Getting results & being honest with yourself
Have you ever considered that those people who get results don’t need excuses? Whereas those who don’t get the results they want often have a long list of excuses why they didn’t.
Excuses - we all have them from time to time. Maybe you think you don’t use or have excuses and instead you have really good reasons why you don’t complete what you could or know you should. Reasons are really just well phrased excuses. if you think about it, in the Cause = Effect equation (i.e. what we do leads to outcomes), it is much more empowering to be on the cause side of the equation. On the cause side you can control your outcome. If you find yourself on the effect side of the equation a lot you are in a very disempowering place - you are completely at the mercy of things that happen outside of your control. It’s someone else’s fault, something else happened, someone said or did something, work was tough, blah blah blah. If you really step back from it and look at it from a third party perspective, you will realise that you have more control than you’ve been giving yourself credit for. If nothing else you have 100% control over the way you react to situations.
I find the word ‘but’ an interesting one. Put it in a work context, have you ever heard someone say ‘I hear what you’re saying, but……’? That ‘but’ is very powerful. What it’s really saying is ‘I hear what you’re saying and I disagree with you’. A far more empowering statement is ‘I hear what you’re saying AND……’ by saying and instead of but you are agreeing and building on a statement. So bringing that into a sports context, when challenged why something didn’t go as planned a response like ‘I wanted to but blah blah blah’ is just an excuse. First tiny switch is to take the challenge and find an ‘and’. So for example, how about instead of ‘I wanted to do five hours but blah blah blah’ try ‘I wanted to do five hours and although that didn’t happen this time I did learn xxxxx and will do yyyyyy next time, that was a great learning experience’.
Next thing is to learn from training that doesn’t go to plan. All decisions we make are emotional first and we look for facts to back up our emotional decision (that’s why pressure sales work, they know if you walk away to think about it they won’t close the sale). If you still make the same decision having kept going for just a bit longer the emotion will fade and the real facts become clearer. After the event, reflect and ask yourself if your reasons really were real, be honest. If you find that they were excuses learn what you need to learn and move on. You’ll be better armed to deal with it next time.
Most importantly, even if you present excuses to others, be honest with yourself. Sometimes stuff does happen that is not your fault, to take the blame for absolutely everything can leave you being too hard on yourself. For example, it wouldn’t be your fault if the weather deteriorates on a channel swim attempt in a way that was not forecast.
In a perfect world, though, where things do go as plan, assuming that you can have results or excuses, which do you choose?