Excuses, excuses, excuses. Over the past while, I’ve made the conscious decision to stop making excuses for myself or putting things off that I should be doing (ahem, dissertation). The number one excuse I find myself using is ‘I don’t have time’. We all have the same amount of hours in the day, so why is it that my time seems to be more precious than yours? If you really want something, you’ll make time for it.
Excuses can stop us from getting what we want, hold us back and put us in a worse position than we were in yesterday. I’m trying to be a much more positive person and limiting how much I complain, how many negative words I use and to stop making excuses altogether. It’s even gotten to the stage that I’m getting annoyed when other people complain around me. Why can’t we all just start speaking positively and not spread negativity?
These are my top three excuses that I find myself using, but nothing positive ever comes from saying them out loud or even thinking them. Negative self-talk gets us nowhere, especially that voice in your head that tells you you’re not good enough, smart enough, worthy enough – the list goes on.
Most of us make excuses because we’re afraid of what may happen if we just go for it, or we’re afraid we might fail. Often, we make excuses because something seems like too much hard work. Want to start 6am gym classes? No thanks. Why? Because I’d rather stay in bed. Comfort is the enemy of progress my friend – you can’t get fit while you sleep. It’s all about sacrifice.
We are all more than capable of reaching our goals and achieving what we want in life, but we need to let go of self-doubt and stop making excuses. Here are three excuses I’m no longer going to use.
1. I don’t have time
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. We all have 24 hours in the day, right? Plan your day to the hour. Make a plan of how you’re going to use your time each day and you’ll find a way to fit everything in. Take a look at what you spend time not doing, like sitting on your phone for hours when you could be doing something productive, or cutting down three hours of Netflix each night to one hour. Small changes can make big gains when it comes to using your time wisely.
Sacrifices will have to be made, but if you want something bad enough, you’ll be able to succeed. Work out how many hours of sleep you need each night and commit to getting those specific hours. If you can wake up earlier, wake up and hit the gym. If you like to stay up later, use that time to prepare for tomorrow or use it to work on you. As they say, use your time wisely. It’s not something you can get back.
2. I can’t
From a young age, we’re all told that there’s ‘No such word as ‘can’t”. The only word you should be using is ‘can’. ‘Can’t’ is giving up at the first attempt. With practice comes success. If you don’t know how to do something, learn. There would be times that I’d say things like ‘I can’t change the lightbulb’ or ‘I can’t cope with this weather.’ Simple things like this are negative thoughts, which creates negative energy.
Learn how to change the lightbulb – there’s probably tons of tutorial videos on YouTube. You can cope with the weather because you’ve been in colder situations and have gotten through it many times before. winter comes once a year and repeating this statement every year doesn’t brighten anyone’s day or make it any warmer. Yes it’s cold, but it’s winter and you live in the North West of England, what on earth do you expect?
Stop saying ‘I can’t’ because you can.
3. I’m not good enough
darkness self doubt, my old friend. We’ve all had this thought and used this excuse to stop ourselves from getting something we want. Whether it’s a job, a promotion, an internship, a sport, a competition or anything that you can put yourself forward for, there will often be a voice in your head telling you that everyone around you is much better and much more worthy.
I remember the moment I stopped myself from using this excuse. It was the day of my interview for my placement year at Coty. I was in a room with twenty other girls. Twenty skinny, attractive, English girls who probably had better GCSEs and A Levels than me, probably had lots more experience than me and probably went to better universities and came from nice cities. So of course, I thought that because I was the only Irish in the room and the only one from a university further north than Bath, that I had no chance.
But I quickly changed my thoughts and told myself ‘Why the hell not?!’ Why couldn’t I be the right one for the job? I wanted it just as much as these other girls, maybe even more and just because I had a different accent and wasn’t posh in the slightest, why couldn’t I get the placement? So just by changing my mindset, I went into my interview and gave it everything I had and I landed the job.
No self-doubt, no negativity, just belief and a positive attitude. Because we’re all good enough and can achieve anything we set out to do as long as we believe in ourselves and give it all we’ve got. You are your own person and the worst thing you can do is compare yourself to anyone else. You have no idea that the person you are comparing yourself to, could be comparing themselves to you.
If we keep making excuses, we’ll settle for less in life and could end up with regrets in the future. You have time, you can and you are more than good enough.