The Excuse Buster
By Tom VenutoMark Twain once wrote, “There are a thousand excuses for failure, but never a good reason.”
Do you know what an excuse really is?
An excuse is when people rationalize (“ration lies”) to themselves to uphold their current belief systems, to avoid taking risks, to avoid the fear of failure or making a fool of themselves, to justify failure to take action, to provide explanation for why something “cannot be done,” to let themselves off the hook to escape personal responsibility and accountability or to avoid the hard work and “growing pains” it takes to achieve personal change and success.
If you’re a chronic excuse maker, you will never reach a high level of success in your fitness endeavors or in life until you break this habit. Fortunately, there is hope, and help for “excusitis,” and it’s called “THE EXCUSE BUSTER.” It’s a simple method that I’ve used and you can use too to squash those rationalizations once and for all.
All you have to do is ask yourself the excuse buster question:
“Has there ever been anyone, anywhere at any time who has experienced the same limitations, obstacles or challenges that I’m currently facing, but has gone on to successfully achieve their goals anyway in spite of them?” By helping you find COUNTER-EXAMPLES or ROLE MODELS, the EXCUSE BUSTER question reveals the truth: What anyone else has done can be used as proof that you can do it yourself. It shows you that Whatever excuse you had for not achieving your goal does not hold water… you have been “rationing lies” to yourself!
What’s most astounding is that A SINGLE COUNTER-EXAMPLE or just ONE GOOD ROLE MODEL is often all it takes to instantly, completely and permanently shatter an excuse or self limiting belief that may have been holding you back for years.
Let me give you a great example.
Many years ago when I had just started college, my friend and workout partner, Steve, had decided to take the plunge into competitive bodybuilding. I had already been training for five years (I started when I was only 14), and I wanted to compete too. I talked about it all the time, but I was making all kinds of excuses for why I couldn’t do it. Such as:
I had a small business to focus on, I had a girlfriend and social life, I was in college taking five classes, I didn’t have enough muscle mass yet (had to train a few more years to get bigger), I had recently injured my back, etc, etc. (believe me, I had a LOT of excuses!)
WELL… Steve went on to compete and at the age of 19, he won his first competition: the Teenage Natural Mr. America title. I didn’t compete because I was too busy making excuses. You should have seen him - he looked AWESOME! I had never met anyone who had developed a body like that at such a young age. And he did it 100% naturally (absolutely NO steroids!)
As you can probably guess, that was the single spark that lit a motivational bonfire under my butt! But it wasn’t just the fact that Steve competed and won that motivated me. It was the fact that he had all of the same obstacles that I did, (and then some), yet he didn’t let that stop him. He overcame, competed and won, and that’s what “blasted” my own excuses out of the water.
Steve was in college too; except he had six courses, compared to my five. On top of his full academic schedule, he also had a part time job as a foreman/manager at a textile factory. He had also recently gotten married and although he didn’t have kids yet, but he did have three dogs to look after! Steve even had a bad knee from a high school football injury which required surgery and forced him to drop off the varsity team. Even that didn’t stop him. He trained around it.
So what was MY excuse now?
All the lame excuses I had “conjured up” as reasons why I couldn’t do it instantly evaporated because someone else had proved that it could be done under the same circumstances.
I said, “If he can do it, I can do it too.” The undeniable proof was right there in front of me. It’s no exaggeration to say my own competition training started the very next day. The following season, I was onstage and my competitive bodybuilding career had begun at the age of 20.
Since then, I have 28 competitions and numerous titles under my belt as a natural bodybuilder, but one thing I never did and will never be able to do is become a teenage bodybuilding champion like Steve simply because I was too busy making excuses to even try.
How did Steve do it? Very simply, he didn’t make excuses or look for reasons why it couldn’t be done, he asked himself HOW CAN IT BE DONE and then he did what it took. He was out of the gym, finished with his training, showered, dressed and on the way to work or class before most people were even out of bed!
What excuses are you using to justify why you haven’t achieved your fitness goals yet? Too busy? No time? Family commitments? Can’t afford the gym membership or food? Single mom? Long hours at work? Too old? Poor genetics? Too much traveling? Injury? Going to school? Don’t know how to exercise? Don’t know what to eat?
Think about your excuses, and then ask the excuse buster question: “Has anybody else with the same challenges or obstacles as you gone on to achieve their goals in spite of them?” If you are being honest with yourself, you will immediately recognize that there are people all around you who not only have the same difficulties, but who have difficulties far greater than you have ever experienced who are succeeding in spite of them.
If you can’t find an example or role model, I bet I can help you… I’ve seen people overcome odds that appeared almost insurmountable. One great place to look for role models who prove it CAN BE DONE is in the ebook, Fit Over 40, (www.fitover40.com), which is filled with people who proved that age, (among other challenges such as injury or illness), is not an acceptable excuse or a barrier to success.
If it’s confusion or the lack of “how to” information that you feel is holding you back, then the BURN THE FAT, FEED THE MUSCLE system is a guaranteed way to get past the “I don’t know how” excuse.
Rest assured, you can transcend nearly any obstacle and transform yourself. You can look for proof that it CAN be done or you can look for proof that it CAN’T be done. It’s all a matter of finding the right role models and asking the right questions.