Accessing motivation…I can’t believe the number of “excuses” that I can come up with!


Do you ever hear the “excuses” that might go through your mind?….attempting to avoid doing something, or taking care of something…the level of avoidance can be amazing!


I’ve found that it can be helpful to actually listen to the excuses…to learn what my “repetitive avoidance strategies” tend to be…because once I’m more aware of those, I can use more effective reasoning and logic to deal with the specific resistance….maybe…




Many years ago, I listened to the excuses I was using…and excuses from the kids I taught… and others in my life, too…I actually wrote many of those excuses down and put them into a chart….what do you suppose I was thinking????…I guess I wanted to learn more about accessing motivation and dealing with avoidance…here are a few of the excuses on the chart below…


Anybody else recognize any of your “favorites” on this next chart?
some are from kids,
(I used lots of them in the book,
“It May Be Hard, But It’s Bearable”
and on the “Bearable” cards )
but I hear many of them in my own mind
( of course, we might notice a few favorites of partners or others in our lives…)
any favorite excuses here?
how about some that I missed?
how about adding some really ridiculous ones?
some that you really have used or heard?
ahhh…we can be so creative at times!


And then….after recognizing a few…and noticing patterns….how to reason with specific excuses? …sometimes showing respect for that avoidance and finding other ways around it…trying to find workable strategies to access the needed motivation to get things done…


(pdf copy, if  that isn’t readable: Talking with our excuses )


And so…a few consistent strategies taken from that chart…
potentially helpful ways to get oneself going…and keeping going…
until an unappealing “task” is done…

or at least CLOSER to done.  :D


As I mentioned above…



 wishing us all well






Someone mentioned how challenging it can be to have patience as one is learning and trying to live using new ideas….and to avoid excuses and distractions.  I’ve  also had some major challenges with that…learning to develop the patience to take things at whatever pace I’m able to learn them….I’ll add a few pages below…pages and ideas that I’ve found helpful…. and maybe I’ll  develop them into a post in a few days…

And some charts I made several years ago…using the ideas from that “card”…when I’m not simply using “excuses” to get out of something, but am discouraged… examples of what I might say to myself, if I start to notice myself becoming self critical, discouraged or impatient with my progress…learning to develop a more nurturing, encouraging and accepting state of mind…both with myself and others… (I can’t believe the phrases below  are from 3 or 4 years ago…I’m STILL learning to use these more gentle ideas….wow…patience really is needed….patience with what I don’t, as yet, know…)

Developing more  initiative, motivation, patience and persistence really IS a vast subject…
a lifetime of practice…

:D  ….again….wishing us well!  :D

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19 Responses to Accessing motivation…I can’t believe the number of “excuses” that I can come up with!

  1. sufilight says:

    This is brilliant, Kathy! The coolest thing is I could super size the chart and read the excuses and your tips. :) I am learning The Sedona Method and it’s a huge book filled with many exercises. I felt so overwhelmed a couple of days ago, that I burst into tears. I guess it’s because I am attached into wanting to make this spiritual and psychological method work for my well being. I understand the concepts perfectly, as it’s about mindfulness but find myself coming up with many excuses. I will do as suggested, break it down into parts.

    • Thanks, Marie…I hope it’s helpful. I understand your frustration so well…an ongoing challenge for me, too. I just added 3 other pages to the bottom of this post…pages I created several years ago… including things I try to say to myself as I’m trying to learn…and needing to develop and nurture patience to support that…. it seems to take so much time to go from understanding ideas to living them. I agree that breaking down into parts does help…when I’m patient enough to do that. :D

      • sufilight says:

        Kathy, OOoh, this even better as patience is not one of my strengths. THANK YOU for adding these pages, I am printing them right now to use as a reference while do my self-help work. I am so impatient I realize now, that I want to speed read so I can go ahead and start implementing everything I read and I end up sabotaging myself. I calmed down, and I am taking it slower. Off to printing your charts. :)

        • As you can see, patience can be challenging for me too…(although, I’ve improved in the past 4 years) I tend to not study books/concepts in order…I skip around however I like…where ever my interest takes me…partly out of sheer enthusiasm… and I also seem to think I should have mastery before I even finish reading… (my scattered strategies offer much surprise to my very organized friend, Jampa…..I give good patience practice for him! ) But, oddly enough, that strategy seems to work for me…at least I think it does…others don’t agree so much :D …but I’ve moderated and have tried to slow down and study a bit more sequentially. Reading, reviewing and using the phrases in that “patience chart” have really helped me.

  2. Thank you again for the orangutan and the hound dog video reference. So I used the video as an icebreaker and then we sailed through an article that could have been labeled “very uninteresting”, however quiet the opposite…Tuesday’s class produced a rousing discussion for students to write about. Thank you again for lighting up that class!

    • Georgette…that’s wonderful that the class, and students, were so engaged and dynamic! Isn’t that a wonderful feeling to see people/students interested, learning and excited? I think the website has lots of engaging and heartwarming videos…what a great idea to include that to start your lesson. :D

    • Georgette…I added a few pages to the bottom of the post…I made/created them for my own use, but later used them with several students, too…the kids really appreciated the ideas about accepting one’s own pace of learning and not comparing their progress with other people’s progress…and I wonder if adult students might get it , too?

  3. Tracy Rydzy, MSW, LSW says:

    I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award because your blog is truly inspiring and…lovely.

    • thank you so much…I really appreciate your kind words and support. I’m many months behind on creating “passing wonderful awards along” posts…well, I’m many months behind on lots of things! ahhh…patience and persistence…just what I’m writing about in this post…Oh, life gives me so many opportunities to practice what I’m trying to learn!
      Thank you so much… :D

  4. nrhatch says:

    I remember some of these from your “It may be hard but it’s bearable” cards. :D

    The key is to remain mindful about the excuses we use and statements we make so that we can evaluate whether they are valid and truth-filled . . . or not.

    • I still like those “bearable” cards….fun reminders…happy that you remember them.
      That’s good…awareness of the excuses and then evaluating them….mine often seem to fall into the range of “or not”… so perhaps I need to up my level of excuse making… :D It’s wonderful, now that I’m not working at a “job,” to have so many more choices and options…and fewer time pressures or responsibilities… not much need for “excuses”… what a relief!

  5. becca givens says:

    Awesome post — I am right there at the top as runner up for Queen of Excuses!!! :D Thanks for the additional insight!! Blessings for the remainder of your weekend and next week! I am off to travel with my mom on a tour bus from south Louisiana to S and N Dakota!!!

    • you’re welcome, Becca….and goodness…what a big trip you’re taking. I’m guessing this is a special trip for your mom?…and THAT is a long drive!…patience indeed…I hope your travels are special and that there’s much happiness for all. :D

  6. My dad was in the hospital for a month this spring, and has had some lingering issues. He’s so uncomplaining. One day I said to him, almost in jest, “Dad, I didn’t get your metabolism or your patience.” And he smiled and very calmly said, “Patience is hard.” And it really hit me how much he practices his patience. I know that our focus is similar. We need to practice it. I really love the way you express yourself. You really do pass along inspiration! Debra

  7. Robin says:

    Excuses, excuses. I have millions of them. I love your charts. Having a plan to counteract an excuse is something I learned when I quit smoking. I don’t know why I forget to apply that to other projects. Thanks for the reminder. :)

  8. Pingback: Springtime cleanup…. “Who you gonna call?” ….. finding people to help with that “to do” list | Pocket Perspectives

  9. Pingback: “Well….certainly I can do this ONE little thing…..” …encouraging and motivating oneself… | Pocket Perspectives

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