The vast majority of reasons we have for not doing something, or continuing a destructive, or unhealthy lifestyle, are nothing more than excuses, neatly packaged to look like reasons.
Making excuses is easy. We could make about a hundred of them right now. You could make an excuse for not finishing this article. Change takes time and effort, and a fight against the opposition, including our patterns of thinking and behavior, and those pesky excuses. It is time to set aside all of your excuses and start finding reasons.
We fight change and start adopting excuses for one of two reasons, or both.
Fear is a powerful motivator, but typically it heads us in the wrong direction. Fear might be keeping you in excuse mode because you fear: the unknown, criticism, or failure.
Pain is the other primary reason people resist change. Most people don’t want to be uncomfortable, sacrifice, or miss out on something. We prefer to avoid pain.
Jim Rohn was an American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker said,
“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”
To stop making excuses, you need to be ready to face fear and to experience some pain.
How to Stop Making Excuses
1. Unmask Your Excuses. Recognize that the reasons you have been relying on to keep you from making the change are excuses. Rip off the fancy wrapping and expose the justifications.
2. Find a Compelling Reason. When my daughter Jamie was deep into her addiction, I felt as if I had failed at life. I was depressed and hopeless, doing what I could to make it through each day without losing it. At my lowest point, I knew I had to find a reason. My son, Sean, became my most compelling reason to stand. He was losing his sister and first friend, and it wasn’t fair that he was witnessing the self-destruction of his mom. Find as many reasons as you can to make the change, but it may only take one big one.
3. Get Ready to Be Uncomfortable. Anything worth having, being, or doing, will take work and sacrifice. Change can seem painful. Be realistic and recognize what it will take – mentally, physically, emotionally, and even spiritually – to make the change a reality.
4. Be Prepared For the Return of Those Pesky Excuses. Just when you are making progress, you will have a setback.
When I was 29 years old, I had my thyroid radiated. I take medication, but over the past decade, my slow metabolism caught up with me. Add adrenal fatigue that joined the party several years back, and my metabolism has nearly come to a screeching halt.
Needing and wanting to obliterate some fat, I used the principles I am sharing with you to stop making excuses. (I don’t like the term “lose” because that means there’s a chance of finding it again).
At the five-pound mark, I stopped losing weight. With a basic understanding of weight loss, I knew this is normal, but I came close to heading from the scale to the refrigerator. After all, my metabolism is in the toilet. Enter excuse number one to quit.
The excuses will return because they are habits and habits are hard to break and help us to alleviate what is uncomfortable. Now is the time you have to dig your heels in and remember your reasons.
5. Adopt the never give up mentality. At the beginning of the process, you identified and unmasked your excuses. However, don’t be surprised if new reasons arrive in pretty little packages. When you hit a roadblock, you might start to rationalize why it makes sense to quit. Delays and complications will be a part of your change process, so except them. No matter how many times you get knocked down, keep getting back up. Don’t quit.
Right now, you might have a list of excuses, but be careful not to allow having too many excuses to become another excuse! Stop making excuses and start finding reasons to change.
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Valerie Silveira | Trauma Disruptor & Legacy Leader™ is an award-winning author of multiple books, workbooks, and journals to guide people worldwide through the path to freedom. Valerie is known as a woman of unwavering strength who, through the trauma and lessons of her daughter’s addiction and her senseless murder, along with her decades of leadership, empowers others to stand up and live courageously. Her books, workbooks, journals, and 9 Weapons of Hope™ provide hope and healing for life’s many challenges. For information on Valerie’s courses, books, and speaking programs, visit ValerieSilveira.com.