The most dangerous excuses are true. The reason they keep winning out over your goals & intentions might be because you realize they are true so you don’t fight against them. You equate “true” and “right”.
If you’d rather listen to this blog than read it, please click play. Otherwise, keep reading below the play bar.
Here’s a super common example: You’re not going to get that workout in because it’s been a crazy day & you’re completely exhausted.
Yup, the day was crazy. Yup, you’re exhausted.
Because those things are true, you feel justified and validated in your choice to skip the workout.
Or, maybe you pledged to eat better today but you’re feeling really sad & since a cookie will cheer you up, you sit down to 3 handfuls of cookies.
It’s true: you’re sad. You love cookies, so they cheer you up a little.
Since those things are true, the cookies are now validated and you commence eating them.
The behavior makes sense to you. You’ve used an argument that not only makes sense, but gives you what you want in the moment.
It doesn’t, however, give you want you want in the long term or consider the entire truth of the situation, choice and consequences.
Because the best excuses are true, we’ve got to train ourselves to consider what else is true.
Just because something is true doesn’t mean it’s the most true thing or the only true thing.
We’ve got to stop making assumptions & choosing the most convenient truth.
When it comes to making choices & pursuing our goals, we often don’t tell ourselves the whole truth. We don’t even consider the whole truth.
It’s time to slow down, work to be less impulsive, less reactive and consider the whole picture.
For example, you might not want to get out of bed and get to work on time when you first wake.
Though your first impulse might be “I’m tired, I don’t want to go to work“, you consider the whole truth and the implications of that decision before making it.
You get up & go to work because avoiding the negative repercussions of staying home is more valuable than the momentary pleasure of staying in bed.
We can train ourselves to think that way more often.
In the case of skipping a workout because you’re tired, when you ask yourself what else is true, you might recognize that you’ll feel more energy after a workout. You might realize that working out will help you sleep better tonight so you can be more rested tomorrow. Or that increasing your fitness increases your energy long term so you don’t continue to feel like you’re at the mercy of your fatigue.
When you’re debating the cookies because you’re sad & it’s been a crazy day, you might realize that not making progress towards your goals makes you feel really sad, therefore choosing the cookies will ultimately make you more sad than taking great care of yourself. In fact, taking great care of yourself and making quality food choices improves your mood & confidence. You might also realize that eating well can’t be predicated on the type of day you’ve had or you’ll never create the consistency needed to make progress towards your goals. You might realize that food is the solution to hunger, not the solution to stress.
Don’t accept an excuse simply because it’s true.
Slow down and ask yourself: is this the full truth?
What else is true?
How does this choice impact what I want most?
How will I feel about this choice tomorrow?
Is this choice going to take me where I want to go?
How can I meet myself in the middle?
What would be an improved choice?
How can I make myself proud?
Just for today, how can I make a great choice?
Is this an opportunity to be seized or a temptation to be resisted?