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“Everything that happens to you is your fault” – Gary Vaynerchuk

When I heard Gary drop that line at a conference I was at, it really got me thinking. At first, I was skeptical. It’s not possible that absolutely EVERYTHING that happens to me is my fault is it? But then the deeper meaning hit me. By thinking about things that happen in your life this way, you become empowered. You are no longer the victim to an excuse. You take ownership of your life.

This mindset was further reinforced to me as I listened to the audiobook edition of “The 10X Rule” by Grant Cardone. Here’s how Grant takes the same approach. Someone comes in to work late “because traffic was so bad.” In Grant’s view, the person wasn’t late because of traffic. They were late because they didn’t give themselves enough time to account for the possibility of traffic.

As a fitness coach, I hear excuses all the time. Often, people tell me they don’t have time to work out. And it’s not like I’m suggesting 90 minutes a day of exercise! It’s usually only 30 minutes a day (but could even be less!). Meanwhile, the average person watches 16 hours of TV each week. That’s more than 2 hours per day!

So how do you change your mindset so that these kind of excuses aren’t controlling your life? It’s simple: change your self-language.

Instead of saying “I don’t have time for that” say “I’m choosing to not spend my time doing that.” When you do this, one of two things will happen:

  1. You might be completely fine with that decision. If watching Netflix is truly more important to you than your health, then accept it and don’t beat yourself up about not having a 6-pack.
  2. You might realize how ridiculous your choice is and suddenly, you’ve got lots of time for the important things.

More often than not, it’s result #2 that occurs. “Wait; am I really choosing to watch TV instead of making sure I’m fit and healthy enough to play with my kids? That’s crazy! Time to cancel cable!”

This mindset works with other excuses as well, not just time. It works great with the “I can’t afford that” excuse: “I’m choosing to spend my money on X instead of Y.”

So next time you find yourself making an excuse for not doing something you want to do, take the power back and reframe your self-talk. You might just destroy that excuse forever.

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