Countering the Excuses: Which of the 7 Caustic Responses are Preventing Your Audacious Pivot?

How do you respond when your excuses are challenged?

Is this an uncomfortable topic?

Please continue reading to overcome those internal thoughts that come out in times of opportunity.

In the last post we discussed the top 9 excuses people make to avoid pivoting to their next, great opportunity. In this latest post in my 2022 audacious success series, we discuss the 7 caustic reactions when anyone counters those earlier excuses. You will want to read this because whether from yourself or others, they will push back. In a recent post, I challenged you to declare what you ultimately want in 2022. In making that decision, why not think bigger? Why not reach higher? Last week we discussed 9 reasons we give in failing to pivot.

Those that follow me know that I help clients set and achieve audacious goals by thinking bigger, reaching higher, and doing what others think is “impossible.” A critical step in this change management process is getting beyond our ordinary thinking by eliminating excuses.


  • How do you react to a challenge?
  • How do you respond to a challenge that frightens you?
  • What do you say to yourself when the challenge seems to be “impossible”?
  • What do you say when you want it but are afraid to reveal your doubts?
  • How does someone challenging you respond to your negative comments?

Very few accept a challenge willingly. Most of us are hesitant and guard our comfortable lives. So, despite what we would like, we tend to push back when someone pushes those initial beliefs we discussed in the last post.

At the same time, as a leader or manager of others, work to understand those that respond in any of these ways when you are looking to make an audacious pivot.

CHALLENGE: Identify all of the caustic responses that apply. Be honest with yourself because this is where we usually dig in our heels and prevent creating our audacious success this year. Challenge yourself to think through each so you can enjoy the crazy success in 2022.

#1: Remain

“I’m happy where I am.”

This is a quick way for them to slam the door on the ultimate. We are comfortable and that is their choice. After all, their success is their choice. If they choose to be content with ordinary, there isn’t much else anyone can do or say.

CHALLENGE: Ask yourself, “How bad do I want my ultimate success?” and “If I have the opportunity to do ____________, why wouldn’t I take it?”

#2: Complain

“You don’t understand how difficult it is for me.”

Complaining is an easy and fairly painless way to stay in our misery. Whenever we or anyone else is challenged to think bigger and reach higher, it is easiest to claim the other doesn’t understand. Following up with a litany of problems often deters even the most helpful of people.

CHALLENGE: Complaining is a great way to persuade ourselves we don’t want to change. Despite how terrible it sounds to others, it really says, “I don’t want to change. I’m content in my pain.” Stop complaining. Only talk about the positive.

#3: Blame

Complaining quickly leads to blame.

If our success is our choice, then not making that choice must be our fault – unless we can convince ourselves and others that it is someone else’s fault.

We think we are home free and without responsibility by pinning the blame on someone else.

CHALLENGE: Quit fooling yourself. Instead, ask, “What action can I take to change MY situation?” Remember, YOUR success is YOUR choice.

#4: Shame

Instead of blaming someone else, a few quickly accept the blame and shame themselves. They are not only guilty of not making the decision, they see themselves as a worthless person unworthy of living 100% alive.

This is a very caustic situation because, as Hawkins writes in Power vs Force, shame is the lowest vibration before death. The person shaming themselves needs compassion to see their value. The opposite is a wasted life, even though they have tremendous opportunities.

CHALLENGE: Take shame seriously. Reach out for help. Yes, it is that critical. You and anyone else who is shaming themselves really want to be helped but are trapped in a negative spiral. Seek out professional help for yourself and anyone else if you are thinking of harming yourself or others.

#5: Game

Do you like playing games with people? You know, the type of thing where you mess with them? If so, you are maneuvering the situation by renaming the pieces and rewriting the rules.

Don’t deceive yourself. This is a caustic response because you are not serious about audacious success. Much like the frat member who refuses to adopt adult behaviors, your are treating life as a game when incredible opportunities are available.

CHALLENGE: Quit playing games. Get serious about your success.

Stop being S.T.U.P.I.D. when the opportunity is here.

#6: Bane

As we discussed in the previous post, some see the challenge as a risk beyond where they are comfortable or safe. To accept the challenge to create your ultimate success in 2022, they cling to what they know and think will continue.

Unfortunately, playing it safe in rapidly and radically changing times may be the surest way to failure. The one thing we have learned during the 2020-2022 pandemic is that what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. We cannot rely on a linear success model.

Wasting opportunities brings ruin and death (the definition of bane.) Any answer other than, “I’m interested, tell me more about audacious success” is a deadly poison that diminishes our opportunity to be 100% alive.

CHALLENGE: Assess the threats in the light of a rapidly and radically changing world. Doing nothing may be your worst choice. Avoid the deadly poison of believing yesterday predicts tomorrow.

7: Insane

The challenge to audaciously pivot this year, may leave us stunned, leading to an insane response. You know, that totally unintelligent reply like when we first tried to speak to someone we were smitten with.

One of the definitions of insane is: “temporarily unable to think clearly.” Our response to being presented with our wildest dreams may leave us speaking crazy. That shows we can’t think through the situation in a way to make it happen.

That’s maybe one of the least caustic responses because it shows incredible hope. To anyone who had already pivoted, our response sounds crazy, but they will understand your excitement.

Relax. You are in good hands. They can walk us through the logical process. However, if we don’t slow down and stop to collect our thoughts, we may miss the opportunity.

CHALLENGE: Slow down. Stop and collect your thoughts. Ask the important questions. This is your opportunity to think bigger so you can reach higher.

Contact me for your FREE 20-minute Coaching Call.




I am Dr. Loren Murfield, and I develop aspiring and emerging leaders pivot to their breakthrough success.   Contact me today to begin your pivot.

Like this post to be the first to hear of several significant developments from me.

Share this post on your social media.
Follow me on Twitter @theOpProf

(c) Murfield International, Inc.  2022

Pivotal Living and Working details the elements you need to shift from where you are to where you ultimately want to be.

Just Released! Click here to begin reading for just $1.99.

Leave a Reply