I vaguely remember listening to Wayne Dyer’s Excuses Begone book. It has good ratings, so you might want to check it out. But I just came away with the bottom line: don’t let excuses stop you from having the life you want.
What’s true about me and excuses, though, is that they show up not as excuses but as reasons.
“I can’t get my yoga in because I have this toddler who climbs all over me as soon as I get my mat out.”
“I can’t grow my business because no one can write resumes like I can.”
I know. It’s embarrassing for me to even admit these to you.
Back to my yoga. I’ve fixed my toddler-asana problem by performing a thought experiment. I imagined that there was a person just like me—same personality, same upbringing, same resources—who did yoga everyday like clockwork. Once I imagined her, I could imagine how she goes about doing it.
Nowadays, I get up at 5 and roll out my yoga mat. I get through as much of my practice as I can. Sometimes that’s 90 minutes, and sometimes it’s 5. Sometimes, I modify my plan to include all poses I can do with a toddler climbing on me. Because I tricked myself into thinking that my yoga-successful doppelganger exists, I could see myself doing what she does as much as the little Russian girls we discussed yesterday were inspired to greatness by Anna Kournikova.
So, if you don’t believe in every cell of your body that you can achieve the vision you have for your life this year (let’s keep it manageable for the time being), why not invent a role model to guide you? They should be just like you in every way and accomplishing what you want to accomplish.
So when you’re “reasons” for not pursuing what you want come to the surface, you can properly label them as excuses and state to your lovely subconscious that Clarissa or Gary or LaShondra or Manu have no such problems, even though they were working with your exact same situation.
Important note on consent and privilege: Unless you have a very special relationship with someone, you have no business telling them that one of their reasons is an excuse. This is a technique to be turned inward. Be especially careful about this if your gender (male), race (white), physical abilities (healthy and typically abled), sexuality (straight), religion (Christian)… well the list could go on. But if you are benefitting from some kind of privilege in relation to the person you’re interacting with, it is especially important that you don’t define for them the reasons they are not getting what they want in life because you’ve never experienced the world from their perspective.
I’m curious to see how you go. Let me know if you’ve tried it and what you got!
From all of me to all of you,
P.S. Sometimes our “reasons” are subconscious. I discuss that here and share the subconscious belief that was holding me back. Megan Potter(My work with helped me figure that one out!)