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The Excuses We Tell Ourselves: Why People Hire A Coach

#askacoach certified high performance coaching coaching moments series Dec 05, 2022


There are tons of reasons we tell ourselves to delay.

If you've ended the year feeling like you could have done more, still have so much to do, or that you wish you started sooner then the first thing to do is give yourself a little bit of grace. 

In general, we have three big buckets or reasons we can't start sooner: Personal reasons, social reasons, and operational reasons.

Personal reasons - I'm not enough, I don't have enough bandwidth, I don't have enough experience, I need more money or resources, etc.

Social reasons - I don't have enough support, my parents will disapprove, people will make fun of me, people will bully me, I'll be doing this all alone, etc.

Operational Reasons - I don't know how to start a business, speak publicly, play guitar; I don't have the skills or knowledge to proceed. I am overwhelmed thinking about starting this new job, venture, or phase of my life.

Identifying the reasons you do not want to or can't proceed are half the battle. The other half of the battle is figuring out what to do. That's a great reason to talk to a coach! 

Check out two options below:

Apply for a FREE 60-minute coaching session, to be shared on YouTube, here: 

-- Apply for a private 1-hour high performance strategy session here:



Shawn Buttner: [00:00:00] So often what gets in the way of people's progress is the things that they tell themselves, right? It's excuses on why they can start tomorrow or next year, to take that job, to start that business, to transfer jobs, to move to a different town, to ask that person out, to start to get back into their health to, and the list goes on and on.

Why is that? There's a bunch of different value, valid ways and reasons why people can't start going next, but it's something that I constantly encounter in coaching and I'll share with you a quick framework to walk through how to help people overcome the excuses that come.

Hey everyone. This is Certified High Performance Coach Sean Butner, and this [00:01:00] is Coaching Moments. So we're doing a quick video series for a new YouTube. Series that I'm doing where we'll do quick moments of coaching to show you the power high performance coaching and how it really helps people move forward in their lives.

So there's a link below if you're interested in that, but before we explain what's down there, let's get into the video. . So excuses, the things that we tell ourselves that get in our own way generally come in three big buckets, right? It's personal reasons, it's social reasons, and it's operational reasons, right?

And why is it important to identify that and why is it important to then work through that type of a framework? One, like when you say, Hey, you know what, I don't feel like I can handle taking on more at work or taking that next responsibility or taking that next [00:02:00] step in a relationship. It's a very valid reason, right?

It's not that it's silly. It's not that it's something that so many other coaches or so many other folks, Would just be like, oh, you just gotta get over it and get into action. And it's very flippant and that's not what. We do here in high performance coaching. And I would say that's not what a good coach or good mentor or if you have a friend or whoever is your support group, if they're really going to be helpful and move you through that, it's going to be with an acknowledgement that's a very real thing for you.

But what we can do is, and this is the power of coaching, Talk through why that's a big reason for you, or an excuse, and sometimes it might be a very valid reason too. So you, there's a lot of exploring that has to be done. There's a lot of digging into, what's going on. And a lot of times if you can identify, is it a [00:03:00] personal, social, or operational, Block for the person or for yourself, then you can start to, to figure out what you might need to do.

If we take a look at that framework then of personal reasons, social reasons, and operational reasons, and why people don't advance or take action let's talk about personal reasons, right? So sometimes, especially in a coaching relationship, We'll get the, I'll hear the phrase, oh, I've tried everything here on how to market my business.

So I've tried everything here to get my spouse to understand here. I've tried everything here to get into the best health or to whatever. And that is my cue as a coach to get into brainstorming, most people, if you've tried everything, that means you've been really good at tracking everything you've done and measuring results, and then reforming and tweaking those actions to see how you can get better to the next level.

And so there's a lot to unpack [00:04:00] there when you feel like you've tried everything. Really what you're saying is my perspective isn't getting me the results that I want. That's acute. To engage your communities or to engage your mentor or coach to help say, okay, like what worked, what hasn't worked? What have you tried?

Who do you think is really, crushing it in this particular area, and what do you think they're doing differently from you? And so this shift of perspective is what's really helpful in coaching and has really helped coaching clients, and for example, One of my clients that I've talked about a little bit so far, this guy James was crusher at work, feeling exhausted at the end of the day, trying to, be a dad and a good partner and also wanted to take care of his health and could not get consistent runs or workouts in after work.

And that's why he came into coaching. So he's I'm struggling with being really consistent with this health thing. And I've tried everything [00:05:00] and I know what I need to do and it's just not happening and I'm frustrated. And I think we've all been in that type of position before and really it was okay.

Like what's, where's an era in your life where you see. That consistent, consistency show up in a way that, that you like. And so we're talking and he brings up, he's it'd be really not, I really thrive. The client really thrives in having a social. Oh look, I did this right.

And so that the family could talk about it. And he's it really worked. It sounds fun, even though it sounds silly, Sean. And I'm like, oh, what is this? And he is he leans in cause we're on Zoom and he is my son had a sticker chart for behavior and what he did good, he got a sticker and when he didn't, we'd have a talk about it and I think that might work.

Maybe that's the thing that I need to try. And so that brainstorm of, I tried everything and oh, I don't, didn't try it. Sticker chart, right? For this particular thing was [00:06:00] exactly the thing that ended up helping him get consistent on his workouts moving forward. Because he had to show his family every morning or every afternoon when he got home from work that he did his workout by putting a sticker on the calendar or on the sticker board or whatever he had.

And That's the power of coaching, right? And that's the power of different perspective and having a process and set of questions that can help unlock those different areas of our life that we can actually leverage. So many people actually have the answers or so close to the answer, but they just needed a different way to look at the problem or the different way to look at solutions to move forward.

That's an example of a personal reason, getting it. Your way in that I've tried everything and it's not working. I can't, I know what I need to do and I can't do it. And then brainstorming actually breaking you through on that, other folks personally, I get this a lot as a coach, are like, I'm just too busy.

My schedule's too packed. [00:07:00] I don't have enough time in the day to, do the work thing, do the commute thing, take care of the kids, and, manage everything else that you need to as a human being. And and this particular case with clients, my favorite thing to do is to get in their schedule, right?

So let's pull up your calendar and that's really, explore what's important to you and how does that show up on your weekly calendar or your monthly calendar. If we went back the last month, how if you say, Hey, it's time with the kid is super, I. And we open up your calendar and there's no time scheduled for your family in the last month, then, that's a conversation we get to have and brainstorm.

But you know what the real power in this exercise is if, time with your kids is important, time doing this extra, project at work where you're not actually contributing. So it's just wasting. [00:08:00] Identifying those things that are not important, not advancing your goals is super key into freeing up time and opening up space for what is.

And so is that delegating, is that just getting it off your calendar saying, I can't do this. And I love doing this with high performers because We get so used to just checking out things on the to-do list and getting a lot of momentum there that we forget that sometimes the quality and impact of each of those tasks is important to remember, and it's important to be clear that we're only working on things that are advancing.

Interests and our projects and our ambitions and our organizations and the way that they need to be. Or it's, again, being delegated. So that's a really awesome example of, making sure that you're clearing out and only focusing on the important things. Cause yeah, a lot of times when it comes to, I'm too busy, it's, I'm not prioritizing the [00:09:00] right things enough.

And so that's a big truth there. The. Big personal reason that people often have as an excuse or reason why they're not advancing is they get stuck in, oh, I tried this three times. It didn't pan out. It's always the way. It never works out for me. I asked three people out on a dating app, nobody wrote back.

I am a terrible person. And you take it personally and. You give up. Or you're like, I don't really think that I can do this. I don't, I'm too old to get another job has been something I've heard quite a bit this last couple years, and, That's a really terrible feeling. It's not really motivating.

It doesn't really serve you in getting out there, having conversations, getting your resume out in that particular circumstance. And so how do you really shift here? First [00:10:00] off, if it's something that's traumatic or something that keeps getting in your way, you're like, oh, I keep thinking about this time where it didn't work and I can't get.

There's actually a time where as a coach I might say, you know what, you should go seek a therapist, somebody who specializes in, these past experiences that, that hold you back with their own specific tools. And it's great. And like coaching is not really gonna help you until you can move past that.

So that's the first thing that I look for as a. But beyond that, it's people a lot of times not feeling what the goal is, right? So in the, job search where you're like, I feel like I'm too old. You don't really get excited about a new job where you can contribute your experience, your years of expertise to a new organization and how that might feel different than where you.

And so really connecting to [00:11:00] that goal, connecting to that shift, that change in a way where you're feeling it emotionally and not just intellectually can get you excited and get you back in the game. And I've seen that happen tons and tons of times too. Some social reasons that really hold people back.

Sometimes people don't start things or people don't change because in, in my experience as a coach, they feared that sense of embarrassment or that sense of, they're gonna fail and their, family will see it, their friends will see it, coworkers will see it and everyone will laugh at them and they'll get all this hate on, social media and all that kind of stuff.

And, that's a really heavy thing to, to be holding. If you are so afraid of putting yourself out there to make a change for yourself. for your family, for your health. Of course, it's going to be really hard to get into action because nobody likes to feel those things. But [00:12:00] a lot of times, if you look at a lot of what the stoics wrote, Marcus Res and Seneca and all those guy ancient Roman stoics, you know that if you really feel through.

Why the embarrassment that you fear like, oh, I feel like my family really would, come down hard on me if I don't succeed in this business. And what's really, what are they gonna say to you? What are they going to critique you on that's really gonna hurt you? Especially if they're taking a bold action towards something you believe in, something that's in your heart, something that is in, you have this calling, you're taking a chance to make something happen in your life.

And what I found in my life and what I found in a lot of my clients, that when you take that bold step and you're very clear about where you want to go, people get excited for you. People admire that sense of purpose, that sense of clarity, [00:13:00] and if that sense of purpose and clarity is super strong, even if people are like start to make fun of you or you.

You're feel like you feel that sense of embarrassment because you're trying something new. That sense of mission can override those feelings of embarrassment and failure. So it's really important to be thinking about, what's my purpose here? What's my mission here? What, how is this helping other people?

And is that bigger than the embarrassment or the fear of failure? That's the simple equation for it, and that's such a powerful thing when you can talk through that with someone and they can realize oh, no, this is so much more important than that, those feelings. So that's how you.

The fear of embarrassment and failure from, keeping you back and to making sure that, again, you're feeling that sense of purpose. Also like along those lines, like [00:14:00] so many people are like, I want to change jobs, but I'm afraid my spouse isn't gonna support me. That, why would you change something that we understand and that's comfortable for something that's a little bit more risky and a little bit more uncertain?

And, this is again, another huge problem that, that people face all the time. And it's a big thing. But sometimes that's why a coach can help you because they're focused on helping you achieve your goals. Fully supporting you, fully cheering you on. That's why sometimes you need to get around other folks.

You join communities, you join people that are on the journey yourself. So you might do a meaningful revolution monthly program, something that I offer. Didn't plan on sharing that in this video, but that's an example. There are tons of folks in personal development or with any interest you can think.[00:15:00]

That have a community of people that will cheer you on that will support you if you need other folks. But sometimes too, it's when it comes to a spouse not understanding, you just need to explain it to them in a way that, that they resonate with. And so I'm thinking back three years ago, I had a client right before the pandemic, we signed up in January and then, started meeting like every other week in February.

And so by the third session it was March, 2020 and that's when the pandemic hit and everything was going uncertain. And I could tell that from talking with her that her spouse was what is this high performance stuff that's a lot of money? Like, why are we spending money on this?

Could you not? And it was maybe not as, It didn't feel like, I felt like the client felt that she wasn't really supported in this. [00:16:00] And so as the coach, I'm like let's get her in the game. And, we got her enrolled in coaching also which is really nice having spouses that are having that shared experience and they could talk about it together outside of the coaching thing, but that's a whole other type of story.

But, Getting her in to experience high performance coaching for herself. She's oh, I get what this is about now. I get this is helping my partner shift and go after their dreams in these particular ways. And so that was really effective in helping my client get the support of her spouse. And so that's an example.

Sometimes you can bring people in to actually experience the thing that'll. If you can't get them to experience what you're trying to you're trying to build a business, but you don't, can't really invite them in on how do you building a quick business so they, they get it. But maybe you can explain how you're struggling in your business, [00:17:00] how maybe you can be a little bit more vulnerable in your fears and your concerns.

Cause sometimes, from the spouse's perspective, if you're all like, Hey, this is gonna be. There's gonna be no problems. People are like, that doesn't sound right. That sounds weird. I don't understand what you're doing. How can I actually, I don't actually know how to support you in as you go forth and do this.

In that case, it's having discussions. It's, again, being vulnerable, it's sharing what's going on but it's also having you paint that picture of the future that you. For yourself, for your family, for the family, for your spouse, or the people around you too. So it's I am doing this so I don't have to commute.

I can work from home. I can spend more time with the kid and oh, okay. That's a much easier picture to rally behind. Then I'm starting a business and we're gonna be spending a lot of money and you might not see me a lot. . So [00:18:00] that's the difference. And you might get around getting support for your dreams.

And then, sometimes people fear that when they act that they're not gonna meet their responsibilities, right? So you have a family and you wanna feed them, you want them to have a place to. You want to live a particular lifestyle and maybe shifting careers or shifting jobs or starting that business would mean sacrificing or putting in jeopardy that comfort, the food, the roof over your head, that kind of stuff.

And so that fear of it's also again, a fear of failing, but it's a different type of problem to work through because maybe. , you have to work two jobs for a while. Maybe you're doing your side hustle and your main hustle. Maybe it's a, coming up with a plan of and brainstorming.

[00:19:00] I've had clients where it's okay, I need to make sure that I can cover all the bills and take care of the family, but I also need to change. How do we work this? Through conversation. It's maybe I'll have to save a year's worth of salary before I can, change this and then I have, six months to make it work.

And if it doesn't work, then I have to get another job. And so it's building those contingency plans and that's different for everyone. But I, I've had a lot of clients that very nobly and very rightfully it's not, Okay, I'm calling this episode Excuses, but it is a good reason to hold back on blowing up your life, right?

And neglecting some of those financial or family responsibilities just cuz you want to change. And so that's a very real thing that people have to address and coaching is really good with that too. Okay, so those are some social reasons that get in the way of people really. Like acting boldly towards their goals.

Third kind of, again, bucket in this framework [00:20:00] is operational, right? And then, so this is probably the easiest for people to understand, and this is the majority of people that I've actually personally coached. It's been, Hey, I had this big, I want to start a business. I want to change, like my job stinks and I want to go on to the next thing.

I don't know what that is or it's, I know I want to really get into the best health and I know how to do it, but I don't know how to execute it. So in each of these cases, and we've talked about 'em earlier, a. Is there's this big idea that people have and it's very crystal clear. And so they have the clear vision, the clear goal, the clear ambition to go after.

But it's too big, right? They don't have the way to break it up into smaller parts that are a little bit more achievable. And another really good example, I had a client a couple years ago who. [00:21:00] It was in a conversation with his spouse about expanding the family and what that would mean. And like Edie's, like I'm listening to him and he's yeah, she wants more space and she wants the third kid.

And all I can think about is financially, how are we gonna change houses? Another kid that's another mouth to feed. And like financially, there's some implications there. And so we start to talk about it. We both get frustrated with each other and then we clam up and just watch tv. It's okay. In my like reflection to him on that, it's oh so you guys both are on board with a big family, but you guys have different concerns.

And they're not even competing concerns. It's like a financial bucket. It's, a living space bucket. It's where are you gonna live? Location, bucket. It's a lifestyle thing. And so we brainstorm a couple of different smaller areas or topics and then talking through, it's [00:22:00] if you had a conversation of like, how would expanding your family.

Our current living situation, right? So the living space, will we have to get into a house? Will we not, and is that a thumbs up, thumbs down or sideways type thing? And you have that discussion one night and then next night you have a discussion on okay, if we need a bigger house, this is how it's gonna impact our.

Financials, right? And this is what we need to survive. And all that kind of breaking down, like taking the big idea of expanding the family and bringing it into these different little blur buckets for discussions. Got that conversation rolling and so they were able to come to an actual decision, right?

So this is how you end up making a decision sometimes is if it's too big, you break it down into smaller parts and. If you're running a marathon, you don't start with running 26.2 miles. You break it down to a four month plan where you know, every day you have to run three miles or four [00:23:00] miles or whatever it is.

And then there's a weekly trend of increasing or decreasing. So you start big, but you have small bite size chunks that can get you moving and get you forward. And so that's usually the big operational hurdle is it's either getting cleared on that big idea. Or if you're really clear on that big idea.

So you know, you're either there or you need to get there is the first step. And then it's breaking it down into smaller steps that are a little bit more consumable, give you a couple quick wins, get you moving forward, and it's really amazing. And the last type of excuse right, or reason that prevents people from taking actions is they just don't have the skill, right?

You're like, oh, I want to work at Apple, but I've never programmed a look line of code in my life and they won't hire me. And I'm really upset about that. I'm afraid that because I only have a little bit of experience here, that they're not gonna even look at me. [00:24:00] And so with clients like this, really it's just getting in the game, right?

And sometimes you need to start, sometimes you have to start working it, and by working at, getting the rounds in, just getting reps in, getting the experience. and cuz like lack of skill. The good thing about lack of skill is skill can be learned. And it's just a function of how actively are you focused on it?

How are you growing in the skill, how are you measuring it? And are you getting around the right people to make sure that you're advancing your life? Excuse me. And That's, again, a coach can help you identify that coach can help you create that action plan to get the skills that you need to go and reach that big goal of working at a big tech firm or working at a big engineering firm, or working at a big law firm or whatever it is.

Skills can be learned and again, there's a process for identifying and making sure that happens. All right, so these again [00:25:00] are a lot of the common excuses that, or reasons that prevent, valid reasons that prevent people from moving forward. But as a coach, this is how I think through those excuses, and again, it's all.

Through a structured process. And so I think that's the power of high performance coaching in particular. And if you are like, Hey, like I really need, like you identified with any of these reasons that are like, oh, I have that pops up in my head. I'd love to sit down with you and have an hour strategy session where we talked about that.

We talked about your life, we figured out a plan for you to get moving and get moving forward and getting that momentum. So if that's you below this video, there's a link to get a free one hour strategy session. And the catch there is it's public, so I'll take clips of it to post on this new YouTube video series of coaching moments.

I'll cut it up so you don't get the whole session, [00:26:00] but you, you'll let me use it to show others how high performance coaching works and how amazing it is. But if you're like, I'm shy or I'm introverted, or I don't want this all going out, and you're worried about that, there's an option to pay for the session to make it private.

And that's 1 97. $197 for that hour strategy session. So it's the same session, whether you do it free or you do it private give you the option to how you feel if you're like, yeah, whatever. We will let it go. Of course, if we talk about something super deep or super sensitive, I'm not inclined to post that on YouTube or anything.

So we can negotiate that a little bit if it's gonna get really. Because I don't want you to hold back. But the expectation is that it is something that can be used for help on others. Get inspired and learn how coaching works. So if you're with me, click the link below and sign up and apply [00:27:00] for that.

Our strategy session, either free or for one 90. For that hour. Check that out. Check out the previous videos on common reasons why people hire coaches. In the last video we talked about burnout and the video. Before that, we talked about procrastination. And real quick, our next video is gonna be how to handle overwhelm because that's something that people ha have to handle all the time.

And then we will finish with self doubt and hopefully we'll have enough of you guys reaching out so we can start highlighting you and your journeys and we can celebrate you, we can cheer you on, we can get you that plan that'll help you advance your life. I'd love to highlight and help you. In any way that I can, as a coach, that's how I help people who's coaching.

So take me up on that. We'll see you guys soon. Talk soon. And this is Sean Butner saying, live with Joy, personal growth and impact in your [00:28:00] communities. We'll see you next week.

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