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What's Your Excuse

January 17, 2020

By Tami VanHoy

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What's Your Excuse?

When we talk about excuses, we often say we ‘have’ an excuse, but truth is, most often we don’t ‘have’ excuses – we ‘USE’ excuses. To ‘use’ an excuse means excuses are the thing we point to as the reason we can’t have, be or do the things we desire. We ‘use’ them to:

• Justify not taking action
• Avoid stepping into more with courage (aka – letting fear win)
• Comfort ourselves for not reaching a goal
• Set comfort boundaries in our lives 

To ‘have’ an excuse means we have a limiting circumstance that is 100% out of our control. This does happen, but not as often as we ‘use’ excuses. If you have an excuse, this post isn’t for you.  

For the rest of us....
What’s your excuse? 


As a life purpose coach, I find there are 2 kinds of people when it comes to excuses:

1. Those who are tired of settling for the limited results of their excuses

2. Those who are willing to settle for the limited results of their excuses
 
You are an excuse ‘user’ if you say or think these words:

• I can’t because….

• I’m not able to do (xyz) because…
• It’s hard for me to do that because…
• I didn’t reach my goal because…
• {fill in the blank} because… 

And if your response to any of the statements above is “That’s not fair to say because…” – you might also be an excuse user.
 There are 3 simple steps that can move us out of ‘using’ excuses and into the results we desire for an elevated life.

 
STEP 1 – RECOGNIZE THE EXCUSES WE USE
This is a simple journaling exercise.


Write out the top 3 things you’ve been trying to accomplish in your life (financial goals / business goals / family goals / personal goals)

• Identify the actions required to reach those goals (not a full-blown project plan, but a simple list of actions you know you need to take to reach those goals)

• Highlight the actions you struggle with or have yet to take

• Answer this question for each of the highlighted actions – “What is keeping me from taking this action?” 

STEP 2 – DETERMINE OVERCOMING ACTIONS REQUIRED
While not as simple as journaling, this step is definitely an empowering exercise. It starts with the answers to the question, “What is keeping me from taking this action”.


• On a new sheet of paper (or new document), list the things you highlighted as reasons you have not taken action

• Look for any similarities and identify an ‘excuse’ trend
Examples:
time
a fear
limiting belief about yourself
physical ability
etc…


• Identify solutions for each excuse category. 

Examples
I have limited time = how am I using my time and what can change to give more time to the priorities in my life

I’m afraid of rejection = what are some mindset trainings and activities I can engage in to overcome this fear

I don’t think I’m good enough yet = what resources can I plug into and develop the skills I need

I’m too heavy to keep up with the physical requirements = what options do I have to eat healthier and when can I begin
 

STEP 3* – TAKE ACTION
Take the action identified for overcoming our excuses. No bulleted list here. It’s now up to you to DECIDE to take action – or NOT.


*Word of warning: an excuse habit can interfere with step 3! We can easily slip into ‘using’ excuses for why we cannot take action to overcome our excuse habit. Go back to step 2 – repeat as needed!

Do Something On Purpose Today...
Ask yourself this question:

Am I willing to settle for the limited results of using my excuses, or am I fed up enough to do something about it?
 
However you answer that question, own it.
 
If you’d rather settle for what you have and where you are than do what is required to overcome the excuses...


...own it – stop whining about it. 

Your ‘owning’ statement might sound something like this:


“I know I could have more if I was willing to overcome my excuses, but I’m ok with landing here and I’m going to stop asking people for help or seeking advise because I know I’m not willing to take the actions required.”


 

If you are not willing to settle for what you have and where you are and are ready to do what is required to overcome the excuses...
 

...own it – and take action. 

Your ‘owning’ statement might sound something like this:

“I know I can have more and it’s time to stop using excuses as my reason for not having it. I’m not ok with landing where I am and I’m going to seek the training and advice I need to step into action – NO EXCUSES!”

About Tami

Tami VanHoy, Director of Field Development at pawTree LLC, is passionate about helping people live ON PURPOSE. As a certified Life/Purpose Coach, she walks with people to sift through the excuses, define that purposeful path, and live it out – on purpose! You can find more from Tami here at livingonpurposeeveryday.com
 
Tami is loved by her husband, 4 children, and 5 grandchildren (so far!). When at home, you’ll often find her Shih Tzu, Muffin, snuggled up in her lap while she writes.