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Wednesday, July 27, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

No excuses

In our quest to achieve there is one particularly stubborn obstacle: Making excuses. We all tend to use excuses for why something we should do or want to do needs to wait, but the truth is that no matter how justified they seem, excuses will never help anyone succeed. Making excuses for ourselves is a guaranteed way to keep us from achieving as well as we could.

There are millions of different excuses that we can pick from to effectively stall progress and delay action. Most of them however fall in to a few basic categories. The good news is that there are powerful techniques that can be used to overcome the excuses we make to ourselves.
One of the most common excuses people use is that they just don't have enough time. The time excuse is super versatile. It can be used to justify anything from not getting started on a special project to not taking on responsibility in your community to anything in between.
We all know what this excuse looks like in our mind. Thinking that sounds like "I would love to start working out, but I just don't have the time" or "I should really finish that article I am working on, but my schedule is just so packed this week".

This is always a terrible excuse. People throughout history have accomplished amazing things, but none have ever had more than 24 hours in the day to do it. The truth is that of you want to do something, you can find the time to do it. Chances are that there's already enough idle time in your day to accomplish anything you set out to do.

Between watching TV, surfing the internet, taking naps and what have you, most people can free up several hours a day to take action towards their goals. In the off chance that all your waking hours are already taken up by productive activity you probablyly need too work on your efficiency. The next time your hear yourself thinking that you don't have time for something, throw that thought away and focus on how you can make time for what you want to do.

A second excuse people often resort to is to tell themselves that they are not qualified to accomplish what they dream of. This is a sneaky excuse caused by our tendency to underestimate our own skills and overestimate the skills of others.

In the real world, if you are working on something you are at least a little interested in, chances are you already know more about that subject than most other people in the world. Never sell yourself short. Your skills and experience are unique in the world. If you devote yourself with energy and passion to your work you will already be way ahead of the curve.

Don't assume that everyone around you know what they are doing, we all have basically the same resources at hand. The difference between people who succeed and people who don't is more often their ability to take deliberate action than any difference in skills or intelligence.

If you feel yourself questioning your ability to move forward with a plan or idea, stop that way of thinking immediately. Instead focus your thoughts on all the reasons why you can achieve what you want. Telling yourself that you are not capable of something is the best way to make sure you won't be.

Another terrible excuse people use is that they are not feeling inspired to do the work they now they should be doing. This is a situation any writer will recognize instantly. In fact, inspiration excuse is so common in writers it has it's own name: writers block.

The basic error with this kind of thinking is believing that you have to wait for inspiration to strike from thin air. To wait for your muse to find you and carry you through the creative process effortlessly. While inspiration certainly can strike, it is extremely inefficient to sit around waiting for it to happen. Especially considering that you can create your own inspiration yourself.

There are many tips on how to beat writers block or more generally a lack of enthusiasm for an idea or task. I find that the best way to blast through this mental excuse is to jump into the activity at hand. Using writing as an example, if you feel stuck and can't think of anything to write, just start anyway. Start putting down words and sentences, even doodles or just patterns will even work. The process of using your hands to write will force your mind to think about writing. Before you know it your next article, or blog post or chapter of your book will start forming itself as your brain start firing off writing related ideas.

A related excuse to lack of enthusiasm is to blame the way you feel. This thinking manifests itself as "I am too tired to do that right now" or "I should work out, but I don't feel like it". To back up this kind of excuse it's common to draw on a whole host of health conditions real or imagined.

Of course, we all know that there are plenty of people in the world who achieve amazing things despite serious medical conditions. Most of us are lucky enough to not be severely limited by our health issues, and for most of us using our health to justify not taking action is nothing more than a bad excuse.

Often people even justify procrastinating by telling themselves that they just don't feel like doing what they think they should do. This kind of thinking is particularly easy to defeat. Simply refuse to let yourself feel bad. Tell yourself that you feel great, and you will start to feel better. Tell your family with a loud and enthusiastic voice that you feel amazing, and you will be surprised at how much better you feel. We are not slaves of our emotions, if you know how to do it, it is very possible to choose how you feel.

These are some of the most common excuses people make up, but there are countless varieties to look out for. Try to be conscious of why you decide to put something off or even worse, cancel it all together. Chances are that you are using excuses to justify lack of action. Whenever you think that something is too hard or too much work or something similar. Stop and consider why you have those emotions. If you catch yourself using an excuse, immediately move forward with meaningful action towards your goal. With time you will develop a mind that refuses to make excuses.



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