Excuses are valid, they really are. Traffic really did make me late and my dog really did eat my paper (however he prefers pulling money out of my purse, finding $20’s more delicious than $10’s). Excuses however, are still excuses.
An excuse is defined as “an attempt to lessen the blame attaching to a fault; seek to defend or justify.” And in last month’s blog I began examining how to let go of any person or grievance where we feel stuck through the acronym, Forget It and Drive On (FIDO). This month I’m looking at Habit Number II in this acronym, which is to Wipe Out Excuses!
The best way to eliminate any excuse is to realize it’s just that, an excuse. Whether your excuse is you have trouble speaking in public so you avoid it at all costs, or don’t like conflict so you shy away from honest performance reviews or any number of other excuses, they’re limiting your happiness and success. Life is way too short to spend one more minute letting a belief (yours or someone else’s) hold you back.
Make a list of any excuse you have regarding the top five things you want to get done. Example: I want to go back to school but I can’t because___ or I need to work better with ____ but I don’t have time to make the effort.
What if we woke up with amnesia and we were told who we were and our abilities. Would we act differently? The blue eyed and brown eyed children did in Jane Elliott’s experiment on bigotry. She was teaching children about discrimination but in the process it impacted how they saw themselves (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Elliott.)
It’s been said we don’t really know who we are, only the current idea we have about ourselves. Psychologist William James changed every part of his life by deciding to change his idea of who he thought he was, and we can do the same. There’s a story I once read about two brothers whose dad was in prison for armed robbery. Both brothers, when interviewed, replied their lives turned out the way they did because “how could I be anything else with a dad like I had.” One was also in prison, one was a professor.
Excuses can also sneak up on us, so be aware of what you’re thinking, and perhaps keep a log for a week or so to watch out for any sneaky little patterns that try to sabotage your happiness and health. Dr. Howard Stone, who created behavioral kinesiology at Harvard, taught us that thoughts have physical reactions on the body. If I am angry it can physically impact me in a variety of ways, which is another wonderful reason to get rid of excuses…it’s a very liberating experience!’
Click here for more information on The FIDO Philosophy. I welcome any thoughts, comments or great stories… I’d love to share them with my readers!