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6 Stock Expressions Every Leader Should Stop Using

2. I Just Don’t Have the Time for That

That phrase was one of my most frequently uttered responses anytime someone asked me to do anything new or extra.

Then one day I woke up and realized…all high impact people I admire who produce so many great things with their life don’t get any special treatment.

They get 24 hours in a day. Just like me. Just like you. Nothing more. Nothing less.

You have the time and I have the time, just like we had the chance.

So how do you counter this one?

Well, years ago I stopped saying that I don’t have the time; I started admitting I didn’t make the time.

That sounds like a small thing, but if you do it consistently, it can be revolutionary.

Try it for a week. Stop saying you don’t have the time (because you do). Start admitting you didn’t make it. (Pro tip: Don’t use your outside voice. You will have no friends left. Just admit you’re not making the time to yourself.)

When you (silently) admit you aren’t going to make the time, it forces you to ruthlessly evaluate your priorities. You’ll realize that never making time for your mom, or your most important priorities—or a life dream—is a mistake.

And when you’re dead honest with yourself about not making the time to work out, or do proper sermon prep, or have a date night with your spouse, or work on your top priorities, it’s so much easier to change.

3. I Have To

Again, no you don’t.

You don’t have to do anything. I fell victim to this phrase for years.

How many times have you said, I have to…

preach this weekend.

go to a meeting.

meet with X.

go to my kids’ game.

Nope, you don’t.

You don’t have to. You get to.

There’s a huge difference.

What if you flipped it and instead started thinking and saying, “I get to…

preach this weekend.

go to a meeting.

meet with X.

go to my kids’ game.

Or how about this???? I get to go to work today. 

Since I’ve flipped that in my mind and vocabulary, I’m both more grateful (so much of what I get to do is a privilege) and more selective (if I really don’t want to do something, why did I say yes?).

Really hate your life so much that you won’t say any of this? Change it.

In the meantime, I get to finish and post this blog.

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.