I would climb that mountain… I would already have that job… I could pay off my debt… I could learn to skate…
BUT… Yep, that’s the word that holds us back. For too many of us, BUT is the word that comes next in each of those sentences. That word starts us down a path to excuse-making. We have an unlimited supply of reasons we can’t/won’t/don’t live the life we want. Excuses are all around us. They stop us. They infiltrate our minds. They keep us from trying and pursuing an amazing life.
Excuses are the fastest way to accomplishing very little with your life. That might sound harsh, but it’s true. We all have hopes, dreams, and goals. We want to get a degree, get married, have kids, get the job, the car, the house, the money, the vacation or whatever it is that you want… But. Here is a reality concerning our dreams and goals:
Everything is an excuse if you’re not pursuing your dreams.
In other words, if you’re not pursuing the life you want every day; then you’re making excuses by choosing not to do something, anything towards your dreams. We are all guilty of using “buts,” and we all suffer the consequences by not living the life we really want. Let me take a guess at your five favorite excuses.
- It’s too hard. This is a favorite of kids. I know, I have two of them; and I was a kid. This is a go-to statement. When it comes to your dreams, it should be hard. Pursuing your dreams should challenge you. Is it really too hard though? ‘It’s too hard.’ gives the illusion that what you want is not possible so that you can avoid doing it.
- It’s too risky. Thinking through a plan to achieve your dreams is not risky. You’re smart and intelligent. You can work through it, besides you’ve done risky things before and come out alive. Too often you choose to fear risk instead of facing your other fears, like failure.
- It’ll take too long. What is “too long” anyway? If you never get started; then it will take too long, in fact, it’ll take longer and longer the more you wait. In reality, time will pass anyway, regardless of whether or not you make the change. I resonate with what Charles Buxton said: “You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.” It comes down to choices.
- It’s overwhelming. If you are feeling overwhelmed it’s because you are thinking too big. It’s important to see the big picture, but you don’t want to “bite off more than you can chew.” I call this a MicroShift. One small change in your life; one small shift each day or week towards the life you want. Break your goal down into manageable chunks and stay focused on the goal.
- I don’t have time. You say this as a way to put off making a decision. Really, you fear commitment, not time. You may not want to admit it, but you have chosen your life situations. If you are overextended it was your choice. It’s a great excuse not to take action. However, we all make time for what is important to us.
Which of the excuses above is your ‘favorite’ to use?
What goal or dream are you making excuses about? Here was mine – It’ll take too long… to finish my degree. This was my excuse for putting it off for about 25 years. I started back up at the beginning of 2018 and I’ll finish my Master’s degree in 2021. Because I made the choice to pursue my dream rather than make excuses.
Write it out the excuse and your dream in the comments. But then, I want you to turn your excuse into a statement of affirmation. Here was mine when I finally decided: I will make time for finishing my degree. Talked it over with my wife, let our girls know what was going to be happening and now I’m in the thick of it. In fact, I finished a 13-page paper this morning before writing this post.
You can achieve your goals. You have dreams; make them come true. If you’re still not sure if you can overcome your excuses, contact me. I love working with people to achieve what they want in life. Let me help you see what is possible in your life.