Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Changes
Change is difficult especially when you are comfortable. Sometimes it’s not even that you are comfortable you just prefer the devil you know over taking a risk that might make you more uncomfortable.
Thinking back I remember what it was like for me when I evaluated potential changes that might improve my health. I can’t even remember how many times someone suggested a change to me that I ignored or made excuses to avoid… changes that I now wish I’d made sooner.
It was easier not to make changes. It was easier to stay put rather than to take a risk. I might feel worse. It might be difficult. I might not like it. The truth is that I just wasn’t ready to make the changes because I didn’t feel bad enough yet. However, when you finally reach the point where you don’t believe you can feel worse, there’s no longer a risk attached to change.
So, why do we make these excuses? Why do we try to rationalize avoiding change that is likely for the best? Because it’s much easier to stay in the comfort zone than risk what changes might bring. I threw out so many excuses when people gave me rational arguments for change. The truth is that they were just that – excuses. None of them were real. Here are a few that I seemed to rely on most often.
- “I Can’t do it” – The truth is that I could and I did. These days I realize that when I say “I can’t do it” when it comes to change, what I really mean is that I don’t want to do it. I try to be much more honest with myself and others now.
When I find myself saying “I can’t do it”, I stop and ask myself “Am I really unable to do that or do I just not want to?”. there are certainly things that my illnesses prevent me from doing or that aren’t in my best interest, and I need to acknowledge those, but I also need to be honest with myself and question whether I’m avoiding something simply because I just don’t want to do it.
- “It’s good for them, but it won’t work for me” – It’s so easy to believe that others are the exception to the rule. This is one that I relied on a lot when I considered various lifestyle and diet changes that could (and eventually did) help me improve my health. I see this excuse quite a bit as well.
When those of us who are unwilling to try drastic changes see others improve as a result of those same changes we have to either a) try those same changes or b) rationalize why it worked for them but wouldn’t for us. The truth is that we don’t know if it will work for us until we give it a try, but it’s a whole lot easier to just rationalize why it wouldn’t work even if we did.
- “I’ve had to give up so much already, I can’t live without…..” – I felt this way and I’ve seen this excuse so many times I’ve lost count. It’s true when you live with chronic illness you have to give up a LOT. Often we are forced to give up certain foods in order to take certain meds, we give up time with friends, going out, and other activities because we don’t have the energy.
But, what if giving up one thing meant that we were able to regain some of those others? That’s how it was for me. I gave up gluten (and that is no small thing) but in exchange I gained so much energy and reduced my pain so much that I was able to get my life back. Occasionally, you’ll still hear me say I’ll never give up chocolate… so I totally know what you mean.
These are just three of the excuses that I commonly hear given for avoiding changes that could help improve someone’s health or situation in some way. Don’t let excuses rule your life. Take charge, take action, make new positive choices, and get your life back.
Instead of saying I can’t do it, ask yourself if you really can’t or if you are just unwilling. Instead of assuming it won’t work for you, give it a try. Instead of focusing on what you’ve already given up, focus on what you could get back. Stop making excuses and start making changes.