We, as humans, make excuses every day – and they have the capacity to cripple us.
But if excuses can cripple us, there must be a way to bring us back.
What is the opposite of an excuse?
I’ve found I make a lot of excuses – I find ways to justify skipping workouts or eating poorly.
The excuses I make are rarely based in facts – they are small lies I tell myself to feel better about not doing what I know I should.
An excuse, by definition, is pretty negative – it is “an explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.”
So in plain terms – you’ve done (or will do) something wrong, and you decide to convince yourself it was (or will be) right.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Our excuses can cripple us because: we typically believe whatever we tell ourselves.
Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
We are all living, breathing examples of self-fulfilling prophecies. We build our lives based on the vision we’ve set for ourselves.
When I tell myself I am too tired to get up early to work out, I am establishing this is a perfectly acceptable action in my life (and it is not).
When nothing earth-shattering happens when I’ve skipped one workout, I start to believe it is okay to skip workouts regularly (and it is not).
Every excuse we make tells us our unproductive actions are acceptable – this puts us into a negative spiral making it easier and easier to make excuses moving forward.
We need to break out of this spiral.
Which brings me to the opposite of excuses.
We are most apt to make excuses when we don’t have firm convictions for what we’re pursuing.
We need to establish why our actions matter.
We need REASONS – reasons are the opposite of excuses, but only if taken in the positive sense of the word.
If excuses justify not doing a task, reasons need to be our justification for doing said task.
The more reasons we have to do the right things, the less persuaded we’ll be to justify the wrong ones.
When our reasons to act outweigh our excuses, we control the narrative. We shape our story based on what we know is right, and we overpower the voice in our head telling us we can’t, or shouldn’t, or don’t need to.
There are a million reasons to do great things – we need to feed our mind with these reasons. If we don’t, we’ll be stuck listening to the excuses our brain comes up with and acting accordingly.
Why do you want to stay motivated?
What reasons do you have to do great things?
Make a list – even if it’s just in your head.
When your reasons for doing outweigh your excuses, you will have no problem finding the motivation necessary to accomplish your goals.