Are you allowing excuses to hold you back and keep you from living the life you want? Nobody is immune to excusitis, but here’s 3 ideas to help cure you of it.
When you make excuses you devalue yourself You knock your confidence, lower your self esteem and lose credibility both in the eyes of others and yourself. Not being clear about what you truly value in life, not knowing your priorities and simply being a little bit scared are the three main reasons you’ll make excuses, so here’s how to deal with each of them:
1 – Know Your Values
When it comes to making decisions that take you in the direction of, or further away from your ideal life path, it’s essential to know your values. There’s a great article here by Taylor Pearson on getting to know your values, and I highly recommend you take the 15 minutes or so to go through this exercise.
When faced with a decision about whether to do something, or the temptation to make an excuse not to, it’s useful to have your values front and center in your mind. Know your values and, as Taylor suggests, review them weekly so they’re fresh in your mind when you consider any new decision or commitment, or think about making an excuse not to commit.
If you value learning learning, growth, challenge or adventure, for example, then it’s good to remember this when thinking of doing something a bit risky, or you might find an excuse to avoid it.
2 – Check Your Priorities
Do you ever find yourself saying “I don’t have time” or “I didn’t have time” or “I don’t have enough money”? Lack of time and lack of money are the two most overused excuses, and both of them are rarely, if ever, true.
The truth is that we all have the same amount of time. The last time I checked it was about 24 hours in each day. It’s what you choose to do with that time that makes the difference. Do you watch TV, play computer games, scroll on social media? You can develop any skill you need, or build a huge business, just by re-prioritizing and working a couple of hours each day.
But what about money? Again you argue commitments. You have to pay the rent and buy food. And to some degree that’s true, although even in that there are probably more choices than you can see. But what else do you do with your money? Do you have a TV? Have a subscription, or several? Amazon Prime or Netflix? Do you go to the movies or out for drinks? How much money do you spend on clothes or music or eating out?
If you use lack of money as an excuse not to buy a book or take a personal development course, it’s a poor excuse, by which I mean; it will keep you poor! The truth is that you probably have enough money to do most of the things you might want to do, you just need to make different choices.
3 – Examine Your Fears
Did you ever think about doing something new, or even commit to doing it, and then make an excuse not to? What were you afraid of? When we make an excuse not to do something, it’s often fear that’s holding us back. Not always, but most frequently, an entirely unfounded fear.
Were you afraid of over-committing and not having time for other things? Or afraid of over-committing on your money and not being able to afford things? Were you afraid that you might get trapped in something and not be able to get out of it once you’d started? Were you worried that you wouldn’t know what you were doing and might look stupid or let someone down?
These are all potentially valid concerns but, when you use them as a reason not to do something, they’re just excuses because they could all be addressed in advance.
So, when you’re thinking of making an excuse not to do something, ask “What am I afraid of?” Get the thing out in the open. What’s the worst that could happen, and how would i feel about that? How would I handle it, if it did happen? And how likely is it that that actually would happen?
9 times out 10, maybe even 99 out of 100, you’ll find that either; there’s almost no likelihood of that scenario actually playing out, or that everybody else feels like that too. Nobody’s going to laugh at you or think you remotely unusual because many times we all share the same fears.
By getting your fears out in the open and giving them a serious examination, you take away their power. While they continue to lurk in your subconscious they’ll come up with excuse after excuse to keep you from whatever terrible fate they can cause you to imagine.
Quit Making Excuses Now
Here’s the challenge: Now that you’ve read this, you know what you’re doing, and why. So challenge yourself to stop it. Stop making excuses. To help yourself out think carefully before any decisions or major commitment. You may have to get better at saying “No”. But make the commitment, now, that in future you’ll either say “Yes” or “No”, do or do not, but you won’t make excuses.
What you should do now
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