As a coach, the primary purpose of my work is to help my clients reach their goals (no matter what they are). Actually, honestly, that is my ONLY goal. I have to help every individual who comes to me: First, to get clear about what do they truly want; second, analyze the most authentic ways, by which they can achieve their goals. Third, then help them take action to actually do the work. The latter is the toughest part but that’s what gets them the results.
Recently, while interacting with a potential client of mine, I realized that she was resisting everything in her life and making excuses to show why things aren’t working in any sphere. She was rapidly gaining weight, was unable to keep herself happy, didn’t want to go to work and kept blaming others, would always come late for any events and always have an excuse ready for any kind of situation. She started getting perceived as someone negative, ingenuine and dishonest too. She was becoming a holistic package of excuses. She was making excuses, thinking that she would be liked by someone else. She also felt that she will easily get by, without putting any effort into her work, personal life and even relationships. She couldn’t come to terms that her excuses weren’t taking her anywhere and were making her quite pessimistic. Eventually, making her feel that she wasn’t “good enough”.
We’ve all been in the above situation some time or another, have we not? We know that these excuses are nothing else but forms of resistance to change from our lizard brain. We somewhat start getting solace in our negatives. It is as though we don’t want to take ownership. So we make an excuse for not being able to keep up with a diet because we might be sick; or not going to the gym, or an excuse for not completing a project you’d committed to; or an excuse for canceling a meetup; or just being late; or an excuse for not reaching your targets… you get the gist, right?
Excuses are largely a way of telling ourselves or those around us that we are not in control of changing our situations, that external factors have more control on us. Most of the time, it isn’t that we aren’t capable of achieving goals, it is just that we enjoy resisting any kind of change, so we end up making excuses.
Do you think you don’t make excuses? Or are you the one who knows that you’re making excuses, in some or the other form? Or you’re really not sure of what defines as an excuse? Then, read on, perhaps one of these would resonate with you. There are three factors, which play a role in identifying the “excuse” category you may belong to.
- Your situations forever unfavorable, forcing you to make an excuse?We all deal with different kinds of situations, differently. Whether at home or at work, the most common resistance to any situation comes in the form of EXCUSES! There is always an excuse for why we aren’t doing something the way we should because of another person (spouse, in-laws, friends, colleagues etc.) As though they are in charge of us when in reality we are in charge of our own situations. Now, if you jump on to say that, “Priyanka, I DO have situations, where I am not making an excuse and my statements are true.” And my response to that would be, yes, then that is not an excuse and you and I would know that. No matter what we will always figure out a way to accomplish our goal, else we will find an excuse. If you truly can accomplish set goals, when you have situations where genuinely something is blocking your path, it would show up as a genuine issue and not an excuse for avoiding the good action.
- You never have time and you are so BUSY? So, you’re so busy to go to the gym, or so busy to not make your own healthy meal, or so busy to work on your dream project, or so busy to meet anyone, or so busy to return the call, or so busy to take care of your home etc. etc. This is one of the most common of all excuses. Blame it on the busy life for not doing anything, right? So many times we lie about our situations and state that we are so darn busy when in reality we are only trying to convince our lizard brain that we aren’t doing anything wrong. If you think that you’re too busy accomplish goals and tasks you committed to then, you may have a time management problem or in some cases of over-commitment as a PEOPLE PLEASING ISSUE. Both lead to excuses and are deadly for anyone.
- Do you think if you take up something you will never be able to complete it or see it through, completely? So why do it? Anyways you feel you’re so stupid, right? Well, this one was something that I personally struggled with and it took me a while to get over this resistance, especially in my fitness journey. Although I never thought I was stupid I did think that if I take up fitness or followed a healthy routine, will I be able to keep up. But the day I realized that the only way I’d know for sure is by taking action. So, I just did it. If you make excuses to your own self and that is the worst thing to do. We try to convince ourselves that we could procrastinate or that we are in control of our external situations. When in reality we are in control of our thoughts and changing our situations no matter what. We can take action NOW and see the world change.
Do any of the above sounds like you? Then these tried and tested strategies below would really help you bid your excuses GOODBYE and truly live the life you’ve been meaning to.
- Make a life threatening pact with your calendar: Imagine if you’re given only a few days, months or even hours to live? How would you live differently then? What changes would you make? I am sure looking up on social media or watching television shows may not be the on the priority list, right? You’d want to do something more meaningful than that. Certainly, there will be no excuses. Then, why wait to be on your death bed, when you have the opportunity to do it NOW. Make the changes required in your calendar and start following them to the T, every single day. You will leave no room or I should say time for excuses then.
- Make slow but steady, conscious, decisions to push you: Our brain resists almost all things good. Thus, if it means eating clean, our brain will resist and would love to eat not-so-clean foods. Our mind resists exercises too even though we know it is good for us. There are so many things that actually good for us, such as following a schedule to achieve set targets but our brain resists it. The only way to overcome this is through conscious choices and decisions to push our boundaries and achieving one goal at a time. So, jump out of the bed at 7 and hit the workout. Get all the stuff timed in right and actually achieve it! It is all about being disciplined and it can only happen through conscious decisions. Of course, it takes time and this isn’t a one day’s work. But it is possible, one day at a time.
- Genuinely take action to overcome resistance: Anything good that we’re supposed to do or about to do, especially when it comes to exercising or meditating or even eating good food, to name a few… we don’t do it and then we find an excuse for ourselves or those around us. Now, this is the most important thing that truly helps. So READ CAREFULLY. Before you jump to make any excuse whether saying it to yourself or others, genuinely evaluate and reflect within to understand why are you doing it or NOT DOING it. The only thing that separates high performing individuals from non-performing ones is the ACTIONS we take. Take action for course correction, through forced positive behavior. Consciously, and deliberately, choose to be positive and action positive thinking, every single day, in any situation. Make a pact with yourself that you will genuinely commit to something or someone, only if you can actually do it and then if you do take it up… just do it. Once you’re utterly honest about your situations and communicate authentically wherever needed. You will never need an excuse ever again.
Yeah! You heard me. I am indicating that we need to stop making those excuses regarding anything and everything. We are better than our excuses and you and I both know that. So, take action today.
Let me know in the comments below, which of these strategies resonated the most with you? Or just tell me what’s your take on excuses?
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