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“Don’t make excuses – make good.” ~Elbert Hubbard
“There are a lot of things stopping me from creating the life I want. For one I stress about the smallest things, two; I work my tail off but since I’m so worried about making sure the next person happy I really never have money TO DO WHAT I WANT and all I want is to be a good father and be able to get my daughter anything she wants and anything we want her to have.
I want to live stress free, I don’t want to keep living the way I’m living, for example: in the house with my aunt and about 7 others in a four bedroom house, I want to take care of all those issues, only if I knew where to start.”
The sentiments expressed in this comment are indicative of the way many of us feel. STUCK! The good news is we don’t have to remain stuck. We can do something about it. We can CHOOSE to stop making excuses for ourselves and start taking action.
Some of the biggest excuses that can derail your life are:
1. You are feeling sorry for yourself
It’s OK to momentarily feel sorry for yourself. Life can be challenging at times. But don’t let your pity party become an excuse to stay stuck. For many years, I felt sorry for myself. Although I put out a positive face to the world, deep down I was lonely, depressed, sad, scared and confused. I just didn’t get life and it was making me crazy. I thought I had to think a certain way, act a certain way and be a certain way in relationships without knowing what that way was.
I felt like I was the only one who didn’t receive the manual on how to be happy. Rather than getting help immediately, I stewed in self pity. On one hand I wanted my circumstances and how I felt about them to be change, on other hand, there was a part of me that wanted them to stay the same. But you can’t have things be different and stay the same at the same time. You have to choose one or the other.
Tip: You cannot change the past. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and create an extraordinary future.
2. You are stuck in the past
It wasn’t until later, I learned the reason I didn’t know how to be happy was because I didn’t love myself. We are all products of our environments and influencers and I’m a product of mine. I got messages from those around me, including peers, teachers, coaches, etc.. I wasn’t worthy. And although there were many positive influences in my life, my esteem took a massive blow from the negative ones.
It isn’t about blaming someone for what I did or didn’t get during my childhood or adulthood, it is about the TRUTH.
Tip: Your current circumstances and how you feel about them are a result of your choices. Make choices that bring peace, contentment and fulfillment.
3. You think you don’t know what to do
It may surprise you the biggest reason your life doesn’t change isn’t because you don’t know what to do. You may not know all the steps you need to take to achieve your desired result, but you know the first one. Even if the first step is asking for help.
I remember when my life was spiraling out of control and asking for help was my first step. A friend had given me a phone number of a life coach. Periodically I’d pull the number out and gaze at the digits as if that alone would transform my life. But it took more than looking at the number; Eventually, I summoned the courage to pick up the phone and dial it.
Tip: You know what to do. Take the first step.
4. You are getting something out of it
Although you may not want to admit it, there’s a part of you that finds comfort in the way things are and will fight to the death to keep them this way. Even if those things bring you chaos, stress, overwhelm and other heavy or negative feelings.
I have received many messages from people asking me whether they should stay or leave relationships that are no longer good for them. Many of them are in some sort of emotional and psychic pain. Their partners cheat, lie, are unkind to them and leave them less than fulfilled, yet they stay.
Tip: Figure out what you’re getting out of your current circumstances (positive or negative) and decide whether it’s worth it.
5. You don’t have a plan
Oftentimes people feel they have to solve their whole problem at once. This causes a lot of stress and anxiety. If your priority is to move out of your parent’s house, write down those things that need to happen in order for you to do that. If you feel overwhelmed, separate your list into even smaller tasks. Keep separating out the things you need to do, all the way back to what you need to do today.
Having a plan not only gives you a destination, it shifts your energy shift from a state of confusion to one of power. You go from wondering what you’re going to do, to knowing EXACTLY what you’re going to do and when and how you’re going to do it.
Tip: If you aren’t working your plan, your plan WON’T work.
6. You are afraid
Everyone experiences fear. The difference between those who are successful and those who aren’t is what role they allow it to play in their lives. Some people act in the face of fear, while others allow it to dictate every action.
How fear impacts what you do is within your control. Yes, you can feel fear, uncertainty and self doubt and act in spite of it! How do you do it? You say to yourself “I’m afraid” and take the next step anyway.
To act in the face of fear, I often recite one of my favorite quotes by Bill Cosby: “Decide you want it more than you’re afraid of it.”
In the grand scheme of things, we’re only on this planet for a short amount of time-one hundred years at best. Don’t put yourself in a position where you’ll look back on your life regretting the excuses you made.
Why do you think people find it so challenging to see their excuses as excuses and eventually give up on them? I really want to know what are your thoughts on this. You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below
This article was written by Lisa H. Lisa is a mother, runner, happiness junkie and overall health fanatic. With her blog, Getting to Zen, she shows passionate seekers how to gain confidence and take their lives from ordinary to extraordinary. You can also find her spreading love and inspiration on Facebook.
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