What’s YOUR Excuse?


We have all been guilty of using them at some time or another. Maybe you are using them right now?

Using Excuses VS Having Excuses

When we talk about excuses, we often say we ‘have’ an excuse, but truth is, most often we don’t ‘have’ excuses – we ‘USE’ excuses. To ‘use’ an excuse means excuses are the thing we point to as the reason we can’t have, be or do the things we desire. We ‘use’ them to:

  • Justify not taking action
  • Avoid stepping into more with courage (aka – letting fear win)
  • Comfort ourselves for not reaching a goal
  • Set success boundaries in our lives

To ‘have’ an excuse means we have a limiting circumstance that is 100% out of our control. This does happen, but not as often as we ‘use’ excuses. Even still, I’m inspired on a daily basis by people who have every excuse in the world to be limited by their circumstances and CHOOSE to overcome them.

Which leads to the question –

Do I have a legitimate excuse for not taking action in my life, or am I just ‘using’ excuses to avoid taking action in my life?

Am I ‘Using’?

You are an excuse ‘user’ if you say or think these words:

  • I can’t because….
  • I’m not able to do (xyz) because…
  • It’s hard for me to do that because…
  • I didn’t reach my goal because…
  • {fill in the blank} because…

And if your response to any of the statements above is “That’s not fair to say because…” – you might also be an excuse user.

It’s a Habit, Not a Life Sentence

Using excuses is usually a mindset habit we just fall into. It becomes a comfortable place to avoid growing into our full potential or stepping into our success zone.

A habit is something we can overcome, it’s not a life sentence or an insurmountable obstacle (why yes…mindset habits are often ‘used’ as excuses as well!).

The ‘velvet HAMMER’ may have come out in the last 8 minutes…

There are 3 simple steps that can move us out of ‘using’ excuses and into the results we desire for an elevated life.

  1. Recognize the excuses we use
  2. Determine what needs to happen to overcome our excuse mindset
  3. Decide to take action – and do it

step 1 – recognize the excuses we use

This is a simple journaling exercise.

  • First, write out the top 3 things you’ve been trying to accomplish in your life (financial goals / business goals / family goals / personal goals)
  • Then, identify the actions required to reach those goals (not a full blown project plan, but a simple list of actions you know you need to take to reach those goals)
  • Next, highlight the actions you struggle with or have yet to take
  • Finally, answer this question for each of the highlighted actions – “What is keeping me from taking this action?”

step 2 – determine overcoming actions required

While not as simple as journaling, this step is definitely an empowering exercise. It starts with the answers to the question, “What is keeping me from taking this action”.

  • On a new sheet of paper (or new document), list those answers
  • Look for any similarities and identify an ‘excuse’ trend
    • Examples: time / a fear / limiting belief about yourself / physical ability / etc…
  • Identify solutions for each excuse category. Examples:
    • I have limited time = how am I using my time and what can change to give more time to the priorities in my life
    • I’m afraid of rejection = what are some mindset trainings and activities I can engage in to overcome this fear
    • I don’t think I’m good enough yet = what resources can I plug into and develop the skills I need
    • I’m too heavy to keep up with the physical requirements = what options do I have to eat healthier and when can I begin

step 3* – take action

Take the action identified for overcoming our excuses. No bulleted list here. It’s now up to you to DECIDE to take action – or NOT.

*Word of warning: an excuse habit can interfere with step 3! We can easily slip into ‘using’ excuses for why we cannot take action to overcome our excuse habit. Go back to step 2 – repeat as needed!

Own Your Choice (aka – stop whining)

As a life purpose coach, I find there are 2 kinds of people when it comes to excuses:

  1. Those who are tired of settling for the limited results of their excuses
  2. Those who are willing to settle for the limited results of their excuses

This is a great self coaching question when feeling stuck –

Am I willing to settle for the limited results of using my excuses, or am I tired enough to do something about it?

However you answer that question, own it.

If you’d rather settle for what you have and where you are than overcome the excuses, own it – stop whining about it. Your ‘owning’ statement might sound something like this:

“I know I could have more if I was willing to overcome my excuses, but I’m ok with landing here and I’m going to stop asking people for help or seeking advise because I know I’m not willing to take the actions required.”

If you are not willing to settle for what you have and where you are and are ready to overcome the excuses, own it – and take action. Your ‘owning’ statement might sound something like this:

“I know I can have more and it’s time to stop using excuses as my reason for not having it. I’m not ok with landing where I am and I’m going to seek the training and advice I need to step into action – NO EXCUSES!”

So… do you have an excuse habit?

Today is a great day to find out if you have an excuse habit that is holding you back, so let’s find out..on purpose!

  • Ask yourself this question and answer it honestly: Am I willing to settle for the limited results of using my excuses, or am I tired enough to do something about it?
  • If your answer is that you are tired enough to do something about it, start now and do the 3 step exercise defined in this post. If you don’t have time to do it right now, schedule it in your calendar like an appointment as soon as possible (and show up for the appointment)
  • Start taking action and journal your experience:
    • Note when you are tempted to or actually ‘use’ an excuse to not take action
      • Self-coach yourself into action when the excuse habit shows up
    • Note when you take action to ‘overcome’ an excuse
      • Celebrate the actions

Need help? Let’s connect. Living on purpose is not a special skill or ability that some have and some do not. We all have everything within us to live on purpose, but sometimes we need help finding it! My passionate purpose is to help others sort and sift through the questions that lead them to the truths that already exist within them. Wanna chat?