Excuses… or Self-Sabotage?

Let’s talk about excuses.

Do you have a friend or family member who constantly makes bad choices, then asks you for advice?

  • “Why doesn’t he ever text me back?” (maybe it’s because you’re making yourself way too available and you’re practically screaming “I’m desperate!”.)
  • “I hate my job…” (…but you’ve done nothing to change it.)
  • “Ugh, I am so out of shape. I really need to go to the gym.” (But they don’t … they just continue making excuses, like how they can’t afford the $40 membership even though they pay that much for sugary, fatty lattes every week at least!)

But they’re your friend, so you want to help them.

And what happens when you offer advice?

They act like a crazy person.

“Oh, well, that won’t work because…” [insert excuse]. Maybe it’s an excuse like “I don’t have enough money… I don’t have enough time because I have kids… I didn’t go to college… I don’t have the same genetics as you… I’m just not meant to do that, I guess.”

After a while, you start to wonder if you’re going to pass out from trying not to scream!

But if I’m honest, I can’t judge my friends for making excuses, because I’ve done the exact same thing in my own journey! Ben told me I-don’t-know-how-many times to put up a website and write an eBook on how to proofread for court reporters, like I’d been doing successfully for so long, but I always had some excuse about how it was too much work, or I was made to be a proofreader, or people don’t want to hear from me.


And I’ve also seen it on my website, ProofreadAnywhere.com — I’ve gotten at least a hundred emails from prospective students along the lines of, “Sorry, but there’s no way this would work because [I have kids, I have a job, I don’t like computers].”

People actually go looking for why it won’t work for them, and then they blame it on me.

They find one tiny sliver of information that isn’t exactly tailored to their situation and say, “Aha! I knew this wasn’t for me.” (or my favorite: “I knew this was a too-good-to-be-true scam!”).

Have we truly lost the ability to take something great and apply the right parts to our situation?

It’s like some people are unable to pick and choose — and they don’t realize that good, solid stuff is mixed in with things that may not be exactly applied to you. “OMG, you recommend an iPad, what about Android, oh and you don’t have kids, but I do, so that means I can’t do this…”


Some people are just scared and plagued by limiting beliefs, but some people want everything spoon-fed to them — advice perfectly tailored to their age, gender, location, social situation, even diet. And if it’s not? “UGH! I knew it wasn’t for me!”

And they move on, completely missing an amazing opportunity.

I used to think I’d get these emails and comments because people were just “trolling”. But this is not about trolls — it’s about self-sabotage.

When was the last time you had a perfect solution in front of you, and you stopped yourself from success?

We do this unconsciously. I’ve done it myself! We see a result we want — oh wow, he lost a lot of weight…oh wow, she has an awesome online business — but *I* could never do that. This is “The Shrug Effect,” where we just shrug and say, “Well, maybe that works for HER, but not me.”

Why do we do this?

I think it’s because people think it’s easier to take ZERO action than to put in the work to change what we’ve been doing. Change means work, which translates to “too hard” for many people. It also means acknowledging we may have been wrong for a long time… sometimes years.

And that’s hard. 

But you know what? So is sticking with a life you’re not happy with for whatever reason.

That’s hard, too.

Building a business is hard. Staying where you are and being dissatisfied is hard.

Pick your hard.

1 Comment

  • Hi Caitlin (and Ben too!), I'm enjoying reading all about your exciting and recent success on your website and how it all came about. You've started me thinking. I'll be contacting you very soon! :)

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