often as we made excuses not to, imagine how much we’d get done and how many people we’d make a difference for? The weight of responsibility may still be there, but it wouldn’t stop us. We’d use it as a reminder to get up and do something.
3. I don’t want to be controversial or ruffle any feathers.
Is it that you don’t want to be controversial or that you just want to fit in? That you just want people to like you? Why do we think staying quiet will make us belong? If we’re not sharing our views and creating open environments for others to do the same, we’re all just pretending that we’re the same and that we’re okay with that.
Always trying to “fit in” is a game that has no winners.
You are uniquely you, which already makes you controversial – because no one else is you.
Rather than playing that endless game, shift your focus to connecting with a community. Great leaders know how to surround themselves with a community that encourages people to fully express who they are, and accepts and celebrates that everyone is different.
Being unique doesn’t equate to being alone.
4. I’m not ready.
“I need to take a course before I can start my business.” “I need to stay in the job I hate for a few more years before I can apply for my dream job.” “I can’t take on that project yet. It’s too big for me.”
It’s not that you aren’t ready for what’s ahead – it’s your thinking that’s not ready. Your thinking has you in self-doubt, resignation, and cowardice.
What if you thought that you had everything you needed to take the next step? Just the next step. To make the phone call. To quit. To ask for a raise. To make the sale. To say yes to the project. And then, every day, believed that you had everything you needed to take the next step again.
Of course, you don’t have a million dollar business today – you’re not ready for that. How do we know? ‘Cause if you were, you’d have a million dollar business today.
What you are ready for is the next step toward that million dollar business.
It’s along that path – little by little, step by step – that you’ll learn the lessons you need to learn in order to get what you seek.
You’re ready now.
5. I’m too introverted and I prefer to be ‘behind the scenes’.
Some of the best leaders know how to let their people fly and create conditions for others to be successful.
Leadership isn’t about you being in the spotlight all the time—it’s about giving others the opportunity to step up into their own leadership.
Nobody ever said that being a leader was a solo journey, so don’t make it one.
Cheer from the sidelines. Remove barriers before other people encounter them. Whisper the vision of a brighter future in your community’s ears. Write. Share. Help others fly.
Moral of the story? If you’re in a situation and one of these excuses comes trickling into your head, think about it before deciding you’re not _______ enough.
You’re more than enough.
And the world is ready for you to believe in your own leadership.
We started our e-learning course, The Manager Start Line, to give people a space to step up into the leaders they want to be. So, if you’re ready to take your leadership to the next level, check it out.
Meet Matt. He is bold. He is always up for the adventure. He is your biggest fan.