Ditch the Excuses and Complaining in Your Life

In today’s episode of the Inspiration2Grow podcast we are exploring ways to stop the most important thing that is likely holding you back – the excuses and complaints your mind thinks up.

Hey, everyone, welcome back to the show.  How are you doing today?  We are well into what some people think of as the busiest time of the year.  For many it is stressful, but I prefer to look at December as a reflective month.  It’s the time when I look back on the past 11 months and reflect on all that I have accomplished and perhaps some goals I haven’t achieved YET.

So, let me give you a moment to reflect on 2022…  What have you done/accomplished/achieved over the course of the 11+ months with your life?

Has it been a beautifully transformative year for you?

Has it presented challenges you have overcome?

Have you made the most of this one precious life you are living?

If you feel like you have fallen short of the mark or short of your expectations for 2022, what happens then?  Do you make excuses, or do you start complaining about your situation? 

I have a hunch the answer is yes for most people.  You see, our brains LOVE to complain and come up with excuses as to why we can’t do things we want to.
Complaining is a huge problem for us.  And, the fact that our brains love to constantly complain doesn’t help the situation for us at all.  Have you ever observed or taken note of how often you complain about things that take place in your everyday life?  I bet you haven’t.
Today I am challenging you to take what I have to say to heart and consider flipping the script on your complaining.

Let me first explain how this complaining habit plays our in our heads.  Your brain is always looking for problems because it is a problem solver.  That means, your brain is constantly looking for something to complain about.  We follow our brain’s lead and look at all the things that are going wrong – this is neither useful in the giving circumstance nor a pleasant mindset to have.

So, the first thing we have to do is become really intentional about how you look at things which are going right in your life instead of dwelling or wasting time thinking about all the things that are going wrong.  Trust me, you will immediately feel so much better.  This could also propel you forward to take more action on the things that are going well.

If you tend to complain about everything, that’s when you feel terribly stuck.  That’s when you feel like there is no forward momentum, no moving the needle forward. 

-> You’re not taking the action you know you should or that you want to.
-> You’re not getting up early to get a head start on your day.
-> You’re not eating the right foods that fuel your body and give you the necessary energy.
-> You’re not exercising or finding time for physical activity.
-> You’re not building health relationships the way you intend to.
-> You’re not managing your finances like you know you should be.
-> You’re not showing up as your best possible self to the world around you.
-> YOU ARE STUCK because of your complaining.

Remember, your life is created by the decisions you make on a daily basis.  You truly CAN take control of your life if you simply accept this fact:    EVENT  +  RESPONSE  =  OUTCOME.  It’s as simple as that!

Complaining is normal and we all catch ourselves doing it.  I could find a myriad of things to complain about in my life, but I have made a conscious decision not to.  Instead, I focus on all the good things.  Let me give you some examples:

~ I used to complain about all the pain I was in and that my body just wouldn’t and couldn’t do all the things I wanted from it.  Now, ->  I am grateful that my body carries me through my swim and gym workouts. 

~ I used to complain about how much work I had.  Now, ->  I flip the script and say to myself, “Wow, it’s amazing that you are able to help so many people.  You are able to impact so many lives with your work.”

There’s nothing wrong with us if/when we complain.  It is all part of the human experience.  However, I challenge you to create a slightly better mindset and set of thoughts when you feel a complaint arising in your head.

If we want to improve our lives, we need to get stronger.  If we want to improve ourselves, then we have to start paying attention to our complaining habits – whether they are loud or quiet whispers in our heads.

Pay attention to the complaints.  Start becoming curious about them.  Notice when you voice a complaint and just stop it.  Be aware of this habit and shut it down before you say it next time.

You can train your brain to focus on things within your control each day.  Remain steadfast and focused and aware.  Take it hour-by-hour or day-by-day.  Slowly but surely retrain your brain to stop thinking of all the things that might happen or go wrong.

Switch your thinking to situations you have control over.  Focus on:  things you love doing, things that are going well for you right now, your goals, something you can take action on today, focus on the small wins you have experienced lately.

Food for thought here…

Why complain, when you have the ability to choose?  Living life effectively and on your terms involves personal responsibility.  YOU are responsible for YOU, your choices AND your responses to situations.

So, as of today, right now, immediately, stop the complaining!  Take charge of your thoughts and accept responsibility for your situation.  Only you can alter it. 
I really want you to understand that you may not be able to change the EVENTS in your life, however, you can change your response.  That it something you have control over.

And, remember, it’s not the event itself that controls you, it’s your response to the circumstance.  It’s your choice how you respond to the event.

It’s December and we are undoubtedly going to be around family over the holidays.  This could potentially present some situations where family or friends begin complaining about something.  There seems to be a lot of criticize, tear apart and complain about in the world around us currently.  But here’s the thing, YOU can choose to take part in this conversation OR you can remove yourself from the situation OR you can choose to put a positive spin on the conversation by offering a more pleasant, positive outlook.  Do not let yourself get involved and invested in negative talk.  It’s not useful or helpful for anybody to complain about situations, events, things out of their control.  Be the change that needs to happen and feel darn good about it!

Let’s move on to the sneaky excuses your brain offers you that potentially hold you back from taking action on your goals.

·         I’m too old to do this.
·         I’m too tired, maybe later. 
·         I’m not good enough.
·         I don’t know how.
·         And so on…

Our wonderful brains make up all kinds of excuses on repeat that we are in some ways immune to them.  They are often so subtle, yet they hold us back – this is why we feel so stuck.

The truth is… deep down inside most of us know that we CAN do the thing (whatever that looks like for you – fitness, work or relationship-related goals).  The truth is, we know IF we have 100% and put in 100% effort, in return, we would get 100% back.  And, deep down, most of us know the BIGGEST think keeping us from our goals are the absolute BS excuses our brain comes up with.

It’s time, high time in fact, to take charge and reclaim your power within.

No one is actually making you do anything that you don’t want to do.

You have to realize or become aware that’s a choice you are making OR a story you are choosing to believe.

Excuses such as: having no time, no motivation, no energy, no strategy of how to move forward, or my children keep me too busy, etc.

I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about because it happens to ALL of us.  But, we have to be bigger than our excuses.  Don’t allow them to rule you and your decision making.

I’ll give you a real example from my life and this just happened yesterday by the way…

I was ready to leave the house for my lane swimming session.  My husband and I usually go 5 – 6 times a week.  But yesterday I was going alone because my husband was busy.  So, I got ready as usual, put my backpack full of swim equipment into the car and started to back out of the driveway.  Suddenly, excuses started to fill my mind.  Thoughts such as:  stay home with your sick dog (Charlotte was sick, yes, but well enough for me to leave her for one hour), you’re feeling good so no need for swim training today, take a day off – is what my mind was saying.  After shaking off those two excuses, I kept driving.

At the next stop lights, my mind was telling me to turn around and head back home because of so many reasons and ultimately trying to talk me out of going to my swim session.  I continued.  YOU have to be bigger and better than your own excuses! We are faced with these mental challenges every day.

So, I arrived at the pool, got my favourite lane, started to swim and then my mind was telling me to quit after 30 minutes saying, “You’ve done enough for today.”  “Don’t overdo it.”  But, I kept pushing myself. Pushing those sneaky thoughts and excuses away.  Focusing on the activity itself.  Staying true to my goal.  Not letting myself be talked out of finishing my swim session. IF YOU don’t push yourself, no one else will.

In the end, it was the most amazing swim training I have ever had.  I set my personal best in the pool yesterday.  I had never been able to swim more than 1.5 km in an hour.  But yesterday I managed to swim 75 lengths for a total of 1,875 meters.  I was thrilled with my accomplishment. 

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone else expects of you.  Never allow excuses keep you from reaching this high standard.  Always be bigger than your excuses.”

What excuses are holding you back?  Flip the script and ask yourself, “What can I do to improve?”

Well, let’s just take a good, hard look at the situation…

* No one forces you to drink too much coffee, wine or consume too much sugar.  Start by cutting out that extra cup of java or wine this season.  Cut back on the sugar and perhaps replace it with something healthier.  Take small steps at first and love yourself for doing it.

* Your lack of exercise begins with YOU and nobody else.  Start by taking a simple walk around the neighbour each day and build on that beneficial habit.

* Skipping means and choosing snacks you know you shouldn’t be eating, is your decision.  Take responsibility for your actions and choices, today.  It really doesn’t take much effort to prepare ‘easy-to-take-along’ snacks which are nutritional.  Start by cutting up an apple and adding a few almonds as a snack or pack a hard-boiled egg with a few cherry tomatoes to munch on when your feel hungry.  Put in the effort instead of making excuses!

* Not drinking enough water is nobody else’s fault.  I hate to say it like this, but it’s true.  Start the day by filling a few glasses or water bottles and set them or take them with you for easy access.  Always try to take 10 big gulps from your glass instead of gently sipping.  I like to add cut up cucumber and a bit of lemon to my water for a refreshing taste.

* Poor time management often comes when people spend/waste too much time scrolling on your phone taking a look at everyone else’s life or consuming too much TV.

* Blaming others for the situation you find yourself in is NOT taking responsibility for your life.

The time has come to take a good hard look at yourself and stop blaming, complaining and making excuses about why you can’t get ahead, move forward, reach your goals, improve yourself, show up for yourself.  Be honest about what you need to take responsibility for!  Nobody can change that except YOU and you have to OWN it.

Then it’s time to get excited.  Once you choose to improve and accept the responsibility of your life as your own, you can make a conscious decision to change things and move forward toward the results you want.

Make it your rule or mission from now on:

No more blaming.
No more excuses.
No more complaining.

Your new mantra is:  “I take 100% responsibility for my life.  Where I find myself now is due to my choices, and mine alone.  But, where I will be in the future is also up to me and my choices as well.”

Ultimately, it’s up to you to fix you!

And, that’s a wrap for today, friends.

In case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…
You’re amazing; you’re beautiful and capable.  I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,
Xoxo Lisa




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