Master Your Excuses With This Simple Reframe

Excuses or...?

I had an interesting call with a client last night who brought up a LOT of challenges he's up against:

- Going through a divorce
- Trying to sell a house
- Healing a dysregulated nervous system
- Starting a new mentoring role

As you can imagine with all of that he was having trouble sticking with his practice as he had intended.

"Excuses, excuses, excuses," he said.

Now, hold on a second...

We're so quick to lump our challenges in a bucket called "excuses," which is utterly dismissive to the very real difficulties of what we're up against. I think it's an artifact of the willpower-driven, "toughen up," perpetually striving culture we find ourselves in.

I was curious, so I offered him an experiment:

What's it like to reframe those challenges as "constraints" rather than "excuses?"

Lo and behold that single word can make a big difference. Right away he noticed that it got rid of his feeling of guilt and gave him a greater sense of creativity.

All of a sudden his mind shifted to:

"How might I work within these constraints to give myself more of the movement practice that I want?"

It's then a design challenge - no longer a judgement of good/bad or a compulsion to stick with a "to do" list.

Never forget that your perception changes your actions. Asking new questions leads to different outcomes. When in doubt, assume better questions.

- Chandler

Chandler StevensComment