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How to Move Through Excuses

Oh, excuses. We don’t like to hear them, and worse yet, we don’t want to be the one making them. However, we do. It’s okay. This blog isn’t about saying that those excuses aren’t valid feelings, and it definitely isn’t about shaming anyone for making those statements. It’s about getting curious as to why we are saying them in the first place, and how we can move through them to take our power back.

Some of the most common excuses are “I can’t,” “I was, but,” or “I don’t” statements. Case in point:

I can’t cook that. My kids and spouse won’t eat it.

I can’t exercise until I lose 20 lbs.

I can’t afford to pay for a gym membership.

I don’t know how to plan my meals for a week.

I don’t have time to exercise for 20 minutes a day.

I was going to meal plan Thursday night, but I’m just so exhausted.

What is one excuse that you feel you say or think often? Write it down (you know how I love me some journaling). Let’s get curious about it and try these three exercises.

  1. Switch “can’t” or “don’t” with “won’t.” Example: “I won’t afford to pay for a gym membership.” Do you feel how that shifts the energy of the statement? “I can’t” sounds powerless; however, “I won’t” gives you your power back. It’s a choice. How does that feel when you write that? You might be thinking, “Huh, I can afford the gym membership, I just don’t want to.” Cool. So don’t. Or you might be thinking, “Steph, I really can’t afford a gym membership. It would 100% be irresponsible for me to spend money every month on a gym membership.” Completely understandable, which brings us to exercise two…

  2. What can or will you do? Okay, you want to workout and paying for a monthly gym membership isn’t in the cards right now. What other options are there? Write down what you can or will do. If you have internet, will you watch YouTube videos for home workouts? Purchase a workout program? Walk, run, jump rope, bike, do bodyweight exercises? “Yeah, I can do home workouts, and I love to get outside.” Or, you might be thinking, “Steph, seriously, I have no money. Plus, I don’t have room to do that and it’s too cold outside to walk.” Well, if you find yourself giving another excuse, you can go back through the first two exercises and address those new excuses, or you can move right into exercise three…

  3. What is behind that statement? You not affording a gym membership has now morphed into you not having enough room, not living in a warm enough climate, and so forth. So, what’s really going on? What is preventing you from doing this? What are you afraid you’ll lose or will change if you do this? How is it serving you to not do this? Imagine you did the thing you've been making excuses not to do. How does that feel? What does that look like? Write it down. There is no judgment or shame here, only curiosity and clarity.

I’d love to hear from you, what did you realize about your common excuse after going through these exercises? What did you find to be most helpful? How did you take your power back and move through the excuse?

As always, if you felt this post was helpful, please like it and share it with your friends and family.

With love, Steph

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