As humans, we’re all prone to making excuses from time to time. I myself used to argue for my limitations. In the past, when it came to dreams or goals, I’d come up with reasons that I couldn’t do something. Some of my most used excuses were that I didn’t have time, technical expertise, or the money to pull something off.
In hindsight, I see that these excuses really sucked. It contributed to me allowing my life to suck…until, I decided to take responsibility for my life.
I’m still a work in progress, I’ll admit, but my excuses have been less and less. I think it’s due to me becoming aware of the words that I use. I catch myself and correct my words. I find that the word “can’t” doesn’t come out of my mouth very often when it comes to talking about my dreams or goals.
In working with others as a coach and mentor, I’ve took mental note of the common excuses that people make. It’s a great study for me, to understand our human side more, that part of us that sometimes allows our ego to limit us.
I’ve heard many doozies over the years. Here’s what I consider to be the worst excuses ever, the five excuses that suck the most:
1. “I don’t have time.” My life coach response: “Tell me why you’re not choosing to make the time, making it a priority?” There’s a quote about how all of us have the same time as the greats such as Henry Ford and Albert Einstein. Okay, I’m approximating the quote, but we all do have the same number of hours in a day. I tend to see time as a human invention and as flexible. I may sound woo woo here, but I myself have been able to bend time. I rarely run late, but if there is a traffic jam, I’ve asked the universe to slow down the clock to help me get to my destination on time. It has worked for me. I’m not really a magical being either. I’ve bent time when it comes to deadlines and getting stuff done in my life too. Really, when you say that you don’t have time, you’re saying that you don’t want to do it, ‘cause if you wanted to do something, you’d do it. You find time to use the bathroom, text people, go to the bar or cafe, and eat meals, right? Everything else can fit into your life. Trust me on this.
2. “The dog ate it.” My life coach response: “What can you do right now to honor the deadline you missed?” As children, this dog ate it excuse was a joke we used when we didn’t get our homework done. As adults, we use a similar version, coming as “I lost it.” Other versions include: “I can’t find it,” or, “I didn’t receive it,” or, “I forgot about it.” I’ve worked with, observed, and been mentored by successful people and the one thing I’ve noticed is that you rarely hear these type of dog ate it excuses from them. If something can’t be delivered, successful people will own up to it and take responsibility for their results. True dat.
3. “I’m tired.” My life coach response: “What are you needing to do to take better care of yourself so that you can show up with enthusiasm, passion, presence, and love for others?” At times, we are not feeling well or maybe there’s a chronic illness that makes us tired. Or, we’ve overextended ourselves in our personal or professional lives. If you’re tired, it means that you’re human and well, chances are, you need to rest, get some sleep or take a nap, get your health on track, and delegate some thing in your life. My other life coaching response to this excuse is: “Are you taking care of the basics such as hydration, eating healthy meals, exercising, and getting the right number of hours of sleep per night?” Yep, sometimes, the basics being neglected will create tiredness. Maybe you need a break or a vacation? Take care of yourself. It’s in your power to do so.
4. “I don’t know how.” My life coach response: “What resources do you have to gain the knowledge that is required?” Maybe you need to pay someone to help you? My humorous response is: “Have you tried Googling what you need?” Seriously, there is so much information online about how to do stuff. I’ve taught myself things in the past that I never thought I’d learn how to do such as writing a line of HTML code from reading a tutorial online. I realize that we can’t be an expert in every area, so at times, yes, you do need to get an expert’s help. The thing is though, unless you are learning and growing, you’re not really fully alive. Life is about expansion and growth. Your brain is happier when you are learning. I’m always impressed at the senior citizens I know who text, Skype, or email me pictures. Some of these hipster seniors are traveling and doing yoga for the first time. They don’t allow age to hold them back. That is how I wanna be when I grow up (if I ever do, that is!).
5. “My parents never supported me.” My life coach response: “How can you as an adult get the support right now that you need the most?” Reprogram your mind for your future success and happiness with a tool like affirmations, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), self-hypnosis, meditation, or counseling. You can choose to do what your heart desires right now. Don’t allow the limitations imposed on you from the past to affect you now. Rebel against those, honey! Don’t tell that story any more that goes something like this, “My parents loved my sister more and let her take art classes when really, it was me that was talented.” I care about you and want you to stop telling that story. You can’t really change the past, but you can re-pattern it in your consciousness, body, and spirit. What you do right now is creating your future. Create a happy one.
What about you? Do you relate at all to any of the above? What excuses do you want to stop making? How have others’ excuses negatively affected you? How did you shift negative patterns and beliefs? Please share below so that we can learn from your wisdom.
Lisa Marie Selow
About Me: I’m a life coach and motivational speaker that specializes in liberating women to live more authentic, courage lives. My self-help book, A Rebel Chick Mystic’s Guide: Healing Your Spirit With Positive Rebellion comes out November 26, 2012 with Hay House, Inc. Find out more at my website: http://lisaselow.com
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