Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tough Love

I'm a fan of the tough love approach when learning a new skill or working toward a goal. Compassion and understanding are all well and good, but a pat on the back is meaningless if you haven't really accomplished anything. Don't get me started on the growing epidemic of entitlement. Failure is a necessary part of life. The big test is whether or not you keep going. I'm going to follow my 10 Things theme and attack the top 10 excuses with a tough love approach. *laughs with evil glee*
Excuse #1--I don't have enough time.
Give. Me. A. Break. We all have 24 hours in a day. Do you really think an extra hour or two would make much difference for a person who can't prioritize? Nope. Not a bit. Make time. You have absolute control of your schedule (argue all you want, but it's true). If you have a goal, make time. If you're not willing to make time, pick a different goal.

Excuse #2--I could never do that.
You're right. With a defeatist attitude, you can't do it. Positive thinking--constantly--makes all the difference. Ask yourself, why can't you do it? And after your brain has filtered through the million BS excuses you create, ask again. Why can't you do it?

Excuse #3--I'm too old.
Again, you're right. You're so old, I'm surprised you can even walk upright. In fact, maybe you should go sit down. And while you're resting your ancient bones, think about this--when you hit 40, 50, 60, and 70, I want you to tell everyone why you're too old to do anything. I doubt they'll buy it either. I haven't heard of any medical studies that prove wrinkles and gray hair prevent you from accomplishing anything. Age is a number, not an excuse.

Excuse #4--I've got kids/dogs/plants/dust bunnies who need me.
Okay. But what's your excuse? Once again, there are no medical studies that prove kids/dogs/plants/dust bunnies prevent you from doing what you dream of. Kids/dogs/plants/dust bunnies don't want to be your scapegoat. In fact, dust bunnies prefer you to be occupied elsewhere.

Excuse #5--I'm scared.
I doubt you'll admit that out loud, but if you do, I'll give you credit. The biggest dreams we chase might inspire fear. As long as it's coupled with excitement, you're on the right track. If fear is paralyzing you, get a friend to administer a swift kick to your backside. Pronto. Fear is good as long as it doesn't stop you.

Excuse #6--I've tried before and it didn't work out.
Obviously you didn't do it right. Try again. Try as many times as it takes. Don't wallow in failure. It's not an attractive place for anyone to be. Besides, it doesn't get you any closer to your dream. Failure allows you to fine tune your approach. It forces you to get better and better. Appreciate the opportunity.

Excuse #7--I don't have the energy.
What do you have energy for? Watching your favorite show? A latte run? Breathing? Chasing your dreams energizes you. The first step is always the most difficult, but as you get closer and closer, your energy will increase. Either that or you need to exercise more.

Excuse #8--I don't have any support.
Then you're not surrounded by the right people. Limit or eliminate time spent with negative friends/family, because their negativity can do a number on your confidence. A negative attitude is contagious. That's one thing you don't want to catch. Find a great support system.

Excuse #9--Someone else has already done it.
And? Unless your goal is to be 15th President of the United States or Founder of Microsoft, who cares if it's been done before? Do it better. Do it with your unique flair. Do it regardless.

Excuse #10--I have a lot of other reasons why, but you wouldn't understand.
First, they're excuses, plain and simple. Second, you're right. I don't understand how you can spend so much time and energy thinking about why you CAN'T do it, instead of focusing on why you can, should and will do it. It's a mindset, my friends. Start with baby steps if you have to, but make sure your mind is pointing in a positive direction.

The formula for success is simple. Think positive + Move forward + Ignore the excuses your brain creates + Reward yourself along the way + Never lose sight of your goal = Celebrate reaching your goal.

It works. I promise.

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