Stop the Excuses! Begin to Shift Your Mind

We have all heard it. We’ll be in conversation with someone and it goes something like this:

Person: I just hate my job and in fact, I wish I were doing something completely different.

You: What is it you would like to be doing?

Person: Oh, I don’t know. I suppose if I could do anything, I’d open my own bookstore.

You: So why don’t you?

Person: I could never really do that.

You: Why not?

And the excuses begin. I think back to my childhood and remember the times the words, “I can’t” would come flying out of my mouth. My mother would look at me and say, “Can’t never could do anything.” In other words, if you believe you can’t well, you just can’t. We really are what and who we think we are.

Think about the last time you told yourself that you couldn’t do something. Maybe it was sticking to a healthier eating plan, dropping five pounds, finally getting that promotion, being able to afford that new(er) car, or truly any number of things. I’d be willing to bet that it played out exactly as you thought it would, didn’t it?

Now think about all of the excuses you may have used for not living the life you dream of living. I bet they are endless and in fact, I bet most of the time you didn’t even realize you were using them.

Why exactly are you doing this to yourself? Why are you holding yourself back? Maybe you aren’t currently wearing the dress or pant size you wish you were. Maybe you can’t currently run a four-minute mile. Maybe your job is not currently what you wish it was however, it does not mean that you can never obtain these goals!

The change begins within changing both your mindset and your thoughts. The next time you find yourself thinking about your goals and dreams, don’t let negative thoughts and emotions creep in. When the word “can’t” begins to rear its ugly head, quickly replace it with “when”. Instead of, “I can’t get that promotion”, change it to “When I get that promotion.” It takes practice and it’s not necessarily going to be instantaneous but the more you practice it, the easier it will become.

Try this exercise. Share some of your most common excuses in the comments below but change them around. Instead of, “I can’t become a freelance writer because <insert excuse here>”, try, “I can become a freelance writer because <insert reason here>.”

It may not seem like much however, you will more than likely be changing a negative thought pattern that has been with you for a long time. Be gentle with yourself because it takes time.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. — Lao Tzu