Mister and Miss Excuse

  • 3 min read

There is something you want to do. It can be something big like moving to another part of the country or something small like taking an hour of time several times a week to pursue a hobby. The key point is that it is something you’ve been saying you want to do for a period of time but haven’t done it. It’s a pattern. To the point that every time you start the sentence “I would really love to play the piano again” you flow right into your list of excuses on autopilot “but I can not take time away from my family” or “It is a silly idea because I’m too old”, etc.

You may be saying that you do not use excuses and you only have valid reasons for why you can not do what you say you want to do. After all, excuses are for more irresponsible type people and that is certainly not you. Note that if there is something you say you want to do, but continually have a reason why you do not do it; there are only 2 possible explanations for that:

  1. You do not want to do what you say you do, but you either continue to say you do out of habit or because you think you should want to do it.
  2. You want to do what you say you do. But it is risky, forces you to step outside your comfort zone, or might upset someone you care about.

If the answer to your scenario is #1, then by all means stop saying that it is something you want to do. Let it go. Bring some closure to the darn thing and it will free your mental and emotional space so you can pursue something you truly want to do.

If the answer for you is #2 then most likely you are using an excuse that allows you to hang onto your desire and provide a logical reason why you can not do it thereby keeping you safe and still yearning.

What do excuses sound like? Here is a list of some of the most common ones:

  • I’m too dumb/too smart
  • No one will like/love me
  • I’m not good enough
  • I don’t have enough money for that
  • No one can have it all

We wouldn’t use excuses if they didn’t serve us in some way. It’s hard to dig a little deep and admit that, but otherwise why would we use them? Simply to torture ourselves? Some of the benefits of using excuses are:

  • It allows you to be right about yourself (e.g. “See, I told you I wasn’t good enough!”)
  • Keeps you safe
  • Keeps you stuck (so you can complain)
  • Lastly, It’s familiar

The first key to busting your excuses is to identify them and then understand the payoff you’re getting from using them.

Alpha Task List

  1. List 3 things you regularly say you want to have or do.
  2. List the reason you tell yourself and others as to why you cannot have nor do those things.
  3. Apply the test earlier in this article to determine if you want what you say you want or not.
  4. If the answer is no then by all means let it go.
  5. If the answer is yes, keep reading.

Once you’ve established your list of what you want and the excuses you use for not having or doing it, it is time to identify your payoff for not getting what you want.

Omega Task List

  1. Make a list of all the bad things you fear might happen if you took the risk to get what you want. Be honest and cover all the bases including the absolute worst case scenario you can imagine. That is to say: If I do this or that, this will be the outcome which probably is negative.
  2. Look at your list from the last step and rate each one in terms of how likely your fear could happen using a scale of 1 (as not likely) to 5 (as absolutely certain).

What you’ll find is that it is pretty unlikely that something horrible is going to happen if you do what you want to do. Also, if something unexpected or unwanted does occur, trust that you’ll find a way to handle it. Make that list of things you really want to do and create a plan, including lining up any support or resources you may need, for making it happen not in the near future or the days to come but today. Remember, tomorrow never ends. 

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Creating Content for your Success.
Derrick Mbabazi is the founder of Novarick, a platform he believes will reach great heights. He is passionate about helping others and wants to share useful info here. He aims to make it easy for peo…
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