I love to read and learn. I’m always looking for new inspiration and knowledge, especially in the field of mind-body connections. We all struggle with something. Your struggle may be with food and you may wonder why you have to deal with this when someone else you know seems to float through life without a second thought around food, weight, blood sugars, or whatever your particular battle may be.
This challenge is not unique to you.
If you know someone that is lucky enough not to have this struggle, trust me, they struggle with something else that may not even be on your radar. We all have to deal with our own issues, but there is always hope.
The ideas in this blogpost are inspired by a message from Andy Stanley. He is the pastor of North Point Community Church. For those of you who don’t believe in God, I think that you’ll still find this informational and inspirational. He’s dealing with a human condition that exists, regardless of your religious beliefs. He talks about the excuses we all make that hold us back from our best selves.
How many times have you made excuses as to why you can’t take charge of your eating and your health? I’m by no means suggesting that it’s easy. It isn’t. Life is stressful and comes at us with full force. We feel like we can’t cope and we turn to food to comfort us. And it does. It doesn’t argue or talk back and the physiological calmness it can temporarily produce is real.
Whatever our excuses are, we need to abandon them once and for all.
The excuses come from our self talk. Sometimes we’re not even aware of this. Our thoughts, if we listen to them, become our narratives and then become our lives. Our excuses are our “becauses,” and because isn’t THE cause, it’s an excuse. You might say, “I can’t eat healthy because it takes too much effort,” or “It has become such a habit for me, I can’t stop!”
For more information on self talk and guarding your thoughts, refer to my blogposts Thoughts are like Airplanes, and Mental Loopholes.
Is it possible that there is something on the other side of your excuses that is good? Is there something on the other side of your excuses that you could benefit from? Take a moment and imagine how your life might be if you didn’t allow these excuses to hold you back.
Why do we make these excuses?
Most of our excuses are fear based. Sometimes our fear comes from our past experiences. Fear of abandonment, failure, embarrassment, shame… We don’t always know, but there is something that triggers us.
When we allow the excuses to become our “because” narrative, they cripple us. Excuses make us small, selfish, and unavailable. We miss out and the world misses out on us. We allow an excuse to be the boss of us, a tyrant! They are a subtle way that we refuse to take responsibility for our lives.
How do I stop making excuses and move toward a better life?
Andy Stanley offers solutions to dealing with these excuses.
Five not so easy steps for dealing with your excuses.
- Identify your excuses. Listen to your “becauses” and write them down even if they don’t make sense.
- Interrogate them so that you know why you go immediately to that because in that situation. What am I afraid of? Am I just being lazy or selfish or insecure? Don’t move ahead until you have an answer. Your answer will clarify whether or not it’s an actual reason or a made up reason. This will reduce the power of the excuse. Whenever you bring your excuses into the light, they become smaller and much easier to leave them behind .
- Relabel them. “That’s not really a reason.” “I’m not a victim to my past.” “I’m not a prisoner to my fear.” “if I built it, I can tear it down.”
- Answer this question – “What do I lose if I continue to excuse?” “What is that one excuse costing you?”
- Tell somebody. “This is an excuse I’ve lived with for years, and I’m not doing it any more.”
The time to act is now. If you don’t identify your excuses, you’re going to excuse your life away.
If you need extra support identifying and tackling your excuses, reach out to see how I can help.