Once again, we are on the threshold of another year. What is on the horizon for you this year? Will it be the success as you have imagined? Or will you suffer failure, repeating the same behaviors and habits from the past with no positive results? If that sounds like your past, then you may be in a rut! 

No matter how hard some people are working to make their lives great, no matter how much they have accomplished, or how good they feel about themselves, there is almost always one area of their lives where they feel powerless to create the next level of success. If a person is honest with themselves, they will undoubtedly find one or more excuses which hold more power over them than their commitment to their stated goal.

Some of the excuses are obvious and some are so subtle that it takes a very keen eye to expose them. Some messages are loud enough for all to hear, while others whisper quietly in our ears: “It’s not my fault.” “I couldn’t help it.” “My family needed me.” “I am waiting on this or that to happen first.” “I can’t do it.” “It’s a big project.” “I don’t have enough money.” “I’m too stressed out.” “Business is terrible for everyone.” “I’ll do it next week.” “I’ll start tomorrow.”

What we must recognize is that our excuses are automatic. They take no thinking or creativity. We all have them, we all use them, and we all pretend that we are rendered powerless by them.

Excuses like these are the proverbial back door that we leave open in case the pursuit of our goals is harder than we anticipated and we want to take a time out. It is our attempt to “excuse” ourselves from fulfilling our objectives and behaving like the responsible, powerful, creative human beings that we are. The excuses we offer transfer all of our inner power over to outer circumstances we deal with and strip away our ability to create results. They sabotage our dreams for the future and keep us tethered to the past. Excuses are just excuses not to begin something, not to succeed, and not to go beyond your comfort zone. Going outside of your comfort zone isn’t easy and you may have to endure some short-term pain, but isn’t that worth it if you ultimately achieve your goals?

 The first step in becoming successful is to make the decision that you have had enough of your current life – that it isn’t working for you and you’re willing to do what it takes to make serious changes that will lead to success. Then decide what goals are worthy to be pursued. Next, convince yourself that you can achieve those goals.

If you look back to a time when you produced breakthrough results you will most likely find that success was achieved in part because you didn’t allow yourself to use the excuses that are stopping you now. You could see them, and were perhaps momentarily seduced by them. But, ultimately you chose not to use them. You consciously or unconsciously declared that area of your life as an excuse-free zone. While you may have had moments when your progress was halted by excuses, in the end you remained more committed to your vision than to your reasons, excuses, and justifications. And, if you’re really honest with yourself, you’ll see that having a current vision for your life – one that deeply inspires you right here and now – is the best antidote to the chronic use of excuses.

The challenge is to take on the area of your life where you’re not making the progress you desire and identify the top five excuses you use to justify your current reality. Be honest with yourself and overcome those excuses that hold you back and rob your life of vitality and success.

Remind yourself that at every moment you have a choice to align with your greatest vision for your life or to align with your excuses. Then take back your power, and consciously claim this area of your life as an excuse-free zone. When you look back at your life and see what you accomplished it will be well worth it. You can make it happen!

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