There are times in life when we need a little nurturing, a friendly shoulder to cry on, and a girlfriend to pour our heart out to … but there are also times when what we really need to do is build a bridge and just plain get over ourselves!

It’s easy to blame our past, our upbringing, ex-lovers, partners, children, parents and anything else in between when things go wrong. And it’s easy to spend hours upon hours trying to analyse all the hows and whys. Instead, let’s cut to the chase and learn how to get over things. Plus it’s a great chance to give yourself a good ol’ fashioned uppercut. If reading this chapter does not help or switch on any ‘a-ha’ moments then you mightn’t need it — or you might just need a touch of therapy, and that’s not such a bad thing either!

Unsure how to start building your bridge to transformation?

Well here are 13 ways to stop making excuses:

Don’t take it personally!

Does it really matter what anyone does or that you should try to understand why? Imagine the time you will save when you don’t try to work out why your grandfather was such a grumpy bum, or what happened in your neighbour’s life to make her so pedantic, or why your child’s best friend’s mother ignores you every time you see her at school. Sometimes the key is to just let it go, realise it is their issue and move on. We are all products of our upbringing, genetic pre-disposition, environment and personality, so let it go. It’s been said that it is none of your business what anyone thinks of you anyway.

The world does not owe you a thing

When you really think about what it has taken to get you where you are today; your parents/caregivers and how much love and attention they gave you, the coaches over the years and their commitment to your endeavours, the energy and time your teachers at school and university put into you, your friends’ love and generosity and your supportive community, it’s pretty hard to imagine how you could ever repay the debt. So rather, when feeling down or feeling that others seem to be so much more blessed than you, remember what you have been given and treasure what you’ve got, then ask yourself ‘What is it that I can give back?’

Life is what it is

Sometimes life is exceptional, sometimes it’s ok and sometimes it is pretty much the pits. Life is not always fair. If you understand this concept, and realise that every stage is a chance to grow, then you can get real with it. By all means, feel the pain and acknowledge the down times, but don’t become a victim of them. The one word that is unhelpful in these situations is ‘should’. I should have done this, I should be better, it should have worked out, should, should, should. People ‘should’ all over themselves every day. It is not the way it should have been, or could have been or might have been. It is the way it is! Now accept it and move forward. Time may not heal all wounds but your attitude will help you move through tough times quicker with the ability to come out the other end a better person.

Accept who you are

If you don’t like what you see in the mirror do something about it. There is nothing worse than hearing someone constantly go on about how fat they are, how stupid they are, or how much they don’t like their hair, boobs, legs or butt. Get over yourself girlfriend, help is always at hand. Engage the help of a personal trainer, life coach, hairdresser or therapist. Find out how you can improve or change what you don’t like. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Get up tomorrow morning, look in the mirror naked and say ‘I am hot’. Truly, the last thing you need to do is indulge in some self-pity party, it doesn’t help you or anyone around you!

Take baby steps

It doesn’t have to be perfect, or done in one leap. Any step in the right direction is better than no step at all.

There’s always enough time

Prioritising, time management, say no … you’ve heard it all before. If you are someone who never has enough time, or can’t fit everything you want to do into your life, then slow down and smell the coffee, or roses! There is always time. You just have to decide what takes priority, whether or not you should have actually agreed to do it in the first place, or manage your time more efficiently with a diary or calendar. Get on with it or learn to say no next time.

Accept a compliment

When someone says ‘you look great’ or ‘gosh your hair looks fantastic’ or ‘what have you been doing lately you look amazing’ don’t slam the lovely comment or compliment back in their face with an ‘Oh really, I feel so fat!’ or ‘More like it needs a cut,’ or ‘You must be blind.’ Either you are fishing for another compliment or reinforcement of something you don’t believe or else you don’t accept compliments well. Build a bridge and train yourself. A simple ‘thanks’ is the perfect reply to a compliment!

Get help

If you really are becoming overwhelmed or you are too busy or can’t manage it all then rather than complaining or getting grumpy and fed up, get help. If you don’t ask you don’t get. Ask your mates, your family, your kids or even a neighbour if they could help you out. What’s the worse they could say? No? Well, that’s ok too. But you might be surprised at how happy they are to lend a hand. If you can afford it, outside professional help is a good idea too. Look at how much you take on. Check out the ‘there’s always enough time’ tip.

You know what is best for you

There will always be some well intentioned person who thinks they know you better than you do, and at times it may well be true. Gut instincts are not a bad thing, though. Listen to yourself. What’s your heart saying?

Be positive

There’s nothing worse than catching up with people who always seem to have the negative lens of life on. Don’t become one of these types. Life is for living. Nothing wrong with a good moan every now and again, but don’t go on. Even if things are tough or you are a bit low, there’s always something to be positive about. Even the fact that the sun came out or the fact that it rained is a blessing for many. Any day above ground should be considered a good one. Try a gratitude journal. Every night get into the habit of writing five things you are grateful for — this teaches you to turn your attention to the good rather than the negative.

Stop all the anti-aging hype

As mentioned already the worst thing about getting old is not getting old! Why on earth is our society stuck on the fact that young is best, that beauty is in the eye of the young beholder, or that you should do everything (including surgery) to prevent yourself looking your age, and heaven forbid, if you get too many wrinkles! It’s time to get a grip and wake up to the fact we are all getting older. We are all going to age and hopefully become old ladies ourselves one day. What about ageing gracefully? What sort of role models are we being to the younger generation? With age comes wisdom and an even deeper sense of beauty. Look around — there are so many beautiful role models at every age that we can aspire to. Many cultural philosophies truly value their elders. It’s time we all did.

Don’t be a hypocrite

How you talk, how you act, what you say, how you live your life is always being watched. If you have children, even more so. ‘Do as I say not as I do’ is not exactly something you earn respect for. If you have expectations that the government should provide free health care services for example and yet you smoke and eat takeaways regularly, isn’t that a tad hypocritical? Be your word. Walk your talk and don’t forget the ripple effect this has on those around you.

Believe in yourself

Ok, we have been straightforward so far and this is one of the biggies — believe in yourself! You are strong, you are capable and you are beautiful. It’s time to build that bridge, girlfriend, and start believing it yourself!