Excuses are rationalizations we make to ourselves about people, events, and circumstances. They are invented reasons we create to defend our behavior, to postpone taking action or simply as a means of neglecting responsibility.
To get any result in your life, whether it’s to have a happy relationship, a fulfilling career, or to lose 25 pounds – it has to come from the belief that you can achieve it. Many people falsely believe that they are not fixable or can’t do what they need to do to get the result they desperately want, and that limited belief shows up in the form of an excuse.
Some common excuses my brain has offered up and I have heard from clients are, but not limited to:
- I don’t have enough time
- I’m not strong enough
- I’m too old
- I’m too young
- I’m not good at technology
- I don’t know how
- I’m too scared to
- Other people might not like me if I do it
- I don’t look good enough
- I don’t have what it takes
What is important to recognize here is that all of these statements are just thoughts. They are not facts, and they just come from our mind. For every excuse, there is someone who has succeeded at that age, at that height, at that weight, with more children, with the same looks and talent. These often defeating statements are simply optional thoughts that our brain has come up with to keep us the same.
It’s critically important to remember that, initially, our brain resists change. It wants to keep us safe and it believes one way to do that is to keep doing what we have always done because there is less risk of harm. Our brain wants to prevent us from experiencing any pain, so the excuses are born out of good intentions.
What I encourage all of you to recognize is that these thoughts are not true. Excuses are not facts, and they keep us far away from our desired goals. We want to first become aware of their presence in our lives, knowing that they are born out of good intentions, but that we don’t have to believe them. They are optional thoughts.
As a coach, my challenge is to courageously fight against my clients’ limiting beliefs so that they get to experience the joy that comes from seeing their ideas come to fruition. I do not attach to my clients’ excuses no matter how hard they try to get me to believe them. And, believe me, those excuses are sometimes very compelling.
In order to get your dream result, you must be aware of your excuses, understand that they are optional, and understand the feelings and actions that they promote you to take, or in many cases, not take.
Once you have this awareness, you can rally the troops, i.e. your thoughts, to go to battle to prove that you CAN achieve your dream result.
All excuses come from your mind. Consider this good news because you can steer your mind towards beliefs that serve you and shorten the gap between your goal and your excuses. But watch out! – They are sneaky and often unrelenting. However, over time, the less you attach to them and the more action you take proving that you can succeed in spite of them, these unhelpful thoughts will die off.
If you struggle with attaching too much with your excuses and not your desired results, I invite you to a mini session with me. I promise to stand firm against your excuses and fight for your dream result.
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.