Excuses: Limiting Our Potential

Jen Noonan, MA, LPC, CACIII

This past January, Nick blogged about the excuses moms make for not working out. While I thought it was a relevant article, I couldn’t relate because I have always made working out a priority. I currently belong to a gym where I pay $5 extra per month to bring my 3 year old as often as I want. I have been working out since I was 15 (Nick and I met at a gym we both worked at), and learned from this time on to be disciplined…at least as far as working out goes.

Although I don’t make excuses for working out, Nick’s article caused me to take a much needed look at where I DO make excuses. Let me share just a few of these areas:

  • “I can’t learn to cook because it takes too much time and the ingredients are too expensive.”
  • “I’m on vacation, and I don’t have celiac disease or a true gluten sensitivity, so I can go off of my gluten free diet.”
  • “I don’t have time to write a blog post for Nick because I have so many other projects on my plate.”

Fact is, I have wanted to learn how to cook for a long time to be a good role model for my 3 year old, and to gain more confidence, and we can easily afford the ingredients. These are simply excuses. Fact is, when I did go off of the gluten free diet, I felt drained, my concentration wasn’t as strong, and I didn’t enjoy my vacation as much as I would have. Fact is, I DO have the time to write the blog post. I pride myself in honoring all of the commitments I make. These are just all excuses.

Take a moment to think about where you make excuses in your life. Are the excuses related to:

  • Food choicesexcuses
  • Working out
  • Losing weight
  • Staying in an unhealthy relationship
  • Living up to your full potential
  • Staying at a job you don’t like
  • Having an honest conversation with someone
  • Spending money
  • Drinking / drugging



In my work with clients over the years, I have discovered that behind almost every excuse is fear…of the unknown. Will I succeed at the task? What if I fail? Will I be lonely? Will I step on people’s toes? However, nine times out of ten, the things that people make excuses for are things they think about on an almost daily basis. Imagine what kind of stress this puts on your mind, and ultimately body. What if you put a plan into place that would allow you to begin working on these things, one step at a time? This often involves seeking out a qualified counselor / therapist to discover just why it is that you’re not moving in the direction you’d like.

 One of my favorite authors, Dr. Wayne Dyer, wrote a book called “Excuses Begone!” that I highly recommend if you find yourself struggling with excuses. In his book, Dyer describes “how to change the self-defeating thinking patterns that have prevented you from living at the highest levels of success, happiness, and health.”

 I believe that one of the first steps in tackling excuses is taking a completely honest inventory of yourself and your current life. If you don’t feel that any changes need to be made, then I would love to be in your head. If you’re like most of us, there will be multiple areas where you will realize where you are making excuses. The task is to figure out why, and the next is to begin to make changes.

I feel so much better now that I have finished this post, and I am ready to enjoy the weekend!

Best of luck on this ever challenging journey… I am right there with you!


Jen Noonan is Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Certified Addiction Counselor, Level 3 (CACIII) in the Denver, Colorado area.

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