Here are six ways to stop making excuses and start being awesome!
You know what is super easy? Doing something that makes you completely and inordinately happy.
Finding that thing might be difficult, but once you know what your passion is, you will have no problem working on it.
On the other hand, when you don’t want to do something, it can feel like a massive stone chained to your ankle thereby creating an even bigger burden.
You know what I love doing? Cooking.
You know what I detest? Dishes.
When I cook I feel like Picasso painting a masterpiece; each flavor working in conjunction, each texture working together, building on one another to generate a whole that is more exquisite that the sum of it’s parts.
From tying my apron strings to deciding what serving dish I am going to use, I adore every single aspect of cooking a meal.
Except the aforementioned dishes.
Don’t even get me started on how much I loathe dirty dishes.
First of all, it annoys me that I just spent however long cooking a fabulous meal and now I get to spend twice as long cleaning up. I only want to create, not clean up after myself! Ha!
Then there is the gross factor of cold sticky food particles that are adhering to the plates like barnacles on the hull of a boat.
Honestly, the only thing I like about doing the dishes is when they are loaded in the dishwasher and I can finally sit down and watch some television!
Cooking is important to me because it makes me feel creative and accomplished.
But when it comes to dishes, I will find any excuse to not have to do them.
The good news is, I have a husband and kids who help with the family dishes, because honestly, if they didn’t I don’t think I would cook nearly as often as I do, even though I love it.
If it is important to me, I will find a way. If not, I will find excuses as to why I shouldn’t do it.
I bet you are the same way. You know how I know this? Because it is universal. Pretty much everyone is wired to easily do things we find important, and bail on the things we really don’t want to do.
The problem arises when we get in the habit of making excuses for the majority of things in our life.
When you are young everything is bright and shiny and new! That is why it is so easy for toddlers to bound out of bed as if they have already had five cups of coffee- just being alive is their caffeine! But adults are a bit jaded. We’ve seen it before, done it before, and frankly we are just going to have to see it and do it again tomorrow.
We get so used to making excuses for the things that we consider to be unimportant that we begin to make excuses for everything, even the things we like doing.
It is just so much easier to do nothing then to make the effort of doing something and possibly failing.
So we start to make excuses.
- I don’t have time to go to the gym.
- I was hungry and I didn’t have anything healthy to eat, so I just grabbed a bag of chips.
- I didn’t know where to begin.
- I can’t wear red lipstick because what will the other mother’s think?
- I’ve never done it before.
- I’m not very good at it.
- I don’t have any luck.
- My kids won’t let me.
- My spouse doesn’t support me.
I am sure you have a million reasons why you can’t do something.
But what if I told you there was a way to stop making excuses.
What if there was something you could do to ignore the negative voice in your head that stops you from pursuing your dreams and keeps your mind full of reasons why you can’t do something?
Isn’t it time for you to stop with the excuses?
Stop Lying To Yourself
When you tell yourself, “I just don’t have enough time to _____”, you know perfectly well that it is a lie.
You make enough time to brush your teeth every day.
You are able to find the time to get dressed in the morning.
There always seems to be enough time to watch a bit of television or surf the net, or both.
So it isn’t really a time factor, it is a priority factor.
Whatever it is that you say you don’t have enough time for is simply not important enough to you for you to rejuggle your schedule. Because we both know there is plenty of time in the day to get other things done that are more important that whatever it is you are using excuses to not do.
Would you like to know why you are lying to yourself?
Because it is easy!
It is easy to tell yourself that there isn’t enough time in the day. It takes the burden off of you and places it onto something as untenable as “time”. Who can argue with time? Nobody because time doesn’t argue back.
But lying to yourself is simply an excuse. It isn’t real. It is a way to continue to live your life of comfort instead of getting rid of excuses and living an extraordinary life.
Because when you stop lying to yourself you can start living a life of honesty. And that is extraordinary.
Practice Kindness, Especially To Yourself
Earlier I mentioned the voice in your head that is constantly putting you down.
“You are too fat to go to the gym”
“You are too ugly to bother with nice clothing”
“Everyone will laugh at you if you try something new”
In Judaism that voice is called your “yetzer hara” or your “evil inclination”. In Christianity it is often depicted as the devil on your shoulder.
If you find yourself constantly putting yourself down then you have let your devil grow too big! It is time to stop listening to it and start building up the angel on your other shoulder! That’s right, just as the Force in Star Wars has both a dark and a light side, so too does the voice in your head.
In order to destroy the voice that is so unkind, you must stop listening when it tries to tell you excuses. You must fight back with kindness to yourself and others.
Instead of telling yourself you are too fat to go to the gym you have to tell yourself that you are worth it. Instead of cutting yourself down with words like ugly or stupid you must build yourself up by telling yourself you are beautiful and creative.
You would never let someone say horrible things about you to your face, so don’t say them to yourself!
Stop Being An Eeyore
Though he is considered a beloved children’s character, I find Eeyore to be a terrible bore in real life.
An Eeyore is someone who always sees the negative aspects of everything. They are the ones to tell you why you shouldn’t do something.
Dismally gloomy is a perfect way to describe an Eeyore.
Don’t be an Eeyore.
Eeyores are geniuses at making excuses but they aren’t someone you should want to emulate.
You know who you should be like? Dora The Explorer!
Dora is a children’s character who is always willing to explore! No matter what kind of situation she is in, Dora doesn’t find an excuse to not go an adventure, she uses her brain and her map to figure out the problem and end up at her final destination. If there is one thing you can call that girl it is tenacious!
So stop being an Eeyore and start living life like Dora!
One of the easiest ways to stop making excuses is to set goals and create a goal map on how you are going to achieve them.
But I’ve never really explained how setting goals and working towards them can stop you from making excuses.
The reason goals will keep you from making excuses is because if you have a goal then it is probably something you find important. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, if it is important to you, you will find a way. When you set a goal the chances are much greater that you will no longer want to make excuses!
Excuses are the worker bees of Queen Procrastination.
There, in the middle of your hive is Queen Procrastination. She doesn’t want to do anything except lay around and eat honey. Her entire goal in life is to do nothing because if you don’t do anything then you cant get hurt or fail.
Queen Procrastination uses her worker bees to make sure nothing stops her from apathetically laying around.
You want to get out of debt by starting to pay down your credit card bills but Queen Procrastination knows that budgeting is hard and that would force her to actually feel some pain. So she sends out “I need those cute red pumps” worker bee to stop you from bothering to budget.
Maybe you have decided it is high time to start organizing your closets, but Queen Procrastination knows this will cut into her TV watching time so she sends out the “I’ll start tomorrow” worker bee to keep your butt on the couch.
Each and every time you want to do something that might stop Queen Procrastination from her lethargy, she finds an excuse for you to not make your life better.
It is up to you to take Queen Procrastination bee and stomp her into the pavement.
Stop Blaming Other People
One of the most common excuses is to use another person as the reason you can’t do whatever it is you would like to do.
- “I can’t move to my dream city because it would kill my mother if I lived so far away.”
- “I can’t eat healthier because my spouse hates vegetables.”
- “I can’t spend as much time as I would like with my family because of my job.”
Every single one of those excuses is blaming someone else for why you can’t do something. And every single one of those excuses are a cop out.
The only time you have a legitimate reason to use a person as an excuse is when you have a baby. But other than that, your life is exactly that: YOURS! It is a summation of every single one of your choices, and if you let someone stop you from doing something that you want to do, then that is your choice, not theirs.
This year, instead of continuing to make excuses, why don’t you decide to stop making excuses and start being awesome?
You can begin by using these six ways to cease with the justifications of why you can’t do whatever it is you find unimportant and then you can continue by reading my e-book: WillPOWER: Become an expert at being AWESOME.
In it you will learn how to grow and build your willpower, how to stop listening to your negative voice, and most importantly, the steps you need to take to stop Queen Procrastination in her tracks!
Because you weren’t born to be average, you were born to be AWESOME!