“Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.” Don Wilder
Excuses are one of the biggest culprits that rob us from achieving all the things we say we want. They are insidious, constant and worst of all – contain some morsels of truth. That’s what makes excuses so powerful. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are excuse-making machines. We tell ourselves we can’t achieve our goals because “we’re tired” “have no money” or “don’t know how.” And while there is probably some truth behind every excuse, every time we say, “we can’t”, what we really mean is “we won’t”. It may be true that we haven’t enough money to do something we want; yet, when we come from that mindset where that excuse are our default, it becomes impossible to see a different way. Indeed, excuses leave us feeling like victims of our own circumstances. We become frozen, unable to see a new path because we buy into our stories. And what’s worse is the support our excuses receive from those around us. Think about how often a friend or partner may say, “I understand” when we make an excuse. Instead of supporting our dreams, we all fall into the sleepy downward spiral trap of excuses. Some of our excuses are so sneaky that we aren’t even aware we’ve made them until we’ve moved entirely away from our goals. Think about the ways we fall off track when we say simple things like, “It’s just this once” or “I deserve this.” Each time we allow ourselves to give in, we hammer down the nails to our house of failure – leaving us feeling frustrated and disappointed. It is only when we have the courage to recognize our excuses that we can begin to build a different house – one where our dreams can take hold. We have to learn to recognize each and every excuse and make different choices – ones that let go of the fears that may lie behind our excuses and make our goals a priority. Because when we do that, we can begin to make all the transformations we talk about that lead to living the life of our dreams.
Weekly Path to Peace: Dump the excuses.
- Spend the first few days this week simply noticing the excuses you make for why your life doesn’t look the way you want it to look right now. Keep a list of your most prevalent excuses. Notice too, who do you blame for your life not looking the way you want it to look (those are excuses too). How do you rationalize or justify doing or not doing something in your life? Write out all the ways.
- Once you have become aware of the excuses you make, decide to live excuse free for the remainder of the week. If you feel you can’t do it alone, identify someone who will hold you accountable and help you bust through your excuses. Make it a point to do what you say and say what you do.
As you begin this week, rate your level of happiness, self-esteem and self-confidence on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not satisfied and 10 being very satisfied. Notice where you are Sunday evening after you do this week’s peace practice to see if there is a change.