Reality Check: Every story you tell of why you aren’t where you wish to be in life are only excuses. As long as you continue to tell a story, or a different version of the same story, you will continue to get the same results.
There isn’t a person alive that isn’t guilty of making excuses at some point in their life, especially when things aren’t going so well. Imagine wanting something so bad, not getting it, and then making excuses as to why you didn’t obtain that thing. Now imagine the same scenario, except this time you decide to objectively look at the situation, analyze why you didn’t achieve the results you wanted, and instead, come up with a different plan of action that will yield a different result.
Excuses allow you off the hook and makes something or someone else responsible for what you didn’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t do; or for what you didn’t know. It keeps you stuck in the exact same position you started in. Instead of giving excuses, look at the real reason(s) you didn’t accomplish that goal. Instead of giving excuses, figure out the real reason(s) you haven’t taken the steps to become the person you know deep down inside is so much more than the person you give excuses for.
Even though its hard, it’s important we take an honest look in the mirror and figure out what we need to change or learn. When I feel disappointed, I ask myself in what area do I need to grow and get better at.
Its true that if you don’t yet have the things you want in life, you need to get better in some area of life. This is ok – we all need to improve in one way or another.
Sadly, there are times that we make the mistake of beating ourselves up for not succeeding at something. This is the worst possible thing you can do because it doesn’t help move you forward. When you take time out and look at how you can become better, you have now empowered yourself. Now, you have a choice. You now hold the power of deciding what you can do differently the next time opportunity knocks at your door. Sometimes we disguise our excuses in what we call “reasons”, not realizing there is a big difference between the two.
I will sometimes say, “It’s tough being a single parent” (because it is). The reason it is a tough job is obvious: because I’m the only parent in the home and all responsibilities lie on my shoulders; however, I do not allow myself to use my circumstance as a single parent as an excuse for not accomplishing my goals. Even it it takes me a little longer to get there; even if I struggle more than a two-parent household, there are no excuses. Being a single parent doesn’t matter – you want to know why? Because everyone has their own mountain to move. Mine just happens to come in the form of single-parenting.
There are some married couples who are doing better financially, but they can’t stand to be around one another and are simply enduring each other on a day to day basis. There are some people out there who would give anything to be a parent, even a single one, but for whatever reason, are unable to do so. Do you get where I’m going with this? It does not matter where you are coming from to get to where you are going. The real question is: what are you going to do about it? If you are giving excuses as to why you can’t do something, you have set yourself up for failure. Excuses do not move you forward and it’s important for us to analyze the stories and the reasons we tell ourselves and tell others as to why we don’t have what we truly desire to have in our lives.
If you find yourself in a situation that you are not happy about, there’s some work to be done on yourself and the excuses you have been giving has kept you exactly where you are in life. That’s right…you need to work on you. I clearly still have a lot of work to do because I’m not yet where I envision myself to be, but I am also aware that I have grown leaps and bounds because I’m no longer where I used to be.
Reality Check: Self-improvement never stops
If you are continually striving to become a better version of yourself and you’re constantly working towards having a better mindset, when you take a moment to reflect, you will be able to see the growth that has occurred in your life. You may not be aware of just how far you have come, especially if you are the kind of person who is forward-thinking because your mind is constantly trying to come up with ways of how you can become better in order to get better results. You focus more on the future, only looking back to remember a lesson, but if you are constantly looking back and dwelling on your past mistakes or what you consider failures, you are giving excuses. Not only are you mentally telling yourself the stories that do not serve you but even worse you actual believe them to be true. Your excuses are not true reasons for your life not being how you want it to be!
Authentic reasons for who you are right now and where you are right now in this moment, allow room for growth. They push you toward becoming better; they inspire you to get up and get moving towards something that will move you forward in life. If you take those same reasons and flip them, you can also use them as your excuses for not going after the life you wish to have.
I wrote about this in Turning Failure Into Fuel where I explain why you can’t allow the tests of life to keep you down.
I encourage you right now, if you are reading this, not to give another excuse about why you can’t do one thing or another. I encourage you to change your mind, make the decision that you are going to succeed and continue to pursue what you consider to be success, despite the odds, despite your circumstances. All it takes is that you change your perspective about your situation if it’s not what you want it to be, and then take the first step toward achieving your goals. Stop giving yourself excuses and go be all you are destined to become.