Have you been over-explaining yourself when it comes to why you can’t do something? Perhaps, you find yourself slipping into excuses to get yourself off the hook, but they leave you feeling depleted.
It’s time to give it up and here’s 5 reasons how why you should.
Shift to the positive
Have you considered how negative your excuses are? They really just hone in on a bunch of deficits. And, that’s pretty normal - we all have the unconscious tendency to focus on the bad.
However, we can change that.
We can take some pointers from Positive Psychology. In a nutshell, we are happier when we focus on what is good and on our strengths.
So, it is no wonder that making a list of excuses would make us feel bad.
Instead, drop the excuses and shift focus to what you are grateful for and what has been working for you instead. Even science says this should make you feel better.
Stop being hard on yourself = more confidence
Excuses feel heavy. We normally make excuses because we feel guilty about not doing something.
It is like we are explaining away our uncomfortable feelings. But, it doesn’t really help.
So instead, if you stopped the habit of having to excuse yourself for every little thing - it means you can let yourself off the hook. You are human. You don’t need to be perfect, and perfect doesn’t exist anyways.
When you give yourself permission to be where you are at, with no excuses, you might just find the relief and confidence you need to take another step towards your goal.
Change the language to be empowered.
Rather than coming up with a list of reasons in your mind about why you haven’t achieved what you want to yet, let's change the language.
If you really wanted to do something, you would have.
So, let’s change the language. You no longer need excuses.
You might instead say, ‘I would have done it then if it was important to me’.
You take back your power by claiming it as your choice.
You chose not to do that, or go that particular path, at the time. You may choose again now to pursue it, or you may choose to let completely let go of that particular idea. The power is yours.
You don’t find the solutions to your problems, in your problems.
The idea that most solutions aren’t found within our problems is pretty much the basis of solution-focused therapy (SFT).
Will rehashing excuses in your mind, or explaining away to others, really make you feel any better overall? Do you think coming up with excuses not to do something will help progress you in any way?
Well, of course not, but it can be our human nature sometimes to focus on the problem. However, without having to see a therapist today, you can apply the same solutions-focused principle to let go of these excuses.
Forgot the problem and excuse list for now.
Instead consider, what has worked for you? Even if it was a small action, like you had a really good conversation with someone that took courage to start.
Ask yourself, how did you manage that?
What strengths did you draw from to get you to where you are right now.
No excuses needed - just a focus on what went right so that you may stumble upon the solution you need to progress.
You don’t need to justify yourself to anyone
Think about it, who is really keeping score in your life? Who gets to decide what is good and worthy of acknowledgment?
If you do have a critical person in your life, it is probably time to stop letting them influence you anyways. Sometimes the reason we are ready with our list of excuses is because we have been victim to other people's criticism, too many times.
However, we might also be our own worst critic.
So keep in mind, there are no rules to life and how you must live it. Even if that critical voice says there is a way it should happen.
So forget the excuses because you do not have to justify yourself, your achievements, or your existence to anyone.
You can reclaim your power to choose how your life goes in each moment and ditch the excuses. Who are they for anyway?
Making excuses is an old habit that does not serve you well. Moreover, you do not need to explain anything to anyone, not even yourself.
Just imagine how much more you could achieve, and how much lighter you would feel if you no longer got stuck in the spiral of negativity and self-doubt?