The very best excuses don’t sound like excuses at all, they sound like carefully thought out decisions backed up with conviction. Maybe even a fist-pump if you’re into that sort of thing.

The excuses that I want to call out fall into two genres, but they are both rooted in the desire to keep the status quo as is. These excuses keep us rooted in the same habits and the same results (both good and bad).

Genre #1: I can’t do anything until everything is perfect

This genre is often used in every day life to delay doing the hard stuff. For example, some people *cough, me* sometimes feel like they can’t do any new work unless the entire house is perfectly clean and tidy.

With regards to coaching, it looks something like this:

“Before I begin I just want to get organized and cross everything off my to-do list so that I can really focus.”

The thing is, we always have stuff to do and you can always get more organized – what this usually means is that they would prefer to stay in the comfort zone of familiar priorities, problems, and comforts.


Genre #2: Let me solve this problem before I work with a coach to solve that problem

I’ve noticed that this genre is most often used by people who recognize intellectually that they would succeed faster and better with a coach, but they don’t quite fully feel that way yet. They feel that they should be able to do it by themselves. It can take a little while for the gut feelings to catch up with intellectual knowlege because the power of denial is strong.

This is what this genre of excuse looks like in regards to coaching (I may have paraphrased a little to make the point):

“I would benefit from coaching to build my business and bring in more revenue, but I’m going to wait until I bring up my revenue before I invest in coaching.”

“I want to work with a coach because I keep procrastinating and not focusing on my goals, but before I begin I just want to stop procrastinating”

“I want to work with a coach because I’ve been in a rut and I’m ready to commit to change, but I don’t want to begin right now because I’m in a rut”

These excuses come with a dose of self-blame because people assume that they should have already done this themselves. Sometimes people re-commit to the same goal multiple times and never get out of the loop of blaming themselves for not achieving it. Working with a coach can break this cycle and change the results, but it does require getting out of the comfort zone, something that people resist even when the comfort zone isn’t all that comfortable.

Excuse or Decision?

If you are using this type of excuse, the good news is that it can be compelling and many people will buy it. The bad news is that you aren’t going to achieve anything new. * So make a decision not to pretend that your excuse is a decision.

*Trust me, I was the queen of the excuses dressed up as decisions