I don’t have time to exercise … I’ve got kids … I work too many hours … I’m too old … I can’t afford a gym membership …  My back hurts …

I’ve been a trainer for over a decade, and in that time, I’ve heard a lot of excuses why fitness seems just out of reach for so many people.  The fact is, however, that for every excuse I’ve ever heard, I know someone who has overcome it.  I know of a father who does marathons and triathlons with his quadriplegic son being carried, pushed, or towed the whole way.  I know a nurse who works 12 hour shifts and has managed to lose weight through the breakup of her marriage.  There’s a story of a high school football player who had a prosthetic leg.  There’s even a champion wrestler with no arms and no legs.  None of these people have allowed excuses to get in the way of their dreams.

The other side of the coin is people who turn their excuses around by labeling successful people as exceptions.  “Well of course she can lose weight, she doesn’t even have kids.”  “He only has a six-pack because he’s 20 years old.”  The list continues on and on, but a couple of examples should suffice.

These are still excuses, but they are hidden in sort of a pseudo-logic. 

When you hear it, it kind of makes sense, and you find yourself agreeing with it.  Rest assured, however.  It’s just as much of an excuse as saying, “I can’t get fit because …”

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they are yours.

There’s a great quote from Richard Bach that really sums up my feelings about excuses.

“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they are yours.”

It speaks to the idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Essentially, whether you say you can or you can’t, you’re right.  Too many people spend too much time defending their excuses.  I believe this to be way of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.  Instead, always assume in your favor.  This way, your chances of success increase.  If you do happen to fail, you won’t fail any worse by believing in yourself.

The take-away message from this article is to get rid of your excuses.  Pull them out into the open so you can deal with them directly.  See them for what they are.  Figure out a way around them, and go get what’s rightfully yours.