I was at the gym the other day and was chatting to one of the other members who asked me which classes I had been taking that week. I explained that throughout the week I combine Barre (ballet) classes with weight lifting, yoga, pilates and running. Upon hearing my response, the lady explained to me that she really wants to get in shape but isn’t able do the Barre classes because she is inflexible, she can’t lift weights because of a bad back, she feels 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 means of exercise she may enjoy; including swimming, stretch classes, cycling classes etc., to which she provided a litany of reasons why those exercises would also not work for her.
After our conversation ended I walked home and thought about the stories and excuses we sell ourselves. This lady was not unique in her views – 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”, or my personal favorite “I deserve a treat (said treat being chocolate chip cookies – side note: I am like cookie monster… I love cookies) …I work hard. I should relax”.
Ultimately, over time, I learned to drop my excuses when I realized I wasn’t feeling or seeing the results I wanted.
I believe it takes daily practice and awareness to listen to and understand the stories 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 a story from time to time.
For instance, I caught myself saying to my husband the other day 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 a story I tell myself. In actual fact I am not worried about hurting myself – I am just not that interested in becoming a skater girl at 44 :).
Try and listen out for the stories that you sell yourself. Are they legit or are they a form of excuse-itus?
Ask yourself…what can I do to let go of the story?
And remember… when you lose your excuses, you will find your results.