Beating the habit | What Excuses Do You Use?
Are you lying to yourself?
Chances are there are areas of your life you would love to improve. Goals you’ve set. Dreams that keep popping up. Visions of success on your terms. But if it’s been weeks or months since your last real action toward a long-standing goal, it’s time to evaluate why.
As we all work toward achieving our goals, it’s important that we aren’t caught in a cycle of self-deception. If we are constantly thinking “I probably can’t handle that,” it’s only a matter of time before we start believing it.
And how often do we all tell ourselves white lies and excuses that have the potential to drain our motivation. In an instant, our excuses can snowball from a moment of self-doubt or uncertainty about next steps to a concrete perception of our limited abilities. A simple excuse that turns into a limiting belief can prevent you from chasing your goals. In the short term, excuses damage our self-confidence and cause us to ignore an opportunity. In the long term, excuses create major barriers that prevent us from clarifying our priorities and achieving success.
Beating the habit
If you’re tired of making excuses that limit your potential, if you’re tired of thinking you’re not good enough, too old, or too young to make progress, you have the power to start over – every day. Each morning presents a new opportunity to get back on track with your purpose in life. Beating the habit of making excuses requires work, but the payoff includes releasing yourself from the barriers that hold you back.
It’s time for us all to stop making excuses. Right now, take a moment to think about any negative messages you send yourself on a daily basis. Consider how they impact your family, friendships, work and all areas of your life.
For example, your excuse could be that you don’t exercise because you don’t have anyone willing to join you for a workout. This excuse may affect your level of energy at work, or influence your relationships with loved ones who want to see you healthy. But we don’t need someone at our side to go for a 20-minute walk. We don’t need music in our earphones or texting on our handheld devices. We don’t need special clothes or the latest athletic shoes. We just need to walk. No excuses; just get up and go. In fact, the peace and quiet that is a gift to you as you stroll along by yourself will almost certainly release energy and ideas hiding just behind your excuses.
Once we identify our excuses and push them aside, replace that space by seeing opportunities to help you achieve your goal. Without excuses blocking our view, we’ll see the people, information, and other resources we need to chase our goals. They were always there. Excuses just prevented us from seeing them.
John J. Hall, CPA
John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”