Written by Telana Simpson
Beware- reading this article will be dangerous for your excuses!
So the goal you’ve set for yourself is very important to you. You really want to achieve it. It would just make your life so much better once you reach it. So you take the first step, and maybe the second step towards achieving it. Then your alarm goes off early to wake you up to take the next step, but you say to yourself “I’m tired, I’ll just lie here for a few more minutes” and then another hour goes by and you missed the opportunity to take that next step. Then later in the day, when you could take that next step towards our goal, you actually rather need to make a phone call instead. And so it goes… excuse after excuse and you don’t get any closer to that goal which is so important to you.
Excuses are seductive. They have a way of appearing so legitimate and real and urgent in that moment that we excuse our self from doing something that is, so we say to ourselves, important to us. And then we get disheartened when we feel we let ourselves down.
What might be happening though for us is that there is a higher frame of mind that is over riding our will to achieve our goal. Although our goal is important to us, there is a higher, more un-conscious (as in out of our conscious awareness) goal that takes priority, and is that voice that says “I’m too tired today”, “This other thing is more important right now” etc.
We have also labelled “making excuses” as a negative thing, and so when we do make excuses, we usually ignore the fact as we don’t want to admit we’re excusing our self and doing this “thing” we’ve labelled as negative. So the reason for excusing our self is pushed out of conscious awareness, and we just think that “we’re tired”, and feel unmotivated and put off from doing what we aimed to do.
What is in actual fact going on is we have a higher frame of mind running which says something like “I want the easy path” or “I want to do only interesting and exciting things”. What ever that higher frame of mind is, it is most certainly in opposition to the goal we’ve set, or the way we are going about achieving that goal.
And so we let ourselves off the hook- we excuse our self from, for example, taking the hard actions needed to achieve the goal, because what is more important (and out of our conscious awareness) is that we want to take the easy path in life.
So if you have a pattern running, one of excusing yourself over and over again, and feeling like you are sabotaging your own success, it might be worth exploring if there are any other higher frames of mind running.
One way to do this is to notice the excuse when it comes up and become aware of it. Acknowledge it. Welcome it into your awareness. Look at it.
Then you can quality control it: work out if it is a legitimate excuse or not. Is the excuse a valid reason to not do something, or is it stupid, useless illegitimate excuse?
For example, your alarm goes off and you say “I’m too tired to get up”. This might be legitimate if your child had woken you three times during the night and you didn’t get enough uninterrupted sleep. On the other hand, this might be illegitimate if you went to bed early the night before and had a long, restful sleep and there is no reason to feel tired.
So in the latter case, the illegitimate excuse is just an excuse. There is nothing of value in the excuse to take not of, and it is just an empty shell of an excuse. In this case you can blowout the excuse: Stomp on it, ignore it, say “Hell, No!” to it. It’s just an excuse which you can now blowout of the way of your path to success, and take the next step.
What might happen is another excuse could then pop up, which, with a little welcoming in of the excuse and taking note of any validity in the reason, you can then just step right over it and keep on going towards your goal!
After all, an excuse is just an excuse unless we give it more meaning and power to influence our actions.
To you blowing out your excuses,
Listen to a podcast about how to blow out excuses here.