Without accepting who we are and what we do, we cannot change the actions that make us.

My process is simple. Really, it is.

I ask questions. People answer questions.

I ask more questions. People keep talking.

I watch body language. I listen to tone of voice. I hear patterns. I ask more questions.

What I find interesting is how people tell stories about themselves. With some people I can tell in a matter of minutes they are ready to start moving forward toward their goals.

Some people seem to need a little convincing.

Most people are too caught up in their own excuses, they don’t even believe they have a problem. (Remember, they called me with the goal of changing something about their current situation…)

I spend 85% of my time listening, 5% of my time teaching, and the other 10% trying to sell people to believe in themselves enough to get started…

I’m not sure what is harder… weaving through all the excuses of why people are where they are or trying to talk someone into acting toward a goal, they think they want, but don’t believe they deserve.

The two main reasons I have found for people giving into their excuses.

  1. Don’t believe they have a problem
  2. Lack of Self Belief

I love stories. I love to tell stories. I love to hear stories.

My favorite stories are when people tell me about their day, their life experiences, their hopes and dreams. The more detail the better. I don’t even mind when some fiction and imagination has been added to enhance the plot.

I learn a lot about people by hearing their stories. I learn what people love and hate. I learn what excites and scares them. I listen for daily cues and actions. I learn how they became who they are today. I can see where they are going in the future.

No, I’m not a mind reader… but I can see someone’s future.

“We are who we are because that’s exactly who we believe we should be.” – Some really smart guy in a book I read long ago…

I can tell where someone is going by observing what they did to get here today and how they describe where they are going tomorrow.


If people are unhappy today, but don’t believe they have created their own unhappiness, there is nothing I can do for them…

We must learn to face the facts of the situation as they are, even if they are unpleasant. Take the emotion out of the conversation. Take “how we feel” about what we do and analyze the actions we have used to create who we are. We must learn to challenge how we think about the situation. If we are not willing to accept full personal responsibility, we cannot accept the plan for escaping our situation.

The importance of reflecting can be used to overcome our excuses. When we journal or reflect on our actions, we can find patterns of behavior. As we understand our behaviors, we can track our thoughts and actions to the start of the behavior. If we are open and think hard enough, we can find why we began taking action to begin with… What were we missing? What were we hoping to feel? Why were we wanting to feel that way? These are a few questions we use to take us back in time and understand what action began the domino effect that brings us to today.


If someone doesn’t believe they deserve to be happier or healthier, there is nothing I can do for them… because if you aren’t willing to help yourself, then you have no one else you can truly rely on to make the changes you need to make to get where you want to go.

You act in accordance to the person you believe you are.

If you think you are a drinker, good luck going to the bar without getting loaded…

If you think you are a marathon runner, good luck getting through an injury…

If you think your genetics have led you to a life of being unhealthy and obese, good luck getting started on a workout plan or eating better…

I don’t say these things to be mean or rude. I say them because they are my own personal examples. The phrases are direct quotes from my previous journals.

Common excuse phrases:

I can’t give up ______.

I have to have a cheat day.

I could never run a marathon.

I wouldn’t do ______.

I’ve always been a _____.

I know at least one of the phrases sounds familiar to you. How did your change go?

“Be careful of the stories you tell yourself because one day you will wake up and find it to be true.” – Another smart guy in a book I read

We act in accordance of what we think. We think in the accordance of how we act. Once we get into a pattern of thought, the only way to break the hypnotic rhythm is to be disrupted. “Once an object is in motion it will stay in motion until an outside force acts upon it.” -Some scientist guy named Newton (I think?)

We need to be disrupted. We need to be taught how to think. We need to be challenged. We fully need to be able to express ourselves in an open, understanding, nonjudgmental, and freeing environment. If we don’t feel like we can be our “real selves” then we will continue covering ourselves with the mask that put us here. We must believe we deserve to live how we want to live, be who we want to be, act how we want to act…

We must understand who we are today, so we can become who we want to be tomorrow. The answers that lead us to a better future lay dormant within our minds… we must learn to think our way through our problems and learn through self-exploration and discovery how to get to a better tomorrow.

Are you looking for a change this year?
Schedule a free call and let’s chat. Whether we decide to work together or not, you will leave the call with an action plan to get started NOW. Don’t wait for another year to pass you by…

Schedule NOW!

Coach Gary Stotler Mindset

Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

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