Reframing Excuses

As a therapist and coach, I talk every day with people who struggle to get off the couch, choose moderately healthy foods, and consistently practice poor coping mechanisms like using alcohol to settle anxiety in social situations or pick fights with friends because they feel isolated. For some of these individuals, getting into a gym is way too overwhelming and joining a group of people is too big of a step. This may be too big of a step for most people who seem to feel stuck. So what do you do? The motivation is low but the want for something better is high.

We spend a lot of time talking ourselves out of doing something.

“I’m too tired”

“I don’t have time”

“I don’t want to”

“What’s the point?”

“This isn’t going to help anything.”

First things first. Put your feet on the floor and stand up.

You don’t even have to go anywhere. Just stand up. You do not have to want to or be motivated to do something in order to do it. You do things you don’t want to do every day. Going to work, picking up a phone call, getting dressed for the day, or going to the grocery store. But you still find a way. You muddle through these mundane tasks and take care of yourself on some level. At some point you realize you have had enough.

“I’m too tired of living this way

“I don’t have time to not make this a priority

“I don’t want to make the same choices anymore

“What’s the point of not trying?”

“This isn’t going to help anything, but it won’t make it worse.”

Maybe today the goal is to do one thing that won’t make you feel worse. That might be going outside for 10 minutes, sitting in silence for 60 seconds, or reaching out to someone for support. Once you have accomplished these goals, then your confidence starts to build. You start to see small changes you can make in your daily life to improve it. You begin asking friends to join you on your walks or to meet up for lunch. Your confidence gets even higher and you and your friend enter into a group fitness class. You find a community that will check up on you and you find yourself beginning to check up on others. After a while you start to look back and realize how far you have come. You are now the person motivating others and maintaining a level of discipline within yourself.

You don’t have to be ready, you just have to show up.

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