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Lose the Excuses!

Resilience, what is it? You may already know, but are interested in finding out more about it. Resilience can be defined as "the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties." It's mental toughness. You quickly recover emotionally and mentally from a crisis and return to your previous state of normalcy.

The physically resilient person recovers rapidly from some type of injury or illness. Life is going to throw a lot at you. That's probably not a newsflash. You've undoubtedly dealt with hardships and loss several times in your life. That is why I like to use the term lifejacked.

Let me explain lifejacked to you. So, I am sure you have heard the term carjacked, that is when someone steals your car. They take your vehicle either violently or nonviolently, but forcefully and you are left devastated with no transportation because someone has taken yours from you. And of course that pisses you off! Or makes you extremely upset. maybe to the point of snot nosed tears. Why does that piss you off or make you cry with devastation? Because that car was YOURS! You were driving along minding your business and someone intimidates you and forces you out of your car.

I see being lifejacked in the same way. You are going along minding your business and someone or something interrupts your life and manipulates it into something less desirable. It could be a minor inconvenience or a major catastrophe. But it is definitely not something you expected.

So how do you recover?

Well, your level of resilience dictates whether you recover and get back to your "normal" quickly or whether your recovery is lengthy. If you don't have the grit and determination to move past some bad situation, you can miss opportunities. You're mired in your negative feelings, so you hide away from the outside world. This limits your exposure to all the potentially wonderful experiences out there.

I remember when I lost a job once that I loved so greatly because it would provide more resources for me to provide for my sons and it was fun. It never felt like work. I was laid off after a year and I was crushed. I remember laying in my bed crying and worrying. People were calling and texting me and I would not answer. Now, I eventually snapped out of my funk, but I stayed in it way longer than I needed to. Looking back now, I realized I did not have to be in that funk at all. I wish now that I had known how to flex my resilience muscle because I wasted so much time feeling sorry for myself as if I had done something wrong to get laid off. When in fact, I did not.

We have to stop blaming ourselves for things that happen to us. Sometimes things happen to us and it isn't a result of anything we have done.

I know you play that game with yourself as I did. Maybe if I had gone into work even earlier, or stayed later, or accepted an extra project, or not said this, or gone to that party, I would still have my job. And you can go on and on with the possibilities and "what if" scenarios. Lose the excuses!

It's time to stop blaming ourselves for some of the things that happen to us. When we make excuses, it's largely because we prefer to stay in our little zone of comfort and familiarity. It may be hard to believe, but the survival instinct you inherited from your ancient ancestors would rather you bathe in misery than attempt to get over it. your mind recognizes that something terrible happened. Even so, you survived. You're still here. Your mind takes notice of that, and so does your ego. That part of your psyche never wants you to do anything different from what's keeping you alive. So even though you're in a bad place mentally, emotionally, and maybe even physically after a hardship or setback, you will have a very strong urge to do nothing to get out of that situation. Your ego wants to protect you. It figures that if you're alive right now, as battered as you may be, why do something that might endanger your current existence?

Crazy, huh?!

Now, I will say this, if you know you are responsible for some of your life mishaps then building resilience can also help you make better decisions in the future.

People who can put negative life events in their rearview mirror in a timely manner get more accomplished. They feel better about themselves as a person. Their self-esteem is high, and they aren't afraid to tackle new opportunities and try new things. As a result, their lives are more rewarding and fulfilling than people who stay stuck in negative situations rather than moving on.

So how do we lose the excuses?

I have an exercise I do now called Is it valid?

I create a t chart and on the left side, I write "Excuses". Then, I draw a line down the middle of the page and on the right side I write "Is it valid?", or you can also write "Is it true?". (see example below)

Here's an example: You are in a wonderful relationship. Boom, you get lifejacked because he/she breaks up with you.

So you start in on the excuses... The relationship didn't work out because I gained weight. The relationship didn't work out because I was not fun enough and blah, blah, blah. Excuse, excuse, excuse.

Another example: Life is grand and then Boom! Lifejacked debilitating injury or illness. The doctor says only about one out of every five people with my kind of injury ever recovers totally. Odds are, I'm one of those people that will never be the same again. I can't invest months of physical therapy or treatments just to find out I'll never recover.

Another example: You have a great job, that you've been at for several years. These people have supported you. You have supported them. Then Boom! Lifejacked, you lose your job as a result of a layoff. you start with the excuses.

Those are excuses, nothing more. They come from your ego whispering in your inner ear and telling you to stay right where you are. You're breathing in and out right now, and that's good enough for your ego.

But what if instead of making excuses and wallowing in them and creating toxic energy, that is not beneficial to you, you fight against these thoughts. You want to have the resilience and courage to move past the most debilitating setbacks.

Get out a piece of paper and create your t-chart. Left side, excuses, right side, is it valid?

Excuse: Relationship is over because I gained weight. Is it valid? even if you have gained weight, did the person say to you I am leaving you because you gained weight. If they did not say that, then you do not know it to be valid, so stop telling yourself this excuse.

Excuse: Lost job because I didn't work hard enough. Is it valid? Did you ever receive a warning about your work performance. If you did not, then you do not know this statement to be true therefore it is not valid.

You try it. What recent setback have you experienced? What excuses are you telling yourself for the reason it happened? Make your t-chart.

Now if you discover your excuses to be valid or true then you know what you need to adjust, change, or do differently. But if your excuses are not valid, then lose the excuses, stop blaming yourself and prepare yourself for the next relationship, job, or exciting event.

As soon as you suffer some big failure or loss, tell yourself that you will lose the excuses. When you hear limiting self-talk pop up in your mind, stop it. That's not who you are. You can beat this. You're going to make it. You can bounce back better than ever before, and you're willing to do anything to get where you need to be.

Knowing ahead of time that you're going to make excuses rather than take the needed steps for recovery is important. It prepares you in advance to win the battle of negative self-talk.

Your path to stronger resolve and on-demand perseverance begins with a deeper understanding of resilience and its impact on your life. And I can't wait to see you flex your new resilience muscles. I believe in you!

If you need more one on one assistance, contact me to see how we can work together to get you to lose those excuses. Book a free discovery call.


Dr. Ro.


The information, including but limited to, text, graphics, images, videos, courses, and other material contained is for informational and educational purposes only. The intent is to promote a broad understanding and knowledge of topics on resilience and mental toughness. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you have regarding a condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site or heard on the LifeJacked Podcast.

Information is based on a review of literature and is not intended to endorse any specific tests, practitioners, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned.

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