Do you make a lot of excuses? I never would have believed I did until we studied a book in my office called The Oz Principle. The book highlights how the characters in the Wizard of Oz were looking for the Great Oz and Glenda the Good Witch to solve their problems instead of realizing they had the power within themselves. They were looking for someone to rescue them.
The Oz Principle challenges us to see the problem. Own it. Solve it and execute the solution. When you make an excuse and listen that voice of fear, The Oz Principal calls it "below the line thinking."
Around the same time we were learning about this book, I was learning Argentine tango (and still am!). I learned that facing learning the dance exposes things about yourself you never saw before either because you couldn't see them or you chose not to. All of a sudden, I saw myself making a myriad of excuses for my mistakes. I was listening to my fears of errors rather than facing them, owning them, solving them and conquering them. The fears would end up winning.
Then I started to hear the excuses. I'm tired. I worked out earlier today and my legs aren't working. I have too many things to think about. I'm not coordinated yet, etc. Then, I heard another voice, "That is below the line thinking!"
I realized, I would use an excuse to give up trying. I validated my own desire to not face the challenge and go out of my comfort zone through using an excuse. There's one thing about dance, no one else can do it for you. You are the only person who has control over your dance. Your parents may be able to cook or clean for you, pay for school or your next car. They can not dance for you. You have to do it, so YOU must decide if you're going to dance or not.
While in the midst of excusing myself, I said something, I remember saying only one other time in my life when I was lying in the ICU in UPMC hospital in 2001. I said, "I'm not quitting." I said it in the months of physical, occupational and speech therapy that ensued. Despite the frustration and challenge, I had to own the situation and face it. No excuse would make it better. The same applies for my dance and many other myriad of things that happen throughout the day. I hear excuses like, " He doesn't like me. I didn't have time. I have a hard time saying no." There are so many excuses that never rose to the surface before.
I decided it was tim eto start facing my excuses. Now they are becoming audible, and with each one I notice, I try to face it. solve the problem. Decide not to quit and face it. I'm not perfect yet. When I'm feeling weak and tired, that feels like a very viable excuse, but I' try to press on.
I'm not talking about valid excuses, like you broke your leg, os you can't run. I mean these little excuses you use to validate yourself and your desire to quit. These are all the things you say to limit yourself and stay mediocre, and there's no excuse for that!
Stop making excuses because you can!