Beware of the Excuses

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Article by Wendy McCance

How many times do you buy into the excuses you try to use on yourself to keep yourself from gaining success?  Are you aware of those negative thoughts that hold you back from reaching your goal?

I have some lofty plans for myself this year.  I know what I want to achieve, but recently I have been catching myself making up excuses to avoid what could be some great outcomes.

Let me explain.

I have goals that I have written down.  I have gone into great detail about what I want to see happen by the end of the year.  I have planned out how I can achieve these goals.  So far, so good, except that my new sticking point seems to be self-doubt and excuses.

Why would I fear possible success?  I believe it is because I am afraid that I will either make too big a deal about an opportunity that doesn’t pan out (I don’t want to face any disappointment) or I will find some success and won’t know what to do next.

Although incredibly honest, even as I write this, I am disappointed that it’s come down to this.  Really?  These are the things that are holding me up from continuing my pursuit?

It’s incredible how many times you can hit the wall on your way to your goal.  You can see what the end could be like.  You feel excitement over the possibilities, and yet, time and time again, your emotions will take over and sabotage all that you are trying to achieve.

So many things have held me back along the way.  I could make up the excuse that I didn’t have the time.  I could convince myself that my own personal goals weren’t important enough to strive for when I have a family to taking care.  Was it really that important to get all of the dishes out of the sink at that moment?  Did the house really need to look picture perfect at every moment?  The kids were doing their own thing, but what if they needed my attention?  Better not try to get any writing in for fear that I will become distracted and miss a cue from the kids that they needed me.

There have been times where I turned down meetings to go to writers workshops because I felt shy and uncomfortable.  I wouldn’t know anyone.  How would I integrate myself into the group?

The list of excuses goes on and on.

Everyone has had similar experiences at one time or another.  What’s important is to recognize these moments and push through the uncomfortable feelings.  So what if I feel shy?  I bet there are other people at the workshop who feel the same way.  I know I will feel a huge sense of accomplishment by pushing through my fear.

What about you?  Are you having trouble keeping your goals?  Do you recognize the things that are keeping you from accomplishing what you are setting out to do?

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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28 thoughts on “Beware of the Excuses

  1. It is so easy to walk a different path when you are on the road to a goal. What I stop and think about is, “will this lead me astray?” “Why am I going a different direction?” and “will this path lead me back to the original one?” Sometimes what seems like a distraction can be an answer in disguise. Good luck on pushing forward. 🙂

  2. Hi Wendy. Great post! As a former Behavior Therapist, I did encounter days where I felt so lost, that I would refer my clients to other therapists. I had just stated counseling, and at times felt good about my capabilities. But then, I would take my eyes off the target, and that’s when I would make all kinds of excuses, with respect to my negative behavior. I made up my mind that excuses are nothing but lies. Every time my brain would tell me that I would fail, I would hunker down, and forge ahead. My greatest fear was, that I would give the wrong advice. I overcame that insignificant period of my life.

    The funny thing is, that as an entertainer, I never felt this way. It goes to show you, that we make excuses, because we do not like to face uncharted areas. Thank you. Blessings.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your experience. It means so much to me when readers are willing to open up and share their thoughts. I know it helps other people to read that they are not alone. 🙂

  3. Wendy, you have really been touching on subjects that I think about from the rudeness of people to not accomplishing goals. I have self-doubt as well. When I feel confident and know what I need to get done I can do it, then the next day I am not focused and feel like I do not know how to accomplish anything. It helps me to have a plan, write down at the end of the day what I need to do the next day and breathe and read “Comfortable With Uncertainty” by Pema Chodron.

  4. I feel there are lots of things that have held me back from achieving my goals. Some of them were not my fault, but mostly I held myself back with excuses, self-doubt and lack of confidence just like you. I find these days it is better not to have a ‘fixed’ idea of how and when I will reach the goals. I know what I want to achieve, but as long as I am generally heading in the right direction I try not to get too anxious. I want to enjoy the journey of getting there as well as the end result. Plus life ALWAYS gets in the way and I’ve learned I need to be realistic about that. Knowing me, as soon as I achieve my goals I will create new ones anyway!

    • I think you are going about it in the best way. I have often heard that it is the journey to success that is so exciting and not the success itself. We’ll see how that pans out. 🙂

  5. I know what I want to do is something that allows me the freedom to travel back and forth between my country and my husband’s country. I know the type of work I would like to be doing, I just don’t know how I will be able to get paid to do it! I have the goals, but lack the vision on getting to them. But I will try!

    • If you keep looking, at a moment you least expect, you will have a moment of inspiration. Have faith and don’t think to hard. Just go with your gut and know that something will reveal itself at some point to help you out.

  6. Hi Wendy, there’s a lot to think about here: it occurs to me that rather than “I’ll be happy when I’ve achieved the goal.” We might more often benefit from thinking “I’ll be happy-it’ll make my goal achievable.”

    Best wishes

    • That’s the thing. I know the goals are achievable. It’s not like I am making a goal to get a million dollars by the end of the year. But, even if I had, any success towards that goal would still be worth the push. Even the little successes are more than what I would have if I just gave up and felt they weren’t achievable.

  7. So glad for this post Wendy. I have procastinated in this month like no other. I wanted writting recognition from my blog and worked towards it in January like a big bad bull but soon as I started to get a little attention and few emails from people expressing their interests, I then became too busy and too lazy to follow things up. I prayed to God for help and I am gradually snapping out of lacklustre attitude to achievement. Have a great weekend.

    • I think having a blog is a great way to work on goals. It’s a rollercoaster where sometimes the effort is huge and then you go through a little burn out. Being able to recognize those moments where you feel your falling short teaches you to get back to it and try again. you have a great blog. Have faith and do what you love. The success will come. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  8. I find I sabotage myself all the time. I constantly have self doubts and wonder why I even try. Then I just stop trying. I know I do this yet seem unable to change it. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been told since I was a child that I would always be just average and never accomplish anything. I’ve been fighting this more and more lately. Not sure who’s winning though.

  9. Wendy, anytime I run face into a little stumbling block, I rare up like a cat viewing a Great Dane entering the area where the kitty food bowl rests….and say aloud, “well big woo woo!” Then chuckle and say, “oh well”, and sing a little song…”put your right foot out, put your right foot in, put your right foot out and you shake it all about”…you get the jest…often, if laughing at our own little barriers, they just laugh themselves right out of the room:) Just a thought:) Much love and success!!! YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!!!

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