Moving from excuses to effective action
“If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.” Stephen Covey. A powerful quote that talks to reasoning and excusing our lack of focused action.
Excuses can be quite powerful. They can hold us back and leave us in a cycle of procrastination. They are that inner voice within that tells us we’re not good enough, worthy enough, capable enough — the list of inadequacy goes on. All of this self-talk gets us nowhere. It keeps us paralyzed in our fears.
We are all capable of getting much better results. To get the results you want, you have to ditch the excuses.
So here are seven ways to stop making excuses. (Thanks to Lauren Stahl for some content)
- Make a list of your fears. Do you let your fears run the show? Do they keep you in a cycle of excuse after excuse? Write them all down today. Create a list. Look at the fears and read them aloud to yourself. Seeing them on paper diminishes their value. “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” —Nelson Mandela
- Write down what you’re doing in response to these fears. After writing down each of your fears, write down what you are doing in response to each of these fears. By showing up and being the best version of yourself, you have not failed. The mind can play tricks on you, making you live in response to your fears. “Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” – W. Clement Stone
- Decide on five concrete goals. Put these five goals on paper. Look at them. Give your very best to get them. Start to believe you can make them become a part of your life. “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” —Bill Copeland
- For each goal, come up with three action steps to help make them a reality. Create an action plan for yourself. This is what it all comes down to: ACTION. You can understand something intellectually, but it’s a matter of bringing that down into the heart and taking the steps to make these goals and results your reality. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
- Create a one-day plan. Start small. Think about what you can do today to make the results you want part of your reality. Maybe it’s talking with a friend about what it is you truly want. Maybe it’s journaling about what inspires you, fanning the fire inside, and brings about a sense of purpose and passion. (I have found this so helpful in moving from intent to action)
- Share your plan. Accountability is everything. Knowing that you’re not alone and that someone else is there on the journey with you is empowering. Tell a friend or family member about this plan. Start working with a professional to bring your ideas and visions to life. Remember, you can’t do it all alone and the more love you let in, the more love you let out, and thus the more results you’ll see.
- 7. Remember your “why” In Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action , Simon Sinek presents the idea that great leaders inspire others by putting the Why (the purpose) before the How (the process), or the What (the product).
Each of us has a why
Recall, focus on, and live……. your why.