Making excuses is useful. It's easy, it's cheap, and we can use it to deny responsibility. However, apologies allow us to remain silent and can be an obstacle to our personal growth.
When we become aware of it, we can learn how to stop making excuses and we are able to change our lives radically and do much more than we ever thought was possible.
Here are three ways to stop making excuses:
1. Recognize and acknowledge that you are making excuses
When you make excuses on a regular basis, it becomes a habit, a pattern. The longer you make excuses, the more effort you should make to break it. The first step, therefore, is to recognize the fact that you are making excuses. However, it is only the first small step that you really need to start the change process.
An example from my practice:
I spoke to a customer who was really sick of everything. Her husband did not like her, her job no longer fascinated her, her obesity got in the way, her parents annoyed her.
every time she was with me said
"I'm so fat, bahh" "I can't see him anymore" "Those people drive me crazy" "I hate this job"
She kept repeating it in all our conversations. Until one day I asked her, "Why aren't you doing anything about it?"
And then she started making excuses:
"Do you know how hard it is to lose weight?" “We've been together for so long and he's the father of my daughter” “They're my parents, what am I supposed to do?” "I have to work, otherwise I have no money?"
It seemed as if she didn't think about what she was saying at all. Her answers were effortlessly "shot". She almost spit them out. It was clear that she has adopted a habit of constantly making excuses.
Do you recognize yourself in this? Then now is the time to take that first small step to recognize that you are making them and stop doing them.
2. Choose consciously how to respond to your excuses
The way you choose how to respond to your apologies will determine whether you manage to make a change or not.
For example, people say that they can never lose weight, that they can never improve their communication skills, that they can never save enough money, that they never have time, etc. If they choose to accept making the excuses, they remain stagnant and can they make no progress.
You can always choose to eat healthier, take a communication course, ask a financial advisor for help, or change your priorities to make more time. You always have the choice to be creative.
"You always have a choice!"
This brings us to the second step in stopping making excuses: responding proactively.
For example, if you're making excuses about why you're not losing weight, tell yourself, “I don't mind what I eat, I don't stick to a healthy diet, and I eat a lot of unhealthy things. If I don't change this, I will never be able to lose weight ”.
When you start to show resistance to your apologies, you will bring realism into your life. You will finally understand that you have created a failure story and are living it.
Look at yourself in the mirror and face the reality of your circumstances. Then you are on the right track and start creating a powerful story about what you need to do to make further changes in your life.
3. Take action
You cannot bring about change in your life until you transfer the burden of responsibility from your external world to yourself.
If you are not satisfied with your work, ask yourself to find a solution. You can quit your job, look for another job, or change the way you view your current job. Be honest and realistic. Don't quit your job if you don't have an action plan or have found another job unless you have enough savings to make ends meet for a while.
Whatever you do, you don't have to do it alone. If you are left alone at home, you fill yourself with anxious doubts and complicated thoughts. Talk to others about it, ask the opinions of people whose opinions you value, make a list of pros and cons to yourself. A good place to start is the Spiritual circles by Limor Smits Coaching
About the author
Limor Smits is an alternative life coach, shadow coach, spiritual mentor, inspirator and motivator.
In her practice she offers private sessions as well as workshops in groups.
She also organizes monthly fire women's circles and gives various inspiring and motivating lectures in which she shares stories from her personal life and experiences.