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I recently read an excellent book by Dr. Wayne Dyer, Excuses Begone!  How to Change Lifelong Self-Defeating Thinking Habits.  One of the themes in Dyer’s book relates to how your old habits become impediments in your life, and these impediments have become the excuses for your so-called limitations.  For example, if you are averse to taking risk and always choose the safest route, this has caused you to erect a mental barrier to risk taking.  Often it is your ego’s “chatter” that inhibits you from overcoming your long-standing habits.  Simply being aware of your excuses allows you to stop being a victim to your own mind games and to more fully explore your possibilities.

“Nothing is in reality pleasant or unpleasant by nature; but all things become so by habit.”  
                                                                                              Epictetus

So if this habit of excuse making is not that good for you, why do you keep doing it?  Dr. Dyer cites eight hidden payoffs that lead you to continue relying on the same old excuses.

1. Avoidance helps you to be at peace with yourself even when you make self-defeating decisions.
2. Safety provides the false sense of security when we face failure, criticism or others things unknown.  Our excuse brings only a false sense of security, in the same way a baby clutches the “blanky.”
3. The Easy Way Out allows me to avoid sacrifice, physical exertion and maybe even material resources.  Your excuse allows you to take the easy road, but is unlikely to lead you to your objectives.
4. Manipulation is an excuse that gives you the opportunity to exploit others and have them do your work for you.  Your excuse such as …I’m too busy… allows you to place the responsibility on someone other than yourself.
5. Being Right allows you to feel superior… and someone else feel inferior.  This excuse is just your way of propping up your low self-esteem.
6. Blame simply removes your own responsibility for an issue or task and places the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of someone else.  So whenever something goes awry, your ego is looking to blame someone else and maintain your own false pride.
7. Protection allows you the benefits of childhood without appearing childish.  When you are confronted with life’s barriers, you retreat to the feeling of that little boy or girl of again.  While this excuse may indeed provide a powerful payoff, it certainly doesn’t serve you well in adulthood.
8. Escaping the Present Moment is an excuse whose payoff is the avoidance of facing your current situation.  Although you can never really escape the here-and-now, your excuse making allows you to maintain the same old habits.

Are you a slave to your self-defeating habits?

 describe the image to download a summary of Dr. Dyer’s suggestions for reversing these payoffs.

Read more about Dr. Wayne W. Dyer at his website: www.DrWayneDyer.com.

Break Habits, Change

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