This article came at just the right time for me, as excuses started to derail the progress I was making on my 2012 intentions, so I wanted to share it with you!
Pay attention the next time someone is talking about what they would “love to do”, and you’ll probably hear them make an excuse as to why they’re not pursuing it. We make excuses so often and use them as “reasons” that hold us back from being successful that most of us aren’t aware we’re even doing it! Let’s go over some of the excuses we all make, how to recognize them and simple ways to overcome them and take action.
There are very few things that are actually considered legitimate reasons for not pursuing your goals. Think of something you want to happen in your life right now. Do you want to lose weight? Make more money? Change careers? Start a family? Pursue a new passion? Once you know what you want to happen in your life, ask yourself, “Why hasn’t this happened yet? Where am I getting stuck?”
Most of us know what we want but don’t take the action steps required to get it because of excuses. Many women want to lose weight, but they make the excuse of not having enough time to exercise, money to purchase weight equipment or healthy foods, or energy to get up and do it every day. When you really look into it, we make time for the things we prioritize. Losing weight isn’t costly (exercising outdoors is free and eating healthfully can save you loads when you’re not buying fast foods); it actually costs you more to remain heavy in terms of healthcare costs. And the reason you don’t have the energy or motivation to lose weight is because you’re sedentary and lack the support that will push you to reach your goals.
Do you see how we get caught in a web of “excuses” that we don’t even try to do something about our circumstances? We say we want things to be different, but we mentally stop ourselves before we ever get going.
Why do we make excuses? I believe inside all of us is a deep fear that comes from getting out of your comfort zone and succeeding. Making an excuse is the “easy way out” to avoid pursuing your goal and facing the possibility of failing (or experiencing some type of pain).
Think about it: If you want to lose weight, your mind may immediately begin thinking (even subconsciously), “What if I fail? What if I hate eating healthily? What will I have to give up? What if I’m ostracized by my friends when I change? What if I gain the weight back?” So instead of addressing these fears and moving forward, we make excuses that seem to justify our inaction.
Notice the next time you make an excuse that keeps you from prioritizing the things you want most in your life. Ask yourself, “What am I really afraid of? Why don’t I want to take the next step?”
Making excuses takes away your power and subconsciously creates a statement of defeat. You do have the power and ability to create change, so you must tell yourself the truth. Yes, your goal may require a time commitment, it may require money that stretches your budget, and it may require you to get out of your comfortable bubble where you never make mistakes or fail. But the truth is that there is always a way to reach your goal if you never stop trying.
A few years back, I wanted to get a coach for my business. At the time, I didn’t really have the extra cash flow to “afford” a coach, and I was afraid if I did invest I wouldn’t see a return. I was also scared that a coach would make me do things that were uncomfortable. The truth is that the extra money could have been found if I saved on “extras” in my personal life that I didn’t really need. If I was honest with myself, I would have also realized that not getting a coach was costing me money and years of growth, and that “discomfort” could have made me stronger and more confident.
Instead of realizing all of this, I made excuses. “I don’t have the money for a coach. I can’t afford it,” would be my reply to colleagues of mine who were succeeding immensely with coaches. Finally, I got tired of waiting and decided to take a leap financially.
I’ve been working with a coach for some time now, and I can tell you that not only did I find the money to afford her, she changed my life radically. I’m absolutely in love with the women and girls I work with, I love the business she helped me create, and I can more than afford her now.
Our excuses prevent us from looking at all possibilities. When you discover where you’re doing this, start asking some questions to find out the truth. Even if your schedule is jam-packed, could you find the time to pursue your goal if you were committed? Although your budget is really tight right now, isn’t it true you could cut back on some things to afford your goal or save money to pay for it? Could you find more affordable ways to reach your goal?
Excuses are merely a response to fear. Making them takes away your ability to turn your goal into a reality. Get clear on where you’re making excuses and ask different questions to challenge your excuses. Once you do this, you will be empowered to take action and move closer to the things you want in your life.
Copyright 2012 Katie Humphrey
Katie Humphrey helps overwhelmed, exhausted and stressful women become more confident, fit and motivated. Get your FREE webinar on the “5 Reasons Most Women Are Overweight, Overwhelmed and Unfulfilled, And How You Can Have the Body and Life You Deserve” by going to www.KatieHumphrey.com!