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Let go of who you are to become who you are meant to be. You 2.0 requires you to eliminate your old excuses. We all make up excuses. They serve as our protection, and we never mean for them to hold use back. But that’s exactly what excuses do. They keep us trapped in our current circumstances. Cutting excuses out of your life leaves you vulnerable to change. The future You, whether massively successful or even slightly different, is still scary. There is no crystal ball to tell you it’s all going to work out just the way you planned. (And odds are, it probably won’t.) Yet, we won’t achieve success by standing still, stuck in our excuses. There must be no more excuses on your path to the new you.
No More Excuses: Eliminating the Root of the Problem
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” ~ Albert Einstein
We create excuses to keep us safe in what we know.
Our comfort zone is a place of routine, of familiarity. It’s safe. We know how to maintain control in our Comfort Zone, even if it seems chaotic. We understand that familiar chaos. This is why, for example, many children of alcoholics will stay in their comfort zone and become romantically involved with addicts. The chaos of addiction is familiar. It’s not healthy in the least. But that’s what they know. That’s their comfort zone. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t, right? So you tell yourself that there will be no more excuses. Then reality comes along, and you persuade yourself into staying in a bad relationship, keeping negative friendships, and procrastinating on your dreams.
Someday will never happen unless there are no more excuses.
You’re going to enter some new territory as you strut your way to Success through the land of No Excuses. Your journey is going to make you feel uncomfortable because Change always brings her sister, Fear, along for the ride. Your brain is literally going to release chemicals like adrenaline that send signals telling you to resist. It will scream, “Don’t go further! This is scary!”
This is a totally healthy reaction, though. Fear is healthy. Being afraid is what prevents you from walking down a dark, dangerous alley, or getting in the car with a complete stranger. Fear protects you from danger, but Fear also protects you from success. It’s the voice that whispers to your creativity, “If you write that book, you’re going to get criticized! Don’t do it. Criticism hurts.”
It’s the voice that tangles your stomach in nervous knots, whispering, “Don’t go on that date! He could break your heart. Stay safe with me.” Fear will always keep you stagnant, locked in your Comfort Zone.
Fear is the foundation of all our excuses.
In order to achieve your dreams, you better get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You’ve got to get comfortable with Fear. You are driving yourself into the land of success. Fear is coming along for the ride, but you better not let Fear drive. If you do, Fear will take you on detours (using excuses) that keep you lost. Instead, take the wheel!
You’re growing the territory of what you perceive to be “comfortable.” Success is not yet there yet. You have to expand your Comfort Zone to include success and all the wonders, blessings, fears, and frustrations that come along with this new territory. That means that for a time, you will be uncomfortable. But, the more you do something the easier it feels.
It’s like exercise. When you first start exercising, it feels uncomfortable. You’re sore. You’re tired. Your muscles aren’t used to the stress. But, the more you exercise the easier it begins to feel. Eventually, you start liking the feeling of pushing your muscles to their max. You like the results you see in the mirror. You start getting positive feedback about your progress. Then, working out becomes part of your comfort zone. You’re used to doing it and it doesn’t scare you or feel as bad as it did when you started.
Don’t leave your Comfort Zone without a map!
You wouldn’t traverse into the unknown Amazonian jungle without a guide. That would be crazy! The same is true for leaving your Comfort Zone. You first have to recognize the excuses you create. You have to know what’s holding you back. Take an assessment of what’s working and, especially, what’s not and why.
If you’re fresh out of a bad relationship and you start dating men that are exactly the same as your ex, you’re setting yourself up for the same heartbreaking results. But your brain doesn’t know better! It recognized a familiar pattern and thought it was safe. That’s why we repeat the same mistakes over and over again until we learn our lesson.
The only way to prevent making the same excuses (and the same mistakes) is to shine a light on your excuses. Look your excuses square in the face and realize if they served or harmed you. Realize why you made them. Assess what worked in your relationship and what didn’t. Assess what qualities you liked and what you didn’t (and will never tolerate or make excuses for again.) Literally, write them down. Create a map based on your findings of what worked and what didn’t work.
This actively changes your thinking and creates a healthy path for you to follow into the unknown and uncharted land of your success. Using your assessment you’ll be able to detect when someone or something is bringing you back into the familiar (like a bad relationship, or bad business model) and whether this serves or inhibits you from achieving your goals.
Dump the Junk.
Usually, though, when we do a deep introspective assessment like the one above, it spurs a lot of uncomfortable feelings within us, especially guilt and shame.
Guilt for eating so much junk food. Shame for continuously putting off exercise, making excuses to work out tomorrow, or next week, or next year. Guilt for getting into a bad relationship. Shame for making excuses for how your ex treated you. Guilt for not starting that business you’ve been dreaming of years ago. Shame for letting a business you worked so hard for slip through your fingers.
Cut your mental chatter and take a healing moment to forgive yourself. You did the best you could with the information you had at the time. Now, thanks to your assessment, you have new information. Of course you wouldn’t make the same mistake or excuse if you had the knowledge, strength and character you have now!
Now you are stronger and more knowledgeable because of that experience. Forgive yourself and take responsibility for the mistakes. If amends need to be made, make them. If not, wash your hands of it.
Be grateful for the lesson.
With every excuse, every mistake, you learned something. That experience grew you into the amazing, driven human you are today. You wouldn’t be who you are today if you had not had that experience. Thank your mistakes. Honor them. They helped create the present You who is ready to seriously kick some butt in your world!
Have a little faith.
Even if things don’t work out exactly as YOU planned, they’re going to work out in some way. Trust that this way, whatever it may be, will make you stronger, better, changed, especially if in the moment it feels negative. The Universe has got your back. Trust that the trials you will go through because you cut the excuses will grow you in the best way possible.
Trust in something greater: be it God, a Source, the Universe, the consistency of a sunrise and a sunset, a beginning and an end to everything. That way, even if you fail, the lessons you will learn from that failure will catapult you into a success you never even imagined.