Reasons vs Excuses

Have you ever set a goal and not reached it? Maybe you’ve been attempting to lose weight for the last decade (or more), but you haven’t quite been able to get the scale to a number that you’re okay with. Or perhaps you’ve been working on growing your business by increasing your customer base, but you can’t quite bring yourself to cold calling or testing different marketing strategies to find one that works.

And what do you tell yourself when these goals stay outside of your reach? What is it that’s stopping you from achieving these things? Most importantly, is what you’re telling yourself a reason or an excuse?

Don’t know the difference? That’s okay because a lot of people don’t. However, there is one relatively simple way to know for sure which is which, and it involves asking yourself this one question: Do I really want it?

You see, if you really want something, and I mean really, really want it—not just thinking that you want it or pretending that you want it or feeling like you “should” want it—then you’ll make it happen. Granted, it may not happen right away as there may be some true and actual obstacles in your path, but these would be reasons as to why you’re not where you want to be.

For instance, if your goal is to start your own business but you don’t have the cash to do it right now, that is a reason behind why you’ve not yet taken that leap. To the same point, if you truly want to own your own business and be your own boss, you’ll also come up with a plan to save or obtain the cash you need to make it happen. Basically, reasons are like speed bumps; they’re probably going to slow you down, but in no way will they stop you.

On the other hand, if you don’t truly want something, that’s where excuses come into play. That “I won’t stop until I get what I want” drive isn’t there, so you do your best to convince yourself that it’s outside forces that are preventing you from achieving that goal. You tell yourself that whatever you think you want isn’t going to happen because something larger than you is standing in your way, making it impossible to reach the other side. That my friend is called an “excuse”.

Excuse= Sorry I’m late, I got caught on a phone call and couldn’t get off.

Reason = The train was stuck in the tunnel for 2 hours.

Now, your first thought may be, “But Red, I do really want [insert goal here]! So you’re saying that the reason I haven’t been able to do it is because I don’t actually want it?” Yes and no. Maybe you do want it, but you don’t want it bad enough. How do increase your intensity and turn up your desire so you won’t stop until that specific goal is met?

You must first figure out why it is so important to you…why you really want it. Then use that to help you push past your excuses, eventually overcoming any reason as to why it hasn’t happened yet.

Or, you may just realize that you don’t want it after all. In that case, you can simply let your goal go, no longer beating yourself up for not achieving it. Either way, you’ll feel better. And that’s a big win…no excuses necessary.

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