Here’s sneak peak number 2 – the first chapter of Unexcused: 9 reasons your excuses can’t hold you back anymore.
Available this weekend, a quick fun and downloadable read to give you that little reminder that your purpose and your dreams are so much bigger than your circumstances. Believe me, I’ve had every valid excuse you can think of.. from being married at 19, moving all over the country with young kids very close in age, being scary broke, being very-very sick…. But your purpose is so much more than anything that can try to hold you back. This is what I’ve learned on my journey, how I pushed through and how I hold my athletes accountable and without excuses. Can’t wait to share it with you!
You are Unexcused
There was one important word since childhood that stood between failing and passing, between detention and freedom, between grounded or fun. And perhaps now, between fired and employed. Excused.
Your son/daughter was recorded as absent on this day. This absence has been recorded as EXCUSED.
Phew! Maybe it was soccer practice at stake, and that unexcused absence could mean riding the bench at the next game and a long lecture after practice. Maybe it’s a work meeting and another write up if we aren’t excused from attending. An important client meeting that needed an incredibly convincing catastrophe to excuse you without destroying the deal.
How did we get that important “excused” label? Because clearly it makes a difference. We learned early on the weight of that little word and how to manipulate to get it, whether we deserved it or not.
What was the magic that made it either an act of delinquency or an approved skip day? What makes us stay up late trying to think of some sort of reason to cover our tracks? The only difference between excused and unexcused hinges on a simple judgement of “why,” and whether or not it was deemed worthy enough by the powers that be.
Yup, that’s it. Someone in authority decides if the reason is worthy. If it is then it gets the stamp of approval, an excused rating getting us out of whatever we want or need to miss or avoid. It’s a value thing. One person may label that excuse as satisfactory while another might scoff at the very idea! (do we scoff anymore? We should, it’s a fantastic word.)
We had to have a good reason, one that the school deemed to be sufficient for missing class. One that the coach knew they couldn’t mess with and still have a job. One that the boss felt was in line with the company values and procedures or at least wouldn’t make him a shmuck. We all have that one relative that has been deathly ill several times to get us out of something, without them even knowing it. As a manager at a video store in my 20’s I had an employee whose grandmother died 3 times and had 3 separate funerals. How many grandmothers do you have exactly??
That’s all it took to miss a day of school. Many fake thermometer readings and dramatic coughing fits can be attributed to the quest for that little word. I was a rule follower, so for me to miss school or a meeting I genuinely had to be pretty ill. But I can still remember a few white-lies I resorted to when I absolutely needed a break.
Unfortunately, that pattern continues in our lives as we move into adulthood. We look for our sufficient reason to be excused from life, our dreams, our opportunities. As the authority figure over ourselves, we are the judge and jury determining what’s considered a valid excuse. That’s not necessarily a good thing, as we don’t always have the best judgement about our own abilities, because our perceptions are biased. Our belief system is warped and twisted around how our self-esteem has developed, the words used towards us and about us as kids, our experiences and the reactions we learned, and the very story we have told ourselves.
We do a bang-up job of building those reasons, and the universe helps us out as well. It’s not like any of us have easy lives. Contrary to what I used to think, everyone, no matter how put together they look on the outside, is going through a battle of some sort or dealing with some demons from the past.
There are excuses everywhere and they are very real obstacles. The fact that our world is so accomplished in the face of very real pains, struggles, and hardships is quite incredible. These struggles are so real, that we often bury ourselves in them. So real, that we very often bury ourselves with them. Sad, but true.
I’m too busy. I’ve been sick. I’m dealing with family issues. I’m tired. I don’t have money for that. I don’t have the connections that it would take. I don’t know how. My boss doesn’t like me. My friends aren’t supportive. I’ve had a hard life. It’s been one thing after another. I lost everything. I’m not attractive, thin, blonde/brunette, muscular, tall enough. I’ve failed everything I’ve tried. People don’t follow me. I broke my phone again (my personal go-to).
We’ve decided what validates an excuse and then we let that excuse become the very wall that separates us from our dreams. Then, as we see the highlight reel of our peers, our idols, or really anyone at all who is accomplishing things, we don’t see their wall. We see their reward and we think, “I wish that could be me.”
Your excuses will always be there. We forget that, and we draw our chalk outline around our hopes and dreams marking them dead to us. Unachievable. But we can have our dreams in spite of our excuses. In fact, the most incredible piece of information you must absorb before you are done reading is that the very excuses you have are your super power in waiting. Stay with me on this for a minute. The more you have to overcome, the more prepared you are to achieve greatness. The more you have gone through the fire, the greater your impact can be scaled. You’re broke? Alone? Failing everywhere? You have just painted the beginning of the greatest comeback in history.
We’ve seen the stories of incredible feats by athletes who’ve lost limbs and come back to win championships. People who have beaten cancer who had a terminal diagnosis. Entrepreneurs who have been homeless and then become unbelievably successful. Do you believe that they have a super power that you weren’t born with? Is your life harder than theirs was at their worst? It may be, I’m not judging, but ask yourself if maybe there’s a chance something else, outside of those self-justified reasons is what’s holding you back. Their superpower was their struggle, and their ability to use that struggle as the fire that propelled them out of the pit they were in. People who aren’t struggling somewhere in life and uncomfortable lack that extra catalyst that drives people to incredible actions and reward. If you’re finding your excuses to be overwhelming, then hold on tight, because you have greatness ahead.
Today you’ve picked up this book. Perhaps you know or are hoping, that somewhere deep inside, you actually do have the power and the smarts to get that dream. Maybe you’re a cynic who picked up the book to prove that you in fact DON’T have what it takes, that in fact, your excuses are greater than your dreams. That your life is harder than anyone else who’s found their dreams and made them a reality. Either way, you’ve just officially been unexcused from the absence you have taken from your dream life.
Keep reading, because you’re about to dig deep inside your mind, sort through your commitments, your fears, navigate your walls and obstacles, and find out exactly why your excuses can’t hold you back anymore.
“An excuse is worse than a lie, for an excuse is a lie, guarded.” -Alexander Pope
“He that is good for making excuses, is seldom good at anything else.” -Benjamin Franklin
……to be continued! 🙂