How to Stop Making Excuses
'The one thing standing between you and your goals are the excuses you sell yourself'
I recall being at the gym a few years ago and chatting with a woman who asked me which classes I attended. I mentioned that I combined Barre (ballet) classes with weightlifting, Yoga, Pilates and Running. Upon hearing my response, the lady expressed to me that she would like to get in shape but isn’t able to do the Barre classes because she is inflexible, she can’t lift weights because of a bad back, yoga is a waste of time, Pilates is boring, and Running is ageing. I asked what she meant by running being ageing, and she said it “ages your face”.
Ouch, and I thought I was looking pretty decent for my age.
But I digress.
As we carried on chatting, I suggested some other workouts she may prefer: swimming, stretch classes, or cycling. As I mentioned these exercises, she provided a litany of reasons why these exercises would not work for her.
After our conversation ended, and as I walked home, I thought about the stories and excuses we sell ourselves. This woman was not unique in her views. In all honesty, years ago, I used to tell myself a variation of these same stories.
“I will go to the gym” was a daily lie I told myself for years until I learned to drop my excuses of “I am too tired”, “I don’t have time”, “I have too much to do”.
Ultimately, I learned to drop my excuses when I realized I wasn’t feeling or seeing the results I wanted.
It takes daily practice and awareness to listen to and understand the excuses we sell ourselves. I say daily practice because as much as I like to think that I am reasonably self-aware, I still catch myself trying to sell myself an excuse from time to time.
For instance, I recently caught myself saying to my husband the that I can’t take up his hobby of skateboarding because I am not 19 and made of magic anymore – i.e. I don’t want to kiss the cement and hurt myself. The reality is, is that it’s just an excuse that I use. In actual fact, I am not worried about hurting myself – I am just not that interested in becoming a skater girl at 46.
So how do you learn to stop making excuses?
The first step is to be mindful and listen out for the excuses you make to yourself and others.
And then ask yourself:
Are the excuses legitimate, or are they a form of excuse-itus?
If they are a form of excuse-itus, then you know what you need to do.
Remember: when you lose your excuses, you will find your results.
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