Everyone has an excuse for why they don’t do something. But in order to be the people we want to be, and achieve our goals, we should stop making excuses and act.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Brittany: Hi, Emma.

Emma: Hi, Brittany.

Brittany: So, you and I both love doing episodes where we talk about things that are more self-improvement, you know, cause we do a lot of different things on this show. We talk about history, we talk about government, we talk about philosophy. And you and I love to talk about self-improvement cuz that is a big part of the way the world works and making sure that you most of the way the world works. So today I wanna focus on that and I wanna talk about a lesson that honestly took me at least 30 years to learn. And that lesson is why you should stop making excuses or why you should never start if you don’t do this already. So what does this mean? So pretty sure each of us have goals we wanna accomplish, at least I hope so, or, you know, dreams we wanna make come true. And I, truly like, I’m cheesy in this aspect. I truly believe that anything is possible if you do whatever make it happen. Now maybe, you know, if you wanna be a famous musician, maybe you won’t sell out big stadiums, but you could become like a local, you know, you could do something. You know, I think that there’s always ways you can achieve your dreams, but too often we let fear stop us and we make excuses for why we can’t begin the not-so-fun first steps of doing things. Because I think people forget that dreams are not like this glamorous thing, right? To make your dreams come true. It’s a lot of tedious and hard tasks that get you on the road to success. So, just some stories. So I took, gosh, actually it was almost 20 years of voice lessons and I wanted to be on Broadway. That was like my dream since I was a very little girl. So, musical theater was the love of my life, but I always let fear get in the way. And every time a new opportunity to addition for like a community theater play came up, or even a high school play, I’d make excuses, you know, oh, I feel a tickle in my throat. Or, oh, I have a home homework assignment I need to finish. Or, oh, you know, the play’s probably gonna interfere with my schedule. So, you know, it just, this time isn’t gonna work out. And it’s not that these things were necessarily untrue, but they weren’t fully true either, you know? I could have finished the homework assignment I had in enough time to go audition. You know, the tickle of my throat really wasn’t that bad. In fact, I probably made it worse by psyching myself up about it. And, you know, I could still sing even though my throat did have a tickle. But I let all this fear get the best of me. And it was also, you know, a little bit of laziness and entitlement. So I wanted to be on Broadway, but I didn’t put in any of the work. I didn’t wanna go through the stress of auditioning because, and I don’t know, I know you do music. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to audition for anything.

Emma: Yeah, it’s scary.

Brittany: I hate it more than anything in the world. Auditioning is like the worst thing. Yes. I don’t mind doing like a reading, like a monologue, but singing in front of three people to me is worse than singing in front of a room full of people.

Emma: Quiet room.

Brittany: They’re just in a quiet room and they’re literally there to judge you. Like they’re literally, their entire job is to sit and judge you. Yeah. So it’s very, very scary.   So, yeah. So I didn’t want to keep going through that. And I felt entitled because again, I wasn’t doing anything to make my dreams come true, right? I made excuses and shocker, this dream never happened. But I think I’ve learned my lesson. I think I started learning it a couple of years ago, but, so I’ve talked to a few times that I am trying to be a standup comedian, but for many years, so the first time I went up on stage was right before the pandemic. And that gave me a lot of really great excuses because I could be like, well we had a pandemic, you know, there was a pandemic, so I couldn’t go back on stage and I’d always push it back to I’ll do it next year. You know, I’m really busy right now. My job is taking up a lot of my time. Or you know, actually, maybe I’m a little too old to start doing standup comedy, you know, may maybe there’s no point in me doing this. And it’s really hard cuz again, you get up there and you’re telling jokes and are people who may not laugh, but there’s always going to be an excuse. So this year, when I sat down and did my New Year’s resolutions, I decided to stop making excuses. I was scared, yes. But it got easier. And it’s also exhausting. I don’t think people realize that I had a little like burnout last week because I work a full-time job and I host, you know, this podcast and I do some other writing things on the side. But I am going to open mics three to four times a week and I have a friend who does 11 a week in addition to having a job and. Wow. Yeah. And sometimes these don’t end until midnight on a weekday and then I have to get up at six and go to work the next morning. So, wow. It’s a lot and I’m really, really tired. But you know what, it actually feels pretty great because I know now that I’m not owed anything, right? If I want this dream, I have to do what’s hard. And I’ve had to do this with running too. I’m a runner and you know, sometimes I say cuz I do it three like four to five times a week, sometimes I’ll say like, oh, I’m tired. So that’s, I think that’s a good reason to not have to run today or, you know, I don’t really need to get up early. But I stopped doing that too. So it’s been a really fun year for me so far to say, you know, I’m not gonna make excuses anymore. So Emma, I was wondering if you have some stories that you wanna share?

Emma: Yeah, definitely. I think kind of in that vein, I would talk about a new sport that I’ve been learning, which is jiujitsu.

Brittany: Oh, that’s fun.

Emma: It’s a very challenging sport. You’re basically like wrestling and learning how to choke people out and like, it’s a really crazy sport that I got first interested in by listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast, which he is a mixed martial artist and has done all sorts of stuff in his life and always talks about how good juujitsu is for you. And, you know, before I ever even started training, which was about a year ago, I would make so many excuses about why I was not ready to start. I would be like, well I need to go to the gym more and I need to, you know, lift more weights and get stronger and like make sure that I’m faster and like better cardio and all of this stuff. Cause it’s gonna be really intense. And every time I would talk to a friend who already does juujitsu, they would say, well you need to just go, you need to go and just start going and learning. And so it took me forever, like at least a few months to actually get up the nerve to go. And then I started going and I went pretty much nonstop for a couple of months and then I started to get really tired and burnout and it was like sort of the newness and the excitement of it started wearing off and it was just very challenging. Yes. It’s a very tiring sport and you’re constantly just being humbled. Like you’ll think that you’re starting to learn something and someone will just completely basically beat you up and you’re like, oh my gosh, am I ever gonna be good at this? And so I would find myself making excuses to not go to my classes and to not go train. And I took a couple of months over the winter where I didn’t really go at all. I maybe went to like one or two and I so regret doing that. And I had all sorts of excuses. I mean, it’s the holidays, everyone makes excuses to not do stuff over, you know, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year and all of that. And I was on the road and of course, there’s always gonna be some sort of reason, but I really regret taking that time away because now over the last month or so I’ve been getting back into it and training more seriously and I just, I think a lot about where I would be right now if I hadn’t found excuses over the winter. So that’s kind of a recent example. I think exercise in general is one where it’s so easy to come up with excuses. Yep. And it’s so easy to be like, well I worked really hard today, I’m really tired, or, you know, I’m not feeling great and just coming up with reasons to not, you know, move your body and move around. But I’ve found that you know, with my energy levels and just who I am as a person, I’m much happier and much more productive if I find some sort of way to exercise in a given day. Even if it’s just going for a long walk doesn’t need to be super intense, you know, wrestling juujitsu type stuff. Yeah. But it’s so easy to find excuses not to do that stuff. And you know, there’s plenty of great reasons to go, but I’ve had to sort of reframe it in my mind as, no, I get to go.

Brittany: Yes, that’s the point.

Emma: I’m able-bodied, I’m very fortunate to be able to go exercise and, and not be hurt or not have any sort of, disability that gets in the way. And there are people that have those disabilities and they still find a reason to go. So it’s like, well, what’s my excuse? So, I think that’s been a really good shift that’s happened with me lately is not finding those excuses anymore with exercise. And it’s actually helped me reframe in my mind the way that I look at things and look at them in a much more positive way.

Brittany: I like that you said that cuz sometimes when I’m working out I have this moment of just being so grateful that my body’s able to run, you know, five to six miles. Like how amazing is that? I might not be able to feel that way. Something could happen. I get in a car crash and I couldn’t, you know, maybe I won’t be able to walk or something. So it’s really nice to sit there and think like, wow, my body’s pretty great for being able to do all that. So I like that. So I wanna touch on one more thing before we wrap up. And that’s still about excuses but a little different. And that’s, you know, we all mess up on things and maybe it’s work, maybe it’s, you know, some other thing. Maybe it’s with our parents and I think it’s really easy for us to try to avoid getting in a lot of trouble by making excuses. And something I used to do when I first started my career is, you know, I would mess up and somebody like my boss would say, oh, you did this and I’d make an excuse like, oh, but I was really tired, I didn’t get a lot of sleep. I, you know, I’m sorry I was still apologetic, but I would make excuses. And one thing that I learned is nobody really wants to hear your excuse. You know, they want you to own up to your actions. Yeah. So one thing I’ve had to really learn to do is say, you know, if I do something wrong, you just say, you know what? Yep, I forgot to do this. I’m sorry, you know, I will make sure I didn’t in the future instead of having to come with like, oh, I’m sorry I didn’t do this, you know, I didn’t see your email or I didn’t do this. Cuz again, nobody wants to hear your excuses. So you just gotta own up to what you did and just try better in the future. So that’s another thing again, like the same lesson, but kind of different. And another thing when I don’t wanna go somewhere where my friends invite me, sometimes I wanna make an excuse to not hurt their feelings. Yeah. So instead of just saying, I don’t wanna go to your party, I make it, well, you know, my cat’s not do feeling sick today and all this stuff. And that’s lying. And you and I have talked about how important it’s, to tell the truth. So another thing and when it comes to making excuses that it’s okay to not give a reason, it’s okay if somebody invites you somewhere and you don’t wanna go to just say, Nope, I can’t go, sorry. And that’s it. You don’t have to give any reason. So that’s better than lying. So, that’s all I had to say on that matter. Emma, if you wanna add anything.

Emma: Yeah, totally. I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned professionally is that not making excuses actually really earns people’s respect. A lot more than making excuses. And it’s easier said than done. We find ourselves making them almost without even thinking about it or noticing it. But whenever I’ve made a mistake and actually just owned it and told, you know, my boss or my coworker, I’m sorry, this was my bad. I did this and I should have done this. It, won’t happen again. And make sure that it doesn’t happen again. And that is just such a positive way of having that conversation because like you said, Brittany, no one wants to hear your excuse. Everyone’s got one. And I think it just goes a really long way when you own your mistakes. And we’ve talked about that a lot, how we shouldn’t be afraid of our mistakes. But even openly owning, you know, Hey, I got this wrong. Or if you hurt someone’s feelings, hey, I’m sorry, you know, I got that wrong. I said the wrong thing. I think that can be really powerful, just sort of that ownership of, you know, what you’ve done and the actions you’ve taken rather than coming up with excuses. But yeah, this is a fun one. It’s everyone has their life lessons that they learn when it comes to excuses. So I like that we did this topic today.   thank you for listening guys. We appreciate you all tuning in and we will talk to you all again soon.

Brittany: Talk to you soon.