I am an avid fan of audio books. I download books in all kind of formats from both Audible.com and LearnOutLoud.com and mostly listen to them via my iPod or on CD in the car. I have a long held view that the only way of improving your life and your business is through self-education, not necessarily through courses or qualifications but through books, audios, videos or short seminars that people like me and other professionals are putting on all the time to promote themselves and their work. The cost of books and audios are, for the most part, no more than the price of an average bottle of wine and have a slightly more durable benefit, so the only real effort required is in making the decision to acquire the knowledge, find out where you can get it at an affordable price – websites, seminars or public libraries, and then complete the learning by trying out what you learn, by experimenting!

It’s easy, but how many people will say … oh yes but I am too busy and don’t have time to read … well, I am afraid I have to say that you are lying to yourself and limiting your potential in the process! Yes your answer is B.S.! It’s actually more about choice – the choice between listening to the latest doom and gloom on the car radio and listening to a CD audio book. It’s the same for TV time or just generally sitting on the backside time, you can always get benefit from allocating just some of that time to exploration and learning … yes just SOME time, I am not a complete learning fascist! 🙂

Anyway I digress. Over the weekend I was listening to an audio presentation by Dr Wayne Dyer, a great speaker and thinker, who I enjoy listening to a lot. It was a recording of a seminar that he gave a couple of years ago on the subject of the ‘excuses that we make for ourselves on why we don’t/can’t change the way we are’ called ‘Excuses Begone’. At the seminar, he put it to one of the ladies in the audience, someone who volunteered as a person who found it hard to change, ‘Is there anything that you won’t do, in order to make the change you want?’ (In her case it was the desire to lose 150 lbs in weight!). ‘Because’ he said to her, ‘if there is anything on that list, anything that you are not prepared to do, then your situation won’t change…. because you will always have an opt-out, an excuse, a reason not to commit fully’!

Now I had heard this piece before but it hadn’t really hit home – I suppose I wasn’t ready – until now. And I couldn’t help feeling that there were things that I needed to do to make my myself more accessible to potential clients, things that I could do to make my work better and things that I could do that would essentially allow me to walk my own talk.

So I got out a pen and paper and started with the question ‘What actions, if I took them, would make my business soar but I’m not doing them?’ and ‘What things are important to do but I do them reluctantly or infrequently and if I did them more consistently, would really improve my business?’ Unsurprisingly, there were 5 different things that I could begin to do or do better. Then the crunch bit, I asked myself in the case of each item ‘If I know the potential positive impact of this action, why am I not doing it? Or why am I not doing it properly or often enough?’

Unfortunately or fortunately, the reasons were all about me, my hang ups, limiting incorrect beliefs, things that were outside my comfort zone. You know the stuff we hear ourselves saying ‘I’m not good at sales’, ‘networking is not my thing, it’s a waste of time’, ‘this social media thing isn’t working’ and oh, one of the all time favourites ‘I’m not qualified enough!’ …. They are all lies and all things that whilst we allow ourselves to believe them, will remain on our list as reasons why we are not getting what we want.

The truth is that we already know how to be great; we already have everything we need to be a big success both personally and in business. It’s just a question of listing the things that are stopping us, showing them up for the lies they actually are and in doing so clearing the path for our innate potential.

So go get a pen and paper and take a little quiet time and ask ‘What are the things on my list that I won’t do that are stopping me getting what I want? And why?’ Let’s face it, if there was nothing on your list then you probably wouldn’t be reading this piece so it’s just a question of being honest with yourself and stop lying to your soul! The thing is that once you put it on the list then you have a chance of dealing with it, but whilst it remains in your head it’s easy to make excuses about it and doing that will keep you where you are right now! That’s how I feel about it anyway; perhaps it might resonate with you too.