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March 15, 2023

Don’t Be Seduced By Excuses

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One of the fatal flaws of humanity is that we are hard-wired to do what feels good in the moment. We fight this daily battle between the pleasure of the present moment (instant gratification) and the payoff of delayed gratification. Unfortunately, the way this usually works is that the things that are less pleasurable in the immediate are better for us in the long-term.

One of the many ways that the mind tries to seduce us into short-term pleasure is by making excuses and exceptions. This is an irrational story our brain tells us to influence our decision making to do the comfortable thing. To stay warm and cozy instead of getting up and going to the gym because “you need the extra rest today”. To put off that difficult conversation for another day because “you already have too much going on.”

These logical arguments all serve to do one thing - Keep you from taking uncomfortable action.

The other fatal flaw that impacts our good intentions on a daily basis is how we’re also hard-wired to conserve energy and take the path of least resistance. Making excuses is a the permission to do exactly that.

The problem with this is you later regret the decisions you made, making you feel like you lack discipline in key areas of your life. This evolves into feeling less self-confident and a sense of less self-belief, ultimately making it even harder to take corrective action. It becomes a slippery slope where it’s easier to compromise on your standards the next time and demands more of you to do the same amount of work.

The antidote to making excuses, and the way to interrupt this spiral, is to be clear on your intentions and feel accountable to enforcing them. It’s less appealing to sleep in and not go to the gym on a Wednesday morning when you’ve made a commitment to work out on Wednesday mornings, especially if that’s a decision you know you’ll need to answer to.

If you want to become more self-disciplined, and have a way to be greater than that voice in your head making all those excuses so that you take positive action anyway, you'll want to check this out!

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