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Excuses Are Like A-Holes, Everyone's Got One And They All Stink

Angela Duckworth has written much about growth mindset and being gritty, and says, ‘enthusiasm is common, endurance is rare’.

I like to watch reality TV, particularly real people doing hard things. Special Forces is my latest favourite. TV personalities attempt to pass some of the toughest tests that elite servicemen and servicewoman must pass to serve at the levels they do.

Besides the death-defying challenges, I’m most interested in the stories of the people who participate. Most come on the show enthusiastic and full of bravado. Often the tests bring them to the very core of who they are and what they are carrying, and that’s where the cracks start to show.

One participant’s story is intriguing. As someone who’s been bullied, they came on the show to prove they are stronger than people think. Hmmm, external motivation is rarely enough to get through the tough stuff.

By day two, this person had failed at every test citing a myriad of excuses (the backpack’s too heavy, everyone is stronger than me, they don’t like me, I’m not an athlete, it’s unfair), and ultimately ‘voluntarily withdrew’ from the course.

I felt sad for her. And while she was not wrong about her excuses, none of them prevented her from doing ‘her’ best, which is all that’s required. I worry what this ‘fail’ will do to her already-fragile ego.

And then I wondered: where do I do that? Where do I make excuses and justify why I can’t do my best? What’s that one place where I am already defeated, where I make excuses for myself?

Try this ONE thing

I am calling myself out for those cheap excuses I make for why I can’t drop the extra pounds I’m carrying and keep them off for good. I am better than my excuses and I’m resolving to live up to my best, not down to my excuses.

How about you? Where do you let yourself off the hook and make excuses? Are you ready, and willing, to stop doing that and instead step up to your best self?

Hey! Are you already successful and accomplished? Do you have many things to appreciate about your life right now? Are you always open to learning more and growing yourself?

Despite all your successes, do you sometimes doubt yourself? Do you hesitate to go after what you really want in life?

Or maybe you dismiss your past successes, putting them down to luck, and don’t really see how extraordinary you really are?

If this sounds like you, you and I should have a conversation. Drop me a line here,, and let’s talk!

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