Now that I have your attention for a little bit, we’re going to talk about the 5 best excuses people make that ensures a life of unfulfilled dreams.
We’ve all been there: the going gets real tough and so we quit. From small things like those pesky New Year’s gym membership (“I swear I’m going to go every day”) resolutions to quitting a life’s passion. We make excuses, belittle ourselves and compare ourselves to others, and even worse, we blame other people for why we are quitting.
Where there’s a will, there’s definitely a way.
Let’s take a look at some excuses that we’ve all heard. I’ve even used them myself and honestly, it never takes me anywhere. So, here are some ways to overcome them.
1. “I don’t have time.”
Oy. Yes, our days are full, our kids are like little monkeys on our backs asking for all the things, our house needs to be cleaned, and our clean laundry pile that’s 8 feet high needs to be folded. Throw in work obligations, family obligations, and trying to keep your personal relationships nourished, what more can one person do in a 24-hour day? But, we make time when we a) need to, and b) want to.
Do you want to start an academic program and finish it even though you don’t know when you will ever sleep again? Yes? Then you will make time because you want to.
You miss your friends. They’re busy, you’re busy, but you’re going to go to the ends of the Earth to make that brunch happen. You make time because you want to.
Your kids are asking why their pants are now shorts and why their shirts are now crop tops. You decide to do the laundry because you need to.
There’s time for everything and anything you want to make time for. The only obstacle in your way is actually you, and whether you really want to. You have to decide if it’s worth your time and efforts, and if the answer is yes, part the sea to make it happen. If you keep using this excuse, the truth of the matter is that time will eventually run out.
2. “I can’t do it.”
I can’t run fast like Usain Bolt, but I can run because my legs work just fine. The only time you ever heard you can’t do something from someone who cares about you is if you are 2 years old trying to play with fire. After that, the only time anyone says you can’t do something is because they don’t want you to excel.
Whatever our goals are, we have to tell ourselves that there is no cannot, only can-do. Then, we find a way to make it happen. Oftentimes, we are striving for big goals and we want to reach them sooner rather than later. We have to acknowledge that every small goal we accomplish builds towards the bigger goal. Once this gets into our mindset, the only person stopping us is really ourselves.
3. “But, they are better than me.”
Comparing. We all do it and nothing positive or productive ever comes out of it! Please cease this behavior when you feel a, “but, they’re running faster, they’re smarter, they’re [insert some adjective here] than me.” This is the direct route to ruining your self-confidence and self-esteem.
Yes, it’s part of the culture and human nature, but you also have to power to control your own thoughts. Literally, who cares what anyone else is doing as long as you are having the time of your life pursuing your goals and excelling forward. If you see the value in what you are pursuing, others will see it, too. But, it needs to start with you, first.
4. “I’m tired.”
Hey, Felicia, guess what? We are ALL tired. (Sorry, if you’re name is really Felicia, I’m not really only speaking to you.) Single, married, kids, no kids, 2 dogs, 5 cats, 1 bird, 2 fishes, 5 horses, million dollar salary, no job, or 4 jobs. We are living the life where the norm is being stressed, overworked, and tired.
There’s a solution for this: take vitamin b12 and watch your outlook change. Also, doing actual exercise increases feelings of energy. Ever notice how after a nice walk, you feel more awake and alive?
There’s no doubt that there are times when we are exhausted and are silently crying inside through a cracked smile. Once we get that sleep, we worry that we will fuse into the bed. That’s your body saying you’re way too tired and need to do something quickly before a lot of other bad things start happening. But, just like the first excuse of not having enough time, you made time. Now, even if you’re tired but you want to do something, you will force yourself to do it. Why? Because it matters to you.
The key isn’t setting goals, it’s finding a goal that matters to you. When something matters, whether it be your dream business, marathon training, or crocheting the best blanket ever known to man, you will make the effort no matter how tired you are.
5. “This wasn’t what I thought it was. Ugh, I quit.”
No one likes to feel the dissonance between what they think they can do and what they are actually doing. It creates feelings of doubt, tension, stress, and leads to complete obliteration of motivation.
The best way out of this is to reanalyze the situation and try a different approach.
One example that I can speak to is motherhood. Is it what I thought it would be when I was blissfully pregnant, still running half marathons, and pretending to be some rock star? Uh, no. Did it give me feelings of tension, doubt, and stress? Yes. But, obviously, I couldn’t just quit. I needed to find some good friends to support me and reevaluate my idea of what being a mother is. Once that happened, I felt more confident in my abilities to keep little, living things alive.
Other examples could be starting on a long journey towards a huge goal, maybe veterinary school, maybe training for your first marathon, or quitting your job and starting your dream business. We have to realize it isn’t going to be cake from start to finish. If these things were easy, everyone and their great-grandmother would be doing it.
We have to honor the struggle, believe we are capable and know that there’s a solution to every issue (except death and/or taxes). The longer we put off our dreams and going after what we want, the more distant the prize will look, and thus harder it will be to start (we are instant gratification creatures after all). It’s a never-ending cycle unless we consciously and intentionally decide that enough is enough.
Stop making excuses because you will always end up where you started, nowhere. And, hey, Felicia, ain’t nobody got time for that!