Do you ever put a label on yourself to excuse some behavior? This may be such a part of you that you don’t even realize you’re doing it or the consequences that go along with it. Let’s explore.
Many of these excuses are chained to your past. You may say something like, “That’s just the way I am.” “I’ve always done it that way.” “I can’t help it.” Dr. Wayne Dyer talks about these in his book Your Erroneous Zones. These connectors from the past keep you from growing, changing and making your life new, exciting and fulfilling. He calls them “I’ms” and says what you’re really saying is “And I intend to continue to be the way I’ve always been.”
Many of these come from your past - labels from other people or events. Other labels are the result of a choice you made to keep from having to do something that’s uncomfortable or difficult. They have “benefits” that keep people comfortable and stuck.
“I’m lousy at some skill area, such as, cooking, acting, public speaking, sales, or marketing.” This “I’m” assures that you won’t have to do any of these things in the future and justifies any poor performance in the past. So with this excuse, you avoid the activity and have a good excuse for this.
“I’m shy, reserved, afraid, temperamental, etc.” Rather than challenge these excuses and the self destructive thinking that supports them, people just accept them as that’s the way they’ve always been, so…….. You can blame your parents or your genes and use these as excuses because that’s the way you are and always have been.
These “I’m” excuses keep people from having an amazing life, from being successful at what they want. You avoid doing things because you have this handy “I’m” excuse. It’s easier to describe yourself than to change. You give responsibility to the past for your present life. Then it’s not your fault and you can’t do anything about it. Excuses.
Now that you see this, you CAN do something about it. Leaving your past behind involves some risk taking. Here are some things you can do.
- Eliminate “I’m” wherever you can. Substitute with such sentences as, “Until today, I’ve chosen to be that way” or “I used to label myself….”
- Set behavioral goals to act differently. For example, if you consider yourself shy, introduce yourself to one new person at an event.
- Be an observer of yourself and keep a journal. Note when you think or speak these limiting “I’ms”. Pick one to work on each day. For example, if you’re impatient, stand in the longest line at the grocery store and use the opportunity to be patient and gracious to others.
Remember, you are the sum product of your choices. Choose to stop making excuses! Choose to be the amazing person you always wanted be!