Today's post is from my sister, Michelle at Making Sense of Cents.
Are you ready to take control of your life?
“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” ~ Karen Lamb
“Don’t sit back and wait for life to happen to you. Dream, plan, execute!” ~ Steve Maraboli
Excuses are what holds a person back.
I know this because I hear excuses nearly every single day, and I have made many of my own as well.
I've made excuses for why I couldn't leave my day job, why I can't stop eating junk food, why I'm too busy to do something, why I don't have the experience to do certain things, how it's unfair that some people have certain privileges, and so on.
See, after my father passed away when I was only 18, I felt especially vulnerable and made lots of excuses for things. It felt like everything was very unfair since the person I loved the most had passed away.
I made excuses to skip classes, for why I had no time to do anything, why I was upset, why I shouldn't look for ways to make extra money, and so on. I told myself that other people have help with everything and that I was all alone – and for some reason, I thought it was okay to make these excuses since my dad had passed away.
This went on for several years. When things were good, I was happy. But, when things were bad, I would just blame it all on how my life was difficult and that I didn't have a parent to help me get through it.
This was one of the biggest mistakes of my life, and I'm so happy that I've finally gotten over it. While I miss my dad greatly, I now use his memory as motivation to do great things.
The theme of this post is that everyone is guilty of making excuses, and I know that people will continue to make them until they realize that excuses hold them back.
I mean, just think about the last time you said: “That won’t work for me because (insert your random excuse here).”
I hear this kind of stuff every day as a personal finance expert. I hear a lot of reasons for why a person can’t save money, pay off debt, live the life they want, reach retirement, and so on. And, it irritates me.
Yes, there are many legitimate reasons for setbacks, but there are still many people making excuses for why they can’t achieve their goals, their bad money habits, or why their life is bad.
To make a better life for yourself, you need to move past your excuses and realize that they are just excuses!
The most common excuses that I've heard include things such as:
- “I'll try later.”
- “I’m not lucky enough to save money.”
- “I don’t have time.”
- “That person had everything paid for by their parents, and that’s why they are successful.”
- “I don’t know where to start.”
- “It’s all about who you know—and I don’t know the right people.”
- “It’s too late for me to do that.”
Excuses prevent you from living the life you want. By making excuses, you're giving up whatever goal you have before you have even begun to work towards it.
In order to reach success and be happy in life, you'll occasionally have to go outside of your comfort zone and do things that you may have never done before. And, you'll definitely have to stop making excuses.
Whenever I reach a goal of mine, I can't help but think about the past and all of the ridiculous excuses I used to give myself for why things felt impossible. In order to take control of your life, you need to put an end to those excuses and start living the life you desire now.
Sure, when you’re feeling stressed or just defeated, it’s natural to make an excuse for why things aren’t going your way. However, making excuses for everything won’t get you anywhere!
Do you want to take control of your life? Here is how you can take your life back and reach your goals.
Realize that excuses are in your head.
You can make an excuse for pretty much anything. However, does that mean you should let your excuses actually hold you back?
No, you should face your excuses and fears, and realize that most of the time they’re just in your head.
You should figure out the reasons for you're making excuses so that you can find the root of why you think something can't become a reality. By figuring this out, you'll realize what is actually holding you back. This realization will allow you to finally move forward and reach your goals and dreams.
Common reasons for why a person makes excuses include things such as:
- Fear of failure.
- Fear of the unknown, such as what happens when you become successful.
- A belief that life is unfair.
By making excuses, you are most likely being extremely negative. After all, you're making an excuse for why things aren't possible for you – which is pretty much always negative.
Instead, you should focus on being more positive. By being positive, you'll realize that things are possible for you.
No one has a perfect life, so it’s a waste of time to make excuses for why something is impossible for you.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
Everyone leads a different life, and like I said above, no one leads a perfect one. While you may think that someone is extremely lucky, you don't know their full story. Due to that, you shouldn't negatively compare yourself to others and make excuses for why something is impossible for you while someone else can achieve it.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, you should spend more time thinking about how you can reach your goals.
Think about how bad you want it.
Not everything in life is easy. If a goal was easy to reach, then it wouldn't be much of a goal, right?
Due to this, you'll have to work hard towards making your goal a success if you truly want it.
If you quit before you've even reached your goal or you've made excuses before you've even begun, then you must not want it that bad.
Or, if you're minimizing other people's accomplishments by making excuses for why you can't do something, then you're just being negative.
Instead, you should think about how badly you want it and if it's even worthwhile to you. If it's not, then maybe you should focus your energy and time on something else.
However, there's no need to make others feel bad by minimizing their accomplishments.
In a nutshell:
1. Be positive.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others.
3. Think how bad you want your goal.
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What are you doing to take control of your life?
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