What Excuses Do I Keep Making To Avoid Taking Action?
These are the (often very logical) reasons, rationalisations and justifications you give yourself for why you can’t do something right now. They give you ‘an out’, so you can keep your life running on ‘easy’ so you can avoid some kind of discomfort (physical experience, thought or feeling). But they also keep you stuck in the pain of your current reality.
When you get hooked into these excuses, they become self-fulfilling prophecies because you say them automatically and you actually believe them to be true. Becoming aware of them is the first step.
Do you recognise any of these?
I don’t have the…time…motivation…willpower…energy…
I don’t feel like it
It’s not a good time right now
I’ll do it tomorrow…next week…next month…later
I’ve got more important stuff to do
It’s just too hard
I’m just no good at it
I’m too old…young…short…tall
Let’s examine a couple of these commonly used ‘escape clauses’ in more detail.
It’s just not a good time…I’ll do it tomorrow / next week / next month / later…I’ve got more important stuff to do…
Do you really have to wait for the ‘perfect time’ before committing to the actions needed to achieve your goal?
Let’s be honest, it will always be easier to just do nothing and turn your attention to something else. Your mind will always find a valid excuse not to act (kid’s birthday party; important work function; dad’s in hospital; hubby’s away; the house is a mess; my knee is playing up again; it’s too cold outside; it’s too hot outside; it’s too wet outside; the kids need help with homework; my sock drawer needs cleaning out…)
The fact is there will never be a ‘perfect time’ so the best time to act is now.
I just don’t feel like it…I’ve lost the motivation…
When you talk about ‘being motivated’ to do something, you probably mean that you feel like taking action. You are in the mood or perhaps ‘in the zone’. You probably have a heightened sense of energy, willingness, desire, optimism and excitement about whatever it is you want to do. It’s essentially an upbeat and very pleasurable emotional reaction that drives you to take action.
Unfortunately the feeling of motivation never lasts. It’s an emotional response and you can’t be on an emotional “high” all the time. Your motivation will ebb and flow from day to day – this is perfectly normal! So when you feel motivated, make the most of it and get sh*t done while it’s there…but don’t rely on it.
When the motivation has waned you have one of two choices: do nothing and wait around until she comes back, or just get on and get things done.
Don’t think you can take action if you don’t “feel” like it? Think about all the things you do each day from habit: cleaning your teeth, housework, doing the dishes etc. You do it because it needs to be done.
If you rely on motivation to keep you going, you’re basically saying that you’re willing to take action to achieve your goals, but only when you ‘feel like it’, only when you are physically, mentally and emotionally ready. But when you become committed to your goals, become very clear about your why, and are willing to step outside the limits of your comfort zone, you will find that you are always able to take action…regardless of any barriers, obstacles and challenges that might trip you up.
Side note: the best way to ‘find your motivation’ is to take action. The experience of taking committed action to achieve your goals is intrinsically rewarding and will more than likely create the motivational waves you are searching for. Don’t wait for the motivation to drive your actions, instead, allow your actions to create the motivation.
If I allow this ‘escape clause’ to tell me how to act (or not act), will it lead me in the direction I want to go?
Will listening to this ‘escape clause’ move me closer to creating the rich, full and meaningful life I really want?