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Negative Self-Talk Eliminator


Don’t Snooze or You Lose

No More Excuses!
Controlling Your Destiny by Overcoming Excuses That Block Your Success (Part 1 of 9)

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You Don’t Have to Be Perfect

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Why would you, why would I or why would anyone else make up an excuse for why they are where they are right now financially? Or how come their tennis, golf or basketball game sucks and they make excuses about it? Or why they never got the degree they said they always would and they still make up reasons why they haven’t done it?

Or why would they make up excuses for not being in better shape or having better nutrition? Why would anybody make up an excuse or make up a justification for why something did or did not happen? It’s very simple actually.

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Excuses come about as a result of a lack of belief in the person’s ability to pull something off, which leads to the second reason, embarrassment. The third reason is fear. Fear of failing, fear of succeeding, fear of looking bad, fear of rejection from people that are important to us.

Hand in hand with making excuses is blame. “It’s not my fault, it’s theirs. I’d never have done that except they made me do it.” It’s that old ‘the devil made me do it’ thing.

It’s Tough Being A Kid

As children we get in trouble. We make mistakes. We blow it. We drop things, we break things, we show up late, we don’t do things on time, we forget to do homework, we don’t feed our pets when we’re supposed to, we sneak around, we eat stuff we’re not supposed to when we’re not supposed to.

We do a lot. And it’s very normal as a kid because we don’t want to be in trouble, to try and find some other sucker to blame it on. We finger point, “It’s their fault. It wasn’t really me. It’s because of them.”

Well meaning figures of authority in our lives; parents, teachers, preachers, aunts and uncles, older siblings, TV personalities, all of these get in the way at times and here’s why. These well-meaning figures of authority correct us while trying to help us out. But it’s often done in a stern or an unfriendly manner. The child feels hurts, they feel rejected, at times they are made to feel stupid.

Sometimes they’re made to feel afraid because of the mistake they made and that they’re in trouble. Did you ever get yelled at for breaking something? Or for doing something you weren’t supposed to? Or did you get in trouble because you didn’t perform up to what other people thought you ought to? Haven’t we all.

Thanks Uncle Charles

When I was eight years old it became my job to trim the hedges at my home. We had over 200 feet of hedges in the surrounding area in parts of our yard. Some of the hedges were only a couple feet high. Other hedges were as much as 10 to 12 high.

You learn how to trim hedges fairly quickly when you have that much to do with only brief instructions, “Cut it this way, make this flat, make this part round, make it this high.” You figure it out, even at eight years old.

So one day I was out trimming our hedge because the doggone things tended to grow really fast. I was out there trimming away doing just fine. I was not really paying attention and whacked the cord in half. I killed the electric trimmer.

When I did that I was so stunned. I remember I was close to tears because I thought I’d ruined the trimmer. I can still vividly see the day in my mind and exactly where I was standing.

After standing around outside for 10 or 15 minutes thinking about how much trouble I was going to be in because I killed the trimmer I went in the house and there with my mother sat my Uncle Charles who was visiting.

Uncle Charles saw me and how miserable I was. And I could see him smiling I trying not to laugh. He said, “Look, it’s no big deal. It’s easy to fix actually, I will show you how. This happens. I’ve cut cords before. You’re probably going to cut more than just this one so let me show you what to do.”

He asked, “Do you have electrical tape? It’s that black tape.” I said, “Well yes, I have some.” He told me to go get it and I did. Uncle Charles and I then went out to the backyard and sat on the patio steps.

He pulled out his pocket knife and he said, “Okay, here’s what you do.” He finished cutting the cord in half, he then stripped back some of the outer rubber covering on the cord and cleaned away the insulation, bared the wires back about three quarters of an inch, twisted them together, taped each wire independently with the electrical tape and it was all fixed. I couldn’t believe it!

I wasn’t in trouble anymore! He could see this on my face so he said, “Okay, pick up your electrical trimmers. Now turn them on, do they work again?” I turned them on and he said, “Great.” And he just flipped the cord right across the trimmers and whacked it in half again. I was stunned.

It’s My Turn Now

He laughed. He thought the look on my face was hilarious. Uncle Charles said, “You need to learn how to do this yourself. You saw me do it but it’s not the same thing sitting and watching somebody else as it is doing it yourself. So don’t cut yourself, my pocket knife’s sharp. Just follow through and do what I did.”

And he walked me through it; cutting the cord, peeling back the covering, taping it together. I still remember that scene vividly and clearly, and I still can splice wire today. It all became okay. Uncle Charles made it okay. He talked about being more aware of what I was doing. Not just avoiding cutting the cord, but I needed to pay attention because those electric trimmers were really powerful and if I got my finger in there it could whack part of it off.

Then he laughed, and said, “Look, I make mistakes too,” I felt okay. He made it safe for me. What I learned at that moment was that I could take ownership of mistakes. It wasn’t the end of the world.

My mom watched this go on out the window, listening to Uncle Charles and I interact. And though at times she still yelled at me, she really remembered. I think she learned a lesson that day from Uncle Charles too. And she worked on not blasting me when I performed poorly, or when I made a mistake, or when I broke something.

And by her doing that, by modeling my Uncle Charles style, who was her older brother, I found out I didn’t have to make up as many excuses. I could be imperfect. What a load off that was to have this person that I loved and admired make it okay for me to make a mistake.

(to be continued…)

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