Saturday, November 17th, 2018

Overcoming Excuses that Hold You Back

Published on August 15, 2009 by   ·   4 Comments Pin It

Guest Blogger and Life Coach Laurie Gerber helps us face all the b.s excuses that are holding you back from living your dream life right now!

All of us struggle with issues like finding time for exercise, finding a new job, and finding your dream guy or gal special. And for every solution we are presented with for tackling our issues, we have a reason this solution cannot work.

For example, people will say “I would like to exercise in the morning but I’m not a morning person” or “I’d send out more resumes but there’s just no time.” Many common excuses center on people’s perceived inability to manage time… schedules, money, or waking up early in the morning. Just listen to the people around you as they tell their stories and you will hear a bevy of excuses, that people hold dear.

Easy to see in others, not always so easy to see in ourselves because when we are formulating ours, they feel so real to us! But the fundamental truth behind all the excuses is that most people don’t want to make changes. And in order to get out of dealing we form and believe excuses and gather evidence from that point of view. For example, we will “find” our metabolism lacking and focus on that vs. the times we’ve managed our weight easily, we will focus on our busy schedule rather than our power to plan our day or we will focus on the hysteria about the job market rather than our ability to send resumes and line up interviews.

Our excuses protect us from having to find the courage and motivation of “just doing it.”   Face it: What’s so hard about getting up early enough to exercise or finding time to send one or even three resumes? In short, we hide behind our excuses.

Calling the reasoning “excuses” forces people to see that of course they can step up to the plate, take responsibility and make changes.

What can you do to overcome?

The first step may be one of the hardest — seeing what your excuses are.

1) Make a list of the places where you feel stuck in your life, and then look at why. Write this out, if you write out your reasoning-the whys– you will be able to see how much consists of silly theories and excuses.

2) Try arguing the opposite of each thing you wrote and see if you can poke holes in your limiting theories.

3) Then you can speak with several people you trust and who know you well and ask them for the truth.   How do they think you could approach the area differently? Just asking will represent a shift and will force you to start dealing with the area and getting help, rather than considering yourself stuck.

4) Once identified, getting rid of the excuses most likely will involve action, a “to do” list of behaviors.   You might promise a certain amount of exercise or to get up at a certain time or send a certain number of resumes.   Better tell someone or else the excuses will sneak right back in.

At least for today: See if you can catch and laugh at excuses. Some of them are so silly.   All of them will teach you where you need to make changes. Every time you do you will be improving the quality of your life while re-affirming your power to author your life according to your own ideals.   We call this personal integrity and it leads to unshakable happiness and success.

Laurie Gerber is President of the Private Coaching Division of The Handel Group, an international coaching company which specializes in teaching corporations, educational institutions, and individuals to take focused and powerful action in every area.   Laurie has been coaching individuals and groups for the last 10 years.   Laurie holds a degree in Education and Political Science from Swarthmore College, along with teaching certification. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters.   You can contact her at

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. RubyAthena says:

    This is great! I’m doing some introspection using these steps. Thanks!

  2. JoKells says:

    OMG so true!!! Kick those excuses to the curb. Procrastination is the cornerstone of poverty.

  3. IngridM says:

    Rock on, Laurie! It’s so important to just stay awake to your own habits… it gets easier with practice!

  4. Maria says:

    Wow… I might need to come back a few times need to re-read the list!

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