One of the most common refrains I hear in coaching and self improvement is how important it is to eradicate your excuses. Honestly, it is a common refrain for a reason. Our excuses hold us back and are major building blocks in the walls we make against our progress. So why the title of this post? Because when it comes to the limitations and excuses we really believe in, it is absolutely crucial for success!
It is easy to say, “stop making excuses and execute.” In many situations that may be exactly what we need to hear, the push that begins the momentum of success and change. It works so well because often we have already reached the point where we acknowledge the excuses we are making. We have often already identified the invalid reasoning we are feeding ourselves. We may continue to deny that reality on the surfac for any number of reasons that our mind supplies us to keep the status quo in place. We know it though, we know we are making those excuses and it is often uncomfortable when we address them because secretly, it isn’t a break through, it’s something we know and has been slowly eroding our sense of self worth and well being. That is why it is feels so amazing to take action and stop making them. I want to state that doing so is a HUGE step in the right direction and this post is in no way intended to minimize those accomplishments. Truly, I applaud anyone who is willing to take any step at all towards improving themselves!
The excuses I am talking about in the title however are different. They are the ones we REALLY BELIEVE. Those ones that when questioned still stand as truth and fact in our minds. They aren’t made up, they aren’t false or just our mind trying to avoid some discomfort. They are real, tangible and serious. I mean that. They are thing like, I can’t because I am genuinely terrified even petrified to do something. Things like, I want to launch my business or write a book but, you don’t feel I have the knowledge or skill or money. To get past barriers like this takes real effort. They aren’t as simple as, “Just take a chance” or “Go big or go home”. Yes, you can do that, and if you do, be incredibly proud of your courage! However, I find a much better option is to build up the foundations to remove these excuses/barriers/reasons. It takes planning and thought but, most often, with patience and purpose, all the things you want but don’t believe are possible really are.
Begin by looking at what is required for the dreams you have. What skills need to be developed? What steps need to be taken? What aspects of the dream makes you the most uncomfortable (these are often the areas we lack the most proficiency in)? I’ll give you a quick example in my own life. I know that I need to learn to rock climb if I want to tackle some of the mountains I want to summit. I am terrified of heights! I get wobbly about 10 feet of the ground and it is an act of will to compose myself if I go up any further. My language around it is, “I don’t know what I am doing”, “If I fall it’s going to hurt”, “I have a fear of heights”. Really, I have a fear of falling and hurting myself. I have had a few scary situations in my past that support this talk. This talk doesn’t however, support my future. The more I climb and practice, the more I learn to “read the wall” and develop muscle memory, the more this fear has faded. It has faded because I have supplied my subconscious with new knowledge, knowledge of success. I don’t believe that any amount of talk was going to change that, it took me doing something, taking small steps and building more skill to rewrite in PROOF what I could accomplish. I know that I’ll continue to be able to do more with more confidence in the future. I’ve proved it to myself.
This is what I mean by supporting your excuses. If you really feel you can not reach something at your current level, then begin by identifying what is stopping you and start your work there. One day you’ll look inside and realize… You are all out of excuses! And it will feel amazing!! Take some time to look at the excuses in your life this week and how you feel about them. I ask that you find one thing, one step you can take to build your support against them, find what it will take to lift yourself above them. I’d love to hear in the comments what you discover. Remember, You Are Exceptional!