No More…….

This month I settled for less.

That was not my intention at all in the beginning, I had so many plans but as the month went on I started to drop things, I began to make excuses.  It started small a little one popping up everyday.  The first thing to slip was my new Yoga practise, I have been loving this but it was a little bit like hard work and just made me late in the morning.  I gave my excuses.  The second was with work, I stopped writing, just not enough hours in the day and I am tired.  I gave my excuses.  I moved on and progressed to bigger ones, I can’t train because, I am not going to do that event because, I haven’t contacted those people because and so it went on.

 

What had happened to me?

The revelation came when I received a message from a friend about a night out – now I rarely accept these invitations as usually I am away (no excuses, for real this time) but when I saw the invitation and checked the diary I was free.  What excuse could I give to avoid it then?  In that moment I saw it.  I didn’t want to avoid the party, I wanted to go so why on earth had my first thoughts been oh I don’t have an excuse not to go!

I sat down and took a moment to reflect.  I had been making excuses, only little ones, for myself all month.  So much so that it had actually become a habit.

Now I am all for creating new habits, but this one crept up on me without realising and I don’t want it.

 

What are excuses and what if I just rename them reasons?

Before we touch on what I did to get out of this lets look at what an excuse is.

An excuse is an explanation about why something is the way it is, it invariably involves blame, be that with someone else or something else – in essence an excuse is used as a get out clause and lacks accountability on the owners part.

A reason has the same starting point, in that it is an explanation, yet it has accountability, a point made but backed up with the part you play.

So why do we make them?

Sometime we make excuses out of doubt and fear. I believe these fuel each other. You have the ‘What if?’ thought followed up with wild and often misguided issues and problems.  These can be kicked off by you or another person. It could be the look of horror or a well timed ‘really you want to do that’ from a friend. Fear thrives on that seed of doubt and stacks up the excuses for you to pick. Mostly the fears will focus on taking away your security and comfort.  To move through doubt and fear you have to recognise the real reason for what is stopping you. Then when you arrive at its core, understand which security parameters you are really going to breach – IF ANY.  A questioning and somewhat challenging mind will enable you to move through doubt and fear. Simply ask yourself where the truth lies. I find this really helps.

Waiting for the perfect moment excuse. How many times have you heard yourself say ‘when [insert your favourite waiting clause] happens I will’. That perfect moment or the time when all the star’s are aligned may never happen. In reality if you want something really big you have to start working towards it NOW. The perfect conditions will not happen unless you create them so ask yourself if waiting for the perfect moment is in-fact an excuse and what are you really avoiding.

Excuses that are shrouded by a lack motivation or a bad habit. You need to have motivation to actually say YES to something, indeed to even get started.  Without suitable motivation we would just sit on the sofa and eat cake (well I would).  This isn’t the full story though as we also create habits. Our habits are what sustain us – a bad habit, i.e. one that stops you from moving forward needs to be broken. Or we lack enough good habits to maintain our focus on the goal we set. Motivation and habit really do go hand in hand, creating the right intention and setting out a plan is essential when our excuses have a foot hold here.

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going” Jim Rohn

We can come up with 1,000’s of excuses in all sorts of disguises, we need to recognise them as they turn up and use this moment to challenge them and then get creative about how you move around them.

This has to STOP

If I allow my excuses to continue it will eat away at me, stripping me of my drive, my passion and my sense of adventure & spontaneity.  Sounds quite dramatic doesn’t it, but I am quite serious.  This is a downward slope for me and I would simply allow myself to accept the daily routine to fall into place and before I know it we will be in 2017 and I will have moved forward in time but not in mind.

Setting myself a month of ‘no excuses’ living was the answer – that doesn’t mean I am going to say yes to everything by they way. That would just be mad. What I intend to do is be honest with myself. This way I can check in on every answer I give to both myself and to others. Am I giving an excuse or is this really why.

The moment I start to make an excuse I am doing to ask myself where does that come from, what am I avoiding and where is my accountability?

How this will help me?

By tackling my excuses head on as they arrive I am more able to free myself form the stories I tell. I will be able to step into making conscious choices about how I spend my time with work & play. It will open up more opportunities for me to take as I will inevitably stretch out of my comfort zone again.

 

What excuses are you making?

What would you do if you attempted the same thing? A month of no excuses living. A month where every decision you made you did with your eyes wide open and with honesty. What if you saw every excuse for what it really was?

You want to get fitter/healthier, to loose weight, you are feed up at work or at home and just want to do something different for a change. You have a bubbling excitement as you think about the possibilities and then the excuses start to roll in. What if you saw those excuses for what they were and challenged them.

 

It takes courage to step beyond your excuses. You might not like the feelings that are behind them. But taking control by simply challenging them and then getting creative with how to deal with them will give you a new lease of life.

 

Good Luck and please do tell me how you get on.

Fed up of your excuses?

Do you want to live your brave and adventurous life?

Why not book a free consultation with me. As a bravery coach I support you to be the leader in your life and find the courage to live your adventure. The first session is always free. We talk and explore the excuses you have been making and what those excuses are stopping you from doing. My clients often walk away from this consultation with ideas on how to move forward. That’s before we have even started to work together.