Few things bug me as much as excuses.
Excuses are a sedative to personal growth. They are walls of procrastination — under the guise of protection — that we build up to shield our ego. And recently I’ve noticed that many of us are master builders.
Making lifestyle changes isn’t always a walk in the park. Progress is simultaneously exciting and overwhelming, and well-intentioned advice often hits a nerve that makes us feel challenged and exposed. So we build up the fortress of justification, brick-by-brick, thought-by-thought, word-by-word, that makes us feel ok about inaction.
I bring this up as two words seem to be buzzing around my awareness of late. Like an irritating mosquito on a hot summer’s night, every time I hear these words I want to slap them away. They sound like this: “Yes, but…”
It’s the classic start to an excuse, and every time I hear it or say it, my tough-love thermostat rises to another degree.
“Yes, but…” is a weak response that makes you the victim of a problem instead of its detective. I’ve heard it countless times in my coaching practice, out in the world, and yes, indeed, uttered from my own lips.
Believe it or not, the language you use has serious sway over your emotional state, your confidence and your chances of success.
And while you may think that you’re an assertive woman by asking for advice, the language you use to respond to said advice could suggest otherwise.
By all means, you should feel free to disagree with opinions that don’t suit you but have the confidence actually to say so. Better than “yes, but…” would be a simple no. At least this is a statement that keeps you in the driver’s seat of your own decision making (although after too many no’s it may be time to stop asking for advice at all).
Of course, there is another response: “I’ll give it a go.” Perhaps you’d like to try it on for size?
Success tends to boil down to three simple things: a little open-mindedness, a heck-of-a-lot of repetition, and the willingness to try something new by taking fresh action on a problem that your old habits and attitude have not yet solved.
Reaching your goals isn’t about resources, it’s about resourcefulness. And it’s only once you’ve knocked down the walls of excuses that you can suddenly see the potential that’s lying all around you.
Think about it this week and let me know what comes up.