Most of us have goals. Perhaps we seek a promotion, a career transition, a new job, or plan to study a course to develop our careers.
But we also have excuses. These excuses are the rationalisations that we make to ourselves and to others, and the roadblocks that we build to keep us safe. We rationalise our thoughts and behaviour to mask the fear of failure that is tied to our self esteem. These roadblocks have been built over many years to justify our self talk and approach, and are etched deeply in our mind. They contain us within our comfort zone. Excuses prevent us from taking a challenge to attain goals, grow in the process, and reach our full potential to lead a fulfilling life. We are stifled and life is limited to set confines.
We may feel fearful to take a risk of saying or doing something, instead preferring certainty. See if you see yourself in any of these excuses.
1. I don’t have time. There are time challenges that many face due to work and lifestyle commitments. It is a challenge to find the time to begin anything new. However, it starts with a small step, rather than a leap. Spend 15 – 20 minutes regularly to commence the process. The cumulative effort and time commitment will build into a habit to make a change.
2. I’m not ready. We have all told ourselves that we may need more knowledge, experience, or confidence before we commence. Break the cycle and just do it! This is how we gain experience and confidence. We learn through the act of doing.
3. What will other people say? As masters of our destiny, we need to take charge of our decisions and actions. If we focus on what others say or think, it will imprison us and limit our life. We need to make decisions, and act in our best interest. We cannot live to please others, and lose our identify in the process. Authentic change comes when we resolve to be true to ourselves.
4. I’m not good enough. During our lives, we have all faced criticism or have not succeeded at something. Yet, some may use these events to define their self esteem. We need to believe in ourselves and what we set out to achieve. Identify your unique attributes, your strengths, skills and achievements. Practice an affirmation such as ‘I am good enough.’ Or, ‘I need to believe in myself.’ Over time, this will change your self-talk to increase your self esteem, and empower you to reach your goals.
5. I’m not ready – it makes me uncomfortable. Many say that by taking a step, it may not be who they really are and therefore, they feel uncomfortable. I was taught to act first, and through the action comes understanding. This approach provides a higher level process of discovery.
Ask yourself, what is the worst that can happen? See if it is an excuse, or a greater perspective on the thought. If it is the latter, consider a strategy for purposeful action. As you keep undertaking the behaviour, it may become easier in time, and can form a habit.
6. ‘It’s too late’. Many people are set in their ways and believe it is too late to make changes to their thoughts, behaviour and life. They rationalise with excuses such as: ‘I have commitments,’ ‘I am too old to learn,’ ‘I have a set plan for the next five years,’ ‘I am already set in my workplace,’ or, ‘It’s too late to change paths.’
An excuse can continue unless we face the truth that it is never too late. Life is dynamic with change occurring at every moment, rather than set in stone. Learn and grow at every stage in your life to become a person of wisdom, rather than just age. Take the necessary change in your life so that you are excited to wake up in the morning and live.