Updated on November 24th, 2018
Ever had an idea or dream you really wanted for your life? Ever found you kept putting it off and putting it off – telling yourself those manyfold reasons why you couldn’t possibly do it? Ever made excuses like Now is not the right time, I can’t afford it, or I haven’t got the confidence? Then this is the blog post for you. Let me introduce you to five sure-fire ways of conquering your excuses – literally from every angle.
Firstly, know that you’re not alone! We’ve all been there. A lot of people seek out my coaching because they’re there. And you? Are you there right now?
Whether you’re looking to make a small change, like going for a daily walk. Or tackle something bigger, like change jobs. Or transforming your life completely, like moving to a different country. Whatever change you have in mind for your life:
Here’s five sure-fire ways for how to do this – literally from every angle!
1. Get underneath your excuse
Dig a little deeper. What’s underneath the excuse you’re making? What’s really stopping you from making the change you want?
Often, when we’re making an excuse, it’s because there’s something we’re afraid of underneath – or something we aren’t quite ready to look at and tackle. So we’re using the excuse as our shield against our fear.
For example: Quite a few people I work with stay stuck in a job they hate, telling themselves that they have no time to look for a new job. But what’s really stopping them from moving on is their fear of not finding another job, losing their income and ending up poor.
So if a change you want to make in your life just isn’t happening, and you’ve tried to overcome an excuse you’ve been making without success, dig a little deeper: Be really honest with yourself, and acknowledge what’s really stopping you. Ask yourself what you’re afraid of, or not ready for. Then work on overcoming that.
2. Rise above your excuse
This is about that insidious little voice we all have inside us, that tells us that the change we want in our life is impossible. That it’s never going to work. That we can’t do it. That it’s too difficult. That making that change needs a strength or confidence we don’t have.
Have you ever noticed this? If not, pay attention to those moments when what you think or say contains categorical statements such as never, too, or can’t.
If you do this too often, you may well start believing what the little voice suggests. And that will result in unnecessarily limiting yourself and what is possible in your life.
Here’s how to rise above the insidious little voice: Notice that it’s there, and challenge it.
Ask yourself: Is what I want to change in my life really impossible? What options have I got? What alternatives? How can I know it’s never going to work? (I can’t, really.) Who says that I can’t do it? And if it looks difficult: How can I make it easier, and who could help me?
This will help you open your mind to possibility, and you might well find a way that works for you – and build or strengthen your belief that making your change is possible, after all.
So turn your can’ts into cans, and your dreams into plans!
3. See beyond your excuse
This too is about opening your mind, and, metaphorically speaking, your field of vision.
The key here is to ask yourself a What if…? question. This will allow your mind to see beyond the mental block that’s obstructing it, and allow it to consider new ideas and ways of thinking. It’s done it for many of the people I work with!
So: What would you do to change your life if you believed that you are able to overcome this excuse you’re making?
Don’t have time? What would you do if you had all the time in the world?
No money? What would you do if money wasn’t important? And if you had all the money you needed?
Feeling unconfident? What would you do if you were as confident as the most positively confident person you know?
It’s literally like lifting your eyes away from a boulder blocking the way in front of you, and up to the horizon. Try it!
4. Get around your excuse
I love this photograph. It shows that sometimes, what stops us from making a change in our life is not a mental block, but a real-life ‘obstacle’. And this doesn’t mean we cannot still change and grow…
It’s about acknowledging the real-life obstacle, and seeking ways to work around it.
Here’s a story to illustrate this point:
One of the things I’ve always loved is dance. And when I first set out to create a life I loved I wanted to have time to learn more about dance, and to do lots of it. So I was thrilled when I got a place on TrinityLaban Dance Conservatoire‘s Professional Dance Diploma programme.
But only a few weeks into my training, I tore a calf muscle. Properly. And that was the end of dancing for the rest of the term for me. I was gutted!
But then I thought that this was my time and my opportunity to do something I loved, and that I wasn’t just going to sit at home nursing my injured leg. And I found myself a physiotherapist to help me learn how to look after my injury, and let it heal.
Then I went back to my school, slowly hobbling to it every day.
I signed up for Pilates classes and floor ballet – both of which I could do lying on my back and without putting weight on my legs – to keep my body in shape. I watched every dance class I could – and got into photographing and drawing dancers in movement, which gave me a completely different perspective. I read and wrote about dance. And hung out with my fellow students, talking about their dance projects.
This all gave me a feeling of still being connected with my training, and of still somehow being in dance. And when I carefully did go back to dancing after nearly 3 months, I found I was easily able to catch up with what I’d missed.
“Yes, but yours was not a permanent obstacle,” I hear you say. True. So what do you say about two dancer friends I made, one of which is in his 7oies, and a sought-after performer of contemporary dance pieces, and the other of which was born with Cerebral Palsy, and is an active, dancing member of several performing dance companies?
In what ways could you get around an excuse you’re making?
5. See through your excuse
Sometimes, the way to conquer your excuse is to see through it in order to get through it.
A classic example for this is saying to yourself that you have no money to change your life into a life you love.
Here’s how to see through it: How much money would you really need in order to make the change you want? Is this as much as you expected? And how much of that is available to you now? Is it true that you don’t have enough? If it is: What options do you have in order to add to that amount? What would that take?
You get the gist: It’s about looking at the facts, and the reality of the situation you’re in, and at what’s really required to make the change you want. And then being extremely practical.
Quite a few of my clients surprise themselves when they start working through their excuses. They often find that their situation isn’t actually as hopeless or impossible as they thought. And that there actually are things they can do in order to move forward.
What an empowering thought!
Over to you now…
What do you think?
Which of these excuse-overcoming angles work for you?
Which other strategies do you have?
I’d love to hear your views. Thanks for leaving your comments in the box below!
Want to read more about excuses?
Check out my book ‘What’s Your Excuse for not Living a Life You Love?’ .
Full of supportive, specific inspiration and practical advice on overcoming over 40 different excuses for not living a life you love.
By the way…
This book is part of a lovely series:
So, to see more books about excuses in different life areas check out the What’s Your Excuse…? website!
Title and Excuse Photos: Pixabay
Tree Around Boulder Photo: from Facebook