Your Excuses Are Worth Nothing

Quite often I find myself writing about what I experience as a Life Coach. Sometimes, clients that I talk to are going through something that I think needs addressing on a larger scale. It’s not a knock on them, if anything they should be rewarded for bringing up something so important for the world. Today I want to talk about my own personal experiences. If you don’t want to hear about my stories, that’s okay. Skip to the very bottom.
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REGULARLY I come across a friend or somebody I coach with that has some excuse for why something can’t be done. If you read anything else today, remember this: YOUR EXCUSES ARE WORTH NOTHING. Worth nothing to you, to me, to the world. If anything, people will remember you for what you wanted to do, but didn’t do it.
I wasn’t sure where to begin with this blog, but I guess I can start with WHY your excuses are worth nothing. Plain and simple, they do absolutely nothing for you. An excuse actually hinders your ability to grow in the long run. You start creating a mindset that excuses are acceptable. A mindset that accomplishes nothing. You will continue to be stuck right where you are because your excuses held you back.
I want to give you a personal example. Now I don’t want to toot my own horn here, but I think I was in a position before where I made excuses. Maybe my stories can help you.
First, my career as a Life Coach. Although I am fairly young in terms of Life Coaches, I’ve been successful doing it. My job is to help others really any possible way I can. Most of the time it’s through reaching goals, but it extends to just about anything. My excuses for not doing this sooner was that I didn’t have a degree in it. Another excuse was that I was too young. And my third major excuse was that I didn’t know enough.
Well, first of all, there are no degrees in Life Coaching. If anything I would have gotten a psychology degree. Second, my age has actually helped me succeed in this industry rather than hurt me. And third, I found out that I did know more than enough to get going.
When I wrote my book “A Student- Athlete’s Guide to Excellence”, I got all sorts of feedback. Most of it was positive. Some of it telling me how my book was too simple. And another portion was from Life Coaches, counselors, mentors, and other success professionals telling me I wasn’t qualified to do this… to help. I started doubting myself. I pulled back on helping others. I thought that maybe I should leave this work to people with degrees and accreditation. After a few days I looked into what I could do to get a degree just like everybody who criticized me. Not that there is anything wrong with a degree in psychology, but it wasn’t for me and on top of that, I would have had to wait YEARS to start helping again. So, I looked into what else I could do. A simple Google search led me to becoming a Certified Life Coach. I had to put in ALOT of hours studying, taking notes, and researching. But it all paid off. I was able to gain some type of accreditation and learn exactly what I needed to help more people on top of what I already knew.
This is one story. There are thousands upon thousands of other stories out there that explain why a degree might be great, but it’s not exactly necessary. My excuse for not helping more people was because I didn’t have a degree, and I wound up proving to myself that my excuse was worth nothing.
One more example I want to share is the fact that I am an astronomer. I have a marketing degree which has absolutely nothing to do with astronomy. But this proved to be irrelevant. My passion for the stars has led me to hours of learning. Hours of my own research. I used the excuse before that because I didn’t have an astronomy degree, I couldn’t be an astronomer. Wrong. I’m still able to contribute to space agencies just from sheer love for what astronomy is. Astronomy isn’t my first priority by any means, but I’m still able to accomplish a great deal. I found this out by asking questions as to what it would take to do what I love (astronomy) while also helping contribute. NASA gave me more than enough to work with after asking.
Moving on to my point about being too young. One of the people I used to speak with regularly about their goals helped me get rid of this excuse. I was a 24 year old recently out of college mentoring other college students. And his point was this: You’ve been through it, you did great, and you’re willing to help. And he was right. That’s all I needed. I needed experience and an expertise. I was actually better able to relate to these students because of how young I was. And now I’m finding out these students who are not much younger than I am would rather listen to me than somebody much older with a degree and years of life on me. My excuse of being too young did me and everybody else no good at all.
My last major excuse was that I didn’t know enough. And it was because people told me I didn’t know enough. This changed when I actually spoke to one of my critics. I reached out to this person to learn what I could do better. And they brought up everything I just mentioned. I had to be older and I needed a degree. I listened politely, but knew those two reasons weren’t enough to hold me back. So I asked what does this person do to set them self apart from everybody else. At first this person didn’t have an answer, but they managed to come up with how they are always there for their client. Let me rephrase that. They are always there for their client when the client has $250 to pay them for the hour. When I heard that price, I asked them what exactly do they do for the client. And they said they give them a template (used for every client) with the same cliche sayings, quotes, and inspirational messages. When I heard that was all this person had to offer, I walked out of their office ready to work.
What I provide to people speaking with me is personalized and helpful. No client is the same, just as what I give them is never the same. This person had a degree, but I had more to offer. I had more to offer through a passion of hours upon hours of learning about how to help others. This person had a degree that led them to complacency. My excuse again, was worth nothing to nobody.
One last story. Although I haven’t been scuba diving in a little while, I used to every morning. And every morning I cleaned up the ocean just a little bit at a time. I loved it because I was killing two birds with one stone. I loved scuba diving and I loved being able to help. I used to think I couldn’t do this because I didn’t have a Marine biology degree. Wrong again. I am able to contribute. I’m not a professional in this industry, but that excuse is worth nothing.
All too often I hear a friend tell me why they can’t do something. And although I don’t tell each friend this, their excuse is worth nothing. I always hear about why something IS NOT possible rather than the reasons it is possible. Quite often these are the same people not willing to put in the work it takes. But nonetheless, their excuses are worth nothing. And if this motivates you even a little bit, it was worth writing. Every time you make an excuse about something, somebody else has the jump on you. They are making your dreams their reality and you’re left wishing you were them.
Don’t be the person wishing. Your excuses are worth nothing.
Til next time,
John

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