Posted on November 25, 2013 by Debra Burdick
Early this year I was feeling stuck and frustrated about my progress towards my goal of finding ways to help more people. I went within for help from my inner guidance with this issue and later that day I noticed a book that I had read a couple of years ago sitting on my bookshelf, The Attractor Factor. It seemed to be calling to me so I opened it up randomly and saw the page it opened to was about how often we use excuses to explain why we aren’t doing something. Talk about an “aha” moment. I immediately realized I was moaning and complaining but not taking the action I needed to create the results I wanted.
A light bulb went off in my head about the excuses I was using that essentially prevented me from moving forward in my business the way I envisioned. I had all these excuses for why I was stuck. “No one will sign up if I create my first teletraining”, “I’ve never done this before and I don’t know how”. “It’s a lot of work.” “I’m not good at marketing.” You name it I had the excuse.
Have you ever noticed your own excuses that keep you from moving forward in your life or getting ahead at work or in your business? You might not be aware of them, but they are there. Read on to find out how excuses get in your way and exactly what you can do to recognize them and move past them.
Where do these excuses come from? We all have our own excuses. They are often based on false beliefs about ourselves and the world that have come from previous experiences (often very early in our childhood), what others have said to us, our automatic negative thoughts (ANTS) and our fears. For example, my clients with ADHD often have the false belief that they are stupid or that they can never be successful because of the symptoms of ADHD. This is definitely false as there are lots of highly successful leaders, inventors, executives, teachers, performers, and more who have ADHD.
Identify your excuses. Take a look at what you want to do or accomplish that you are not doing. Make a list. Now write down the two or three reasons you don’t do those things. Where did those reasons come from? Are they actually true? Are they coming from a false belief that undermines your confidence, courage, or persistence? Are these “reasons” actually “excuses” that get in your way and keep you stuck?
Replace and transform the excuse. Now write down a statement that is true, reasonable and if applicable, do-able to counter the excuse.
Here are some examples of common excuses along with how to replace and transform the excuse.
- I don’t even try to meet a love/life partner anymore because:
- I’m not pretty enough. You are attractive enough. And beauty radiates from inside. But even if you are truly ugly (which I doubt), look around you and you will see many couples who are happily married to people who don’t appear all that attractive.
- Any man who is single has something wrong with him. Men are single for many reasons. Maybe their wife just passed away or they got divorced and did the healthy thing by leaving a toxic relationship.
- Dating is too much work. Yes, it takes some work to get out and meet people but you can be mindful of enjoying every moment of it. And you are less likely to ever find a mate if you don’t put yourself in situations where you might meet one.
- I don’t market my services because:
- I hate to sell. Selling gets easier with practice. Take a class in sales skills and perhaps hire an assistant or a sales expert to help you with this task.
- I’m afraid people won’t like my products. Not everyone will, but focus on the many who will really benefit from them.
- I can’t stand rejection. Rejection is part of the process. You are still a great person even if someone rejects your product or service. And those who need your services will thank you for letting them know about them.
- No one will buy my books. They won’t if you don’t tell them about them. But people love to buy all kinds of books that entertain or help them in some way. Think about why some will buy and benefit from yours.
- I don’t put in for a promotion at work because:
- I’m not smart enough. Evidently you are smart enough to do your current work. Chances are you are already doing some of the tasks in the next level up. With time and support you can learn anything.
- I don’t deserve to make more money. FALSE BELIEF! You deserve to make as much money as you want.
- My colleague is more qualified. Maybe, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do a great job. And maybe they don’t want the promotion.
- My boss does’t like me. This might be a great reason to seek a promotion to work for another boss. Not everyone will like you. Even the president of the USA sometimes gets less than half the votes.
- I can’t make more money because:
- The economy is bad. Look around at the high end real estate sales. Go see all the shoppers at the mall. Lots of people make plenty of money independent of the state of the economy. So can you.
- There are no good paying jobs out there. You just haven’t found the right one yet. There are plenty of jobs even when the unemployment rate is high, people still get hired for high (and low) paying jobs. Keep looking. Ask everyone you know for help.
- I don’t have good enough skills. If that’s really true, then take a course and update your skills. Ask for feedback about your skills. I bet they are better than you think.
- No one would hire me to do what I love to do. If you love to do it, then there is a place that can hire you. Look for it. Or you can create your own business doing it on your own.
- I’m afraid to leave the safety and security of my current awful job. Common trap. You can’t get to second base with your foot still on first base. It may be a risk to change jobs but it may be an even bigger risk to your emotional and physical health if you stay where you hate to work.
Ok, you get the idea. Look at your own excuses and then replace them with realistic do-able action steps. As always this is a work in progress, but I did make significant strides towards my goal of helping more people by creating two 3-hour teletrainings and my publisher recently released my latest book. Let me know how you do.
I would love to hear your personal experiences with this topic.