In my experience, it’s true far less often than you think.
Now I’m not saying you’re a liar. (How rude would that be?) I know you believe the reason you can’t do the thing you’re avoiding is that you don’t have time. And the world we live in readily accepts this reason making it even easier to say.
I’m not here to judge, I too am guilty of using the “I don’t have time” lie far too many times while believing it was true. But I began to hear this phrase so often that it became a joke. And then I started to see how it was working against me in my own life and in the lives of those around me.
The good news is you’re not alone, which also happens to be the bad news. It turns out NOBODY has time these days, and everybody is over the top busy!
The reason I’m so focused on this phrase is that in my job I hear people talk about what they don’t like about their life, what they wish they could do better, and about dreams they fear might be out of reach. Immediately following this desire for change is this one phrase, “I don’t have time.”
I see their shoulders slump, hear the exhaustion in their voice, and know that they’ve been fighting this battle with time and losing. They’re all out of ideas, out of moves, out of energy. But the problem here isn’t time, the problem is they’ve been fighting the wrong battle.
If we’re not fighting against time, then what are we fighting? Here’s what I’ve learned about the real meaning of the phrase “I don’t have time.”
“That’s just not important to me.”
“I don’t feel like it.”
“That looks hard, and I want to avoid it.”
“I’m pretty sure I’d fail at that so, I’ll take a pass.”
“I’m tired, if I had time, I would take a nap first.”
“I want to be busier than everyone else so I look important and successful.”
“I’m just not organized enough to take that on.”
“Things are okay, could be worse, but it’s comfortable enough so I’ll just stay here.”
The problem isn’t time. The problem is what you’re avoiding and hiding from by using the time excuse.
If you believe you don’t have time for anything new, then you aren’t being honest with yourself, and you’re allowing this lie to get in the way of something greater, something more.
Time is not the real villain of this story, your limiting beliefs are.
And if you look closely at the statements above you can hear those limiting beliefs. They sound like this: I will probably fail, I don’t have the energy, I don’t know how, and others will judge me.
If you are tired of saying this phrase and want to free yourself from the endless battle with time, then I have a challenge for you. There’s a secret power hidden under these four simple words, “I don’t have time,” and you can tap into that power.
My challenge to you is to remove these four words, I don’t have time, from your vocabulary.
The next time those words creep up in your mind stop and ask yourself what is going on underneath that thought.
What’s the source of your hesitation or resistance?
Would you say no to this activity if you had all the time in the world?
Why or why not?
This won’t be easy. This phrase will pop up when you’re at your busiest with no time to think (there’s that time villain again). But the real challenge won’t be time, it will be a resistance to uncover some truth about yourself that you had hidden away for a reason.
You might realize that you don’t like an activity that you consider part of who you are, part of your identity.
Or you may find that you fear failure more than you want to admit.
Whatever you discover, know that you’re not alone. We share common limiting beliefs more than we know.
And once you get past the hard part, you’ll discover that next to the hidden truth of your limiting belief there’s a bit of courage just waiting for you to take hold.
That courage is absolutely real, and now that you’ve found it you can own it! With a new perspective on your limiting beliefs and some new found courage, you have the power to CHANGE.
If you want to feel less overwhelmed and have more control over your day, stop believing that you don’t have time.
If you want to do meaningful work and feel a sense of accomplishment each day, stop believing you don’t have time.
If you have dreams and aspirations that you hope to work on someday but someday seems never to come, stop believing that you don’t have time.
Time is not the villain in your story.
Discover the limiting beliefs that hold you back and tackle them head on like the warrior that you are.
This first step will set you on the path to changing your world for the better.