Excuses, excuses. It seems that it’s human nature to constantly make excuses for ourselves and others.
But how can we break away from it?
The most unhealthy device we allow ourselves on a daily basis is the capacity to make excuses, in an effort to push ideas and healthy actions away.
What are we really doing when we make excuses? We’re allowing ourselves to justify our decision to avoid a certain task or behavior.
The bottom line? By making excuses, we’re accepting the least amount of momentum possible from ourselves.
So why do we do this? An excuse is just our mind’s way of telling us we don’t have to do something, when our heart knows we should.
Here’s how to stop making excuses once and for all so you can stop limiting yourself to reaching your full potential.
How To Stop Sabotaging Yourself
1. Remember: excuses only hurt yourself
Don’t want to go to the gym? Canceling a dinner with friends? Avoiding calls from family?
By making excuses, you’re only hurting yourself. The moment you realize that, you’ll wake up and be more mindful of how your actions are affecting yourself and others.
Related: 4 Excuses You Need To Stop Making
If you decide to go to the gym after all, how do you feel afterward? Great (and sweaty!). How do you feel if you decide to get some buddy time in, even though you don’t feel like it? Probably even better than if you just left the gym (and hopefully not sweaty).
That’s because our brains know that we have to push ourselves, and if we avoid pushing, we’ll create as many excuses as we can to justify our behavior.
2. Have a “funeral” for your excuses
I know it sounds crazy, but it’s effective!
If you’re leading a team at work who just can’t seem to get it together, have everyone come to the meeting in black, write down their excuses, and talk them out. At the end of the meeting, shred the excuses that were written down.
If you’re not leading a team, and you just want to do this for yourself, even better! Start by writing down your excuses (don’t overwhelm yourself with too many at first: try to make it manageable), and write down pros and cons to all of your
Once you’re feeling like you’ve got a good idea of what needs to change, shred those excuses. Even better, put them in a box and bury them in the backyard!
Going through the motions of putting those excuses to rest are something that will stick with you, and the more effort you put into it, the more you won’t want to go back to your own ways.
3. Refuse to allow yourself to give in
If you feel yourself falling into an old excuse, half the battle is identifying that you’re doing it.
Of course, sometimes, it’s important to know your limits. It’s one thing to say you will hang out with some friends in a couple weeks once your cold is better, and it’s quite another to repeatedly talk yourself out of doing something you know you should do.
You’re only failing yourself if you keep letting yourself down. After your excuse funeral, take your power back! Don’t let your excuse bombs continue to drop. Stop your thought process, assess the situation, and press on without the excuses. You’ll be glad you did.
It’s your life. It’s your decision of how you prefer it to be lived. That being said, stop sabotaging yourself! No more excuses. Stop. Doing. It.
Life is simple. Death and taxes are the only two certainties. Let’s make sure while we’re here that we keep it as simple as possible—no excuses, no regrets, just love and progress. The sooner you decide to keep it simple, the happier you’ll be, so stop making excuses. You’ll thank yourself later.
Audra Dittlinger is a contributor for Inspiyr.com, as well as a full-time working mom living in rural Indiana. She is an insurance professional with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She writes to create, inspire, and empower.
Photo by adrianismyname