Being Stronger Than Your Excuses

Little child girl plays superhero. Child on the background of sunset sky. Girl power concept
You are so much stronger than your excuses.

Imagine this:

You are locked into the fight for your life, and you’re giving it all of your effort.

You’re punching, kicking, scratching, hair-pulling, and doing everything within your power to win this fight. And after years and years of battling with every shred of energy you have, you finally reach the day when you win.

But here’s the bad news that no one is willing to tell you:

You didn’t really win.

That’s because you were fighting for your excuses instead of fighting for your best life.

Worst of all, as a result of winning this fight, you’ve now lost any shot that you’ve ever had at living the life that you are hoping for.

Sad, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, in the not-so-distant past, I was that guy fighting the wrong fight, and I can safely say that it is a miserable way to go through life–that’s why I’m writing this.

If you’re in that place now, it’s time to hang up the boxing gloves and start fighting the right fight.

You are so much stronger than your excuses.

The Deadly (and Useless) Fight

Without a doubt, this is the most useless, counter-productive, and deadly fight that many of us are engaged in on a daily basis is the fight to defend our excuses and our limitations.

If you’re reading this blog post, I’m going to assume that you have a dream or a goal of some kind that you would love to achieve before you die, right?

If so, here’s the critical choice that’s in front of you:

You can either fight for your dream or you can fight for your excuses as to why you can’t have it.

Since it’s impossible to fight for both, and since one fight is much easier than the other, which option do you think most people end up choosing way too often?

Yep, you guessed it–their excuses.

And man, people will fight with every fiber of their beings to defend their excuses, won’t they? I know, because no one fought harder for their excuses than I used to fight for mine.

Since I’ve been down that dark road (and thankfully, I’m now permanently off of it), I will do everything in my power to urge you not to slowly destroy your life by fighting for these (or any other) all-too-common excuses:

  • I don’t have enough time.
  • I don’t have enough money/influence/connections to get started.
  • No one is going to take me seriously because I’m: too young, too old, too short, too overweight, black, a woman, gay, from the wrong side of town, uneducated, not good enough, etc.
  • It’s too hard.
  • What’s the point? I’m not going to succeed anyway.
  • It’s too late to go after my dream (you already know how I feel about this lame excuse.)

All the above are complete lies. All of them.

Even worse, if you choose to spend your life fighting to prove that your excuses are actually true, then this will be your reward for “winning” that fight:

You’ll get to keep your excuses as a badge of dishonor, forever.

And as an added slap in the face, the price for keeping that badge is that you’ll have to trade in any hope of living your best life.

That’s nowhere close to being a fair trade.

Killing Your Excuses, Forever

You will get what you want, when you stop making excuses about why you don’t have it.” -Unknown

Why do we believe in our excuses more than we believe in ourselves?

Why do we believe that our limitations, fears, and excuses tell us the true story about ourselves more than our unique strengths and abilities?

I wish I had the answer to those questions, but here’s what I do know:

Once you beat an excuse, its power over your life will disappear completely.

Even better, after you beat the excuse, your self-confidence and belief in yourself will grow faster than you can imagine.

The best news of all is that your excuses can be beaten. And the fastest way to do it is to make the shift from having goals that you should do vs. goals that you must do.

For example, there a huge difference between:

  • “I should change my eating habits.” vs. “I must change my eating habits to ensure that I’m alive to see my kids graduate high school.”
  • “I should write a book.” vs. “I must write this book because I have a story/message that needs to be shared with the world.”
  • “I should leave this toxic relationship.” vs. “I must leave this soul-destroying relationship before I lose my health, happiness, and sanity.”

Shoulds invite excuses. Musts destroy them. There is no excuse in the world that can withstand the power of a “must.”

The only question is: What must you do?

Once you figure that out, there is no excuse in the world that can stop you.

The Real Fight

You weren’t put on this earth to fight each day for your excuses until you die.

Your real fight is to overcome your fears, limitations, and excuses to live the life that you are meant to live.

I’d be willing to guess that if there is a person in this world who you deeply admire, chances are that he/she makes a habit of consistently rejecting excuses.

Here are three perfect examples of this:

  • Oprah Winfrey was repeatedly sexually molested by various family members, and at the age of 14, she gave birth to a son (who died shortly afterward.) After that horrific start to her life, she had every excuse not to fight for her best life–but she did it anyway.
  • J.K. Rowling was a broke, depressed, divorced, single mother who needed to rely on government assistance in order to survive. She had every excuse imaginable not to write her now-famous Harry Potter series during those extremely challenging circumstances–but she did it anyway.
  • Jon Morrow is without question (in my opinion, anyway) the most talented blogger alive. If you don’t believe me, or don’t know who he is, read this blog post and see for yourself. His accomplishments are even more amazing, considering that he rose to the top of the blogging game while being wheelchair-bound and only able to move his face. Clearly, he also had every excuse as to why being a writer was not the path for him–but he did it anyway.

They were all stronger than their excuses, and there’s no doubt that you are too.

But only if you’re willing to kill off your excuses.

Like I said earlier–whether you realize it or not, you are currently fighting for your life.

The only question is: Are you fighting for your limitations, or are you fighting for the life you deserve?

As always, the choice is yours.

Your Turn

Have you (or are you) fighting for your excuses? Have you successfully overcome an excuse before? If so, jump into the comments below and make your voice heard!

15 thoughts on “Being Stronger Than Your Excuses”

  1. Hi Shola,
    Your post truly hit home with me. You just gave me the push I needed to make my dream a reality. Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom. 🙂

    • That is so awesome to hear, Yenny! Don’t forget to also thank the fabulous woman in the mirror who just made the life-altering decision to go after her dreams 😉

  2. This is so good, Shola!! The shift from excuses to “musts” is so important–just like ever-present excuses, you also ALWAYS have a choice and there is ALWAYS a way out of your current situation (even if you can’t quite see that new path yet).

    Once I decided to quit my excuses and commit to my biggest “must”, the other goals and dreams I have are now that much easier to tackle. Giving up excuses and changing your situation is all up to you, and you only.

    • Laura, since I personally know of a few times where you rejected your excuses and turned them into “musts”, you are living proof of how life can improve in an instant once you make that mental shift. Thank you for living your truth like the boss you are!

  3. Hi Shola, the fight to defend the excuses will make anyone miss the boat. What happened to me; I internalized my excuses to the extent that I did not know they weren’t real. It’s probably a normal reaction to being raised by people who made excuses for why they couldn’t perform hardly any of the functions of responsible adults, and made excuses in advance for why their daughter would grow up ugly/stupid/criminally insane. Add to that other adults, (relatives, neighbors, even teachers) making excuses for why a child has no future, and it is really impossible to develop a grasp on reality. It took a long time & a lot of work for me to learn to see reality, and to know the difference between that & excuses. For anyone who really thinks they are NOT making excuses, and truly believes the story they tell themselves about their limitations, please: STOP, and analyze your assumptions, and come up with new ones. You may need a therapist’s input. A really helpful book is The Four Agreements, using Toltec philosophy, describing how, as children, we unwittingly internalize false beliefs and misperceptions about ourselves and the world. Thank you Shola, for talking about this, as usual, a vital step in practicing positivity. We must be positive about ourselves first!

    • Oh man Donna, I’m so glad that you mentioned The Four Agreements–it’s one of my all-time favorite books and is super-helpful in dealing with this issue. You also added such an important point about internalizing our excuses to the point where we become unaware that they are not real. Whether we can realize the truth on our own or with the help of a licensed professional, the key is to do whatever is necessary to find that truth sooner rather than later. Thanks as always for sharing your wisdom, Donna!

  4. Thank you Shola for addressing “shoulds”.
    I’ve always found your writing heartfelt and genuine….. That’s something I thought I “should say” for a couple of years now.
    There weren’t many posts on the blog when I found it on yet another stressful sleepless night in hospital. My baby had been there for about 2 weeks and after surgery bigger problems were discovered. My little boy was home with out me and my husband was trying to keep the business going while caring for our son who had a combined immunodeficiency syndrome and could not attend childcare. It was tough. The stuff some nightmares are made of. Thank you for providing the blog as a resource for positivity.
    Phew. Feels good to say those things we must. 😉

    • Thanks for sharing that, Svk–I really appreciate it. I am humbled to hear that my writing has been a little helpful when you were dealing with all of those life-altering challenges. Thank you so much for your realness, and please know that I am consistently sending positive vibes to you and to your family. Keep doing what you must!

  5. This totally hit home for me Shola! I am sometimes a victim of my own excuses, but no more! I MUST (Such a magical word) do the things I need to do to achieve my goals. I must finish my 3rd book, I don’t know if someone will read it but this is something I wanted to do from such a long time. I loved this post so much, will add to my favorites! 🙂 happy week to you Shola!

    • That’s right, Sofia–you can do it! The idea for your 3rd book didn’t come to you so it could sit on your computer as an unfinished Word Document. You must complete it, not because you need other people to read it (although, I’m confident that they will), but because you owe it to yourself to share your gift with the world. You got this, my friend!

  6. Hi Shola, I just seen the windows commercial. I was previously employed by the university and Always enjoyed your BRITE training presentations. Funny how things work. I was having a very negative day, seen you on a TV commercial and found the positivity solution. I must do better! Thanks Shola. Be blessed.

  7. Wow!!! Thank you for sharing your insight. I have always gravitated to having a victims mentality. A few years ago I decided I would not be a victim anymore. Your post is powerful arsenal that will help destroy my excuses.


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Hi! I am Shola

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Over a decade ago, I was drowning in the despondency of yet another workday. My success as the top regional performer had been numbed by a culture of incessant workplace bullying. And, I’d recently made the situation worse by filing a formal complaint. In short, I was collateral damage in a company without the process or intention to address my experience.

Exhausted from the drama, with an unrecognizable version of myself at the wheel, I intentionally swerved off the interstate in an attempt to take my own life. But in that half-second, my reflexes responded, and I yanked the wheel away from disaster. As I clipped the guardrail on I 405, something changed...

I uncovered a power within myself

...a burning desire to reverse a trend that happens daily to sixty-five million people in this country alone. This catalyst has since become Go Together™ Movement - a transformational roadmap of mindset, behaviors, and tools that transform workplace cultures and drive results.

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