The Magic of thinking and acting BIG – Episode 3 How to overcome Excusitis

21 Jan, 2020

The Magic of thinking and acting BIG – Episode 3 How to overcome Excusitis

In my latest episode How To Overcome Excusitis, I will look at how this disease affects every single once of us, and how we can treat it.

It’s an epidemic which is so widespread that we barely notice it.

It is the disease of Excusitis – of finding and making excuses for not taking action or for giving in to temptation. 

The term excusitis was first coined by David Schwartz in his book, The Magic of Thinking Big which has inspired my latest series of podcasts.

In the book, Schwartz listed the common excuses he would come across – Most of which are just as prevalent today:

  • Age – I’m too old (or too young) to do this….
  • Health – I’d do it if but I’m not fit enough…
  • Ability – I’m not smart enough/ I don’t have the skills….
  • Luck – I’m just not lucky….
  • Time – I’m too busy….

Not one of these is true!

There are a couple of other excuses, which I come across quite often too:

  • Confidence – What will others think?
  • Lazy – I don’t feel like it. I can’t be bothered’ Doing what everyone else is doing
  • Conformity – Go on (or don’t bother) it’s… (Christmas, Your Birthday, the weekend, Friday, Monday…)

An excuse is an interesting thing. We use them to hold ourselves back and to prevent us from taking action. Why would we do that?

Part of it is coming from that primal part of us which wants us to stay safe and in one place. By not taking action, we are not inviting a risk. This is a habit we learn very early on.

The most powerful driver of excuses, however, is fear. An excuse is a way of distancing yourself from blame. It is a reason not to take action. I couldn’t take action because…. And suddenly it isn’t your fault.

In part 3 of this series, I will show you how to tackle excuses and eradicate them from your life.

There is a helpful tool you can use here: The Two Minute Rule. If something will take you less than two minutes to complete (there or thereabouts, it doesn’t need to be an exact time) then do it right now. Don’t add it to a list or put it off until tomorrow. Answer that email right now; put the plates in the dishwasher; File those documents

A great variation on this is to ‘just do two minutes’ – if you don’t feel like doing something which has an open-ended timeframe (like exercise) say to yourself “I’ll just do two minutes.” You’d be amazed how much better you feel the moment you’ve started and the two minutes you planned will last far longer.

When you catch yourself in an excuse image how you will feel if you take action anyway.

So think about how you will feel after you have taken action and use that to drive you forward. See the future you are working towards, whether that is a thriving business, a toned and healthy body, a relationship with someone special or something else.

By focusing on what you want will take you to the point when the excuses don’t matter because nothing is going to stop you.

If you want to learn more about how to think and act big, take a look at my free online coaching video at and book a call with me to see how you can surround yourself with a community of people who don’t let excuses get in their way.


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About Pete Cohen:
Pete Cohen is one of the world’s leading keynote speakers. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have been motivated and inspired by Pete’s presentations. He has professionally impacted on the lives of thousands of people worldwide, including business executives, professional athletes and the everyday person.
Pete has coached world-class athletes and sporting greats, such as Sally Gunnell, Ellen MacArthur, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Arsenal Football Club and Tim Henman to achieve peak performance.
Pete focuses on the importance of having a strong belief in yourself. He teaches that you need to be positive and you have to develop self-confidence to achieve your potential and be successful.
He is the author of 19 published books, several of which have been best-sellers across the world, including Shut the Duck Up, Habit Busting, Life DIY and Sort Your Life Out. He has also presented his own show on TV called The Coach and was the resident Life Coach on GMTV for 12 years.
His new book Inspirators – Leading The Way In Leadership is available for free here


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