Excuses Begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits

By Wayne W. Dyer

8,672 ratings - 4.13* vote

Within the pages of this transformational book, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer reveals how to change the self-defeating thinking patterns that have prevented you from living at the highest levels of success, happiness, and health. Even though you may know what to think, actually changing those thinking habits that have been with you since childhood might be somewhat challenging."If I c Within the pages of this transformational book, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer reveals how to change the self-defeating thinking

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Book details

Hardcover, 288 pages
May 26th 2009 by Hay House

(first published January 1st 2009)

Original Title
Excuses Begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits
1401921736 (ISBN13: 9781401921736)
Edition Language

Community Reviews


I could not stop listening to this audio book and now that I am done, I just want to start all over again.

This was my second Wayne Dyer book. I found it when I was feeling like I was in a good place in my life. I wanted reinforcement that bad times were not right around the corner for me just because I was feeling good. I found that and a lot more.

The message I needed most was this: You have the choice to think thoughts that are debilitating and you have the choice to think with unending possibility. You can never know that all the positive thoughts you think will come true but those thoughts don't stop down on life. The flip side to that coin is that you can't know that your negative thoughts will come true either but those thoughts are paralyzing. So shouldn't we choose to think the optimistic thoughts? Why think any thoughts that close doors?

I am still slightly stuck on the instruction to "think like God thinks." God is an uninterpreted being to me so I am not sure what to do with that. I don't believe in the deity from organized religion but I believe in a higher power. I may never completely understand It (Him/Her?) so how can I think like God thinks? I think the message for someone like me would then be to think with omnipotence.

Loy Machedo

Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Excuses Begone! By Dr. Wayne Dyer

Dr. Wayne Dyer earned my fascination and respect with his Your Erogenous Zones when I was only 16 years old. Ever since I have made it an effort to ensure I am updated with whatever he has to offer. But somewhere along those 16 years, Dr. Wayne Dyer transformed himself from a person with a Scientific Reasoning to borderline Spiritual Nonsense, Mythical Garbage & Quantum Physical Crap.

In as much as I would love to thrash this book, I would say there are a few nuggets of wisdom worth sharing. So let me accept the challenge of being as fair as possible to both sides of the argument.

The Great Stuff
Wayne is an incredibly well read man. He cites examples, quotations and anecdotes from literally ever corner of the world. One moment he can be stating Tao Te Ching and the next moment he will zero down to the Bible and then before you know it, comes the Bhagwad Gita & Henry David Thoreau. If there is one amazing take away from this book, it is simply this – the library of information he has to share from so many different cultures and disciplines.
The book makes you contemplate many areas of your life – especially where vices like smoking, drinking, over-eating, depression, stress and a stress-filled life is concerned.
I have nothing but admiration for a man who has put so much of effort and heart into each and every principle he has had to share.

The Nonsense
Wayne has a habit of cherry-picking whatever he feels adds value to his argument – to the point he can ignore the rest of the facts. For instance, he will pick up feel good versus from the Bible – be it from the old chapter or new and expect us to give him the nod for his theory. And then you have the potpourri of mythical books like the Gita & the least understood concept of Quantum Physics and quotes from other luminaries – and volia, he expects you to buy what he has to say. What about the rest? One quote from a whole book supports your theory?
He keeps blabbering about how he is one with nature and one with the universe and talking about walks in the nature and swims in the pond to reach creative fulfillment (or something along those lines). Well – someone ought to give him a wake up slap and let him know normal everyday people cannot afford to take swims in the ponds or take walks in the forest without having the challenges of life breathing down the necks.
It is very easy for a man who earns a lot of residual income from the sale of his Books, Audio Programs and DVD’s to harp about charity and giving selflessly without thought of tomorrow. I think as he is getting older, he is slowly losing his cuckoos.

Overall Review
There seems to be a dying breed of the New Age Spiritual Guru’s with their Recycled Garbage, Trivial Thoughts, Attract the Invisible and ‘You-Will-See-It-When-You-Believe-It’. Gone are the days where someone like Joe Vitale could flash around a fake title like Doctor of Metaphysics or like William Lane Craig - Doctor of Theology (Both sound more like Doctor of Fairy Tales and Bull Shit) and people would get impressed. I think people are tired of these know-it-all authors and writers who come up with this rubbish which cannot be explained just to increase their book sales and have enough money to – like how they say it – be one with the universe while swimming in the ponds without any thought of tomorrow.
This book will appeal to confused frustrated crackpots who pray to stones & images and believe in miraculous favors coming showered to them by some sky god simply because some nomadic herd wrote some mystical blabbering text on some script many years before science & reasoning had come into being. Or to those searching for the answers and expecting words like Dharma, Karma or Tao to solve their confusion.
Another literally waste product from an old man who has also lost his mind.

Overall Rating
3 out of 10.

Loy Machedo


UPDATE: As I read this today, (by that I mean listened to it,) I had no idea I had already listened to it until just now when I pulled it up on GR and saw it wasin my "read" pile. I still think he is personable and that he had a positive message. So still 4 stars.


I never know how to rate this kind of book. I've never read this author before. I've seen him on PBS during fund raising time. I think he was quite personable on television, and I can say the same about the audio of this book I just listened to, but I don't think I could actually sit down and read something like this unless I thought I needed it and if I was willing to change.

This book gently rolled along, just like his PBS specials. I actually liked that and thought it fit his message well. He had some great ideas regarding revamping your life. But most of them were HUGE and drastic....no baby steps. Again, though, that worked for his basic message in this book.

I liked the audio. I don't think I'd like the book. I liked his message. I don't think it is easy to implement. If you are plagued with excuses and feel unfulfilled in life, this might be worth the time to read and take notes. If you are neither of those, this was still a quiet read for a quiet day.

Jenny Baker

Sometimes we read a book and something in it just clicks with us. This is that book for me. I've known about this book since it was first published, but I wasn't ready to read it until now. I wish I had been ready to read it back then. I could have shortened the lifespan of my mistakes. This is a wonderful book to open up your mind, change your old thinking habits and create a new way of thinking that will truly benefit your life in every way.

I love Dr. Wayne Dyer. He gets me to question my old thoughts and realize that they're wrong. He not only tells you what to change, but how to change. A lot of these self-help gurus skip the all-important how portion of their teaching and that's the most important step.

Everything he writes is so inspirational. If you need something uplifting that will put you on the right path to reach your personal goals, this is the book to read. I can't recommend it enough.

Jenny Yates

This book is full of really good ideas, taken from everything from the Tao Te Ching to the Ramayana. (Some of it is also taken from Katie Byron, without any acknowledgement.) Philosophically, it’s full of gems. The only trouble is that it’s couched in the most annoying language possible. It’s like he’s trying to sell you a car, and he just won’t let up. I don’t really think this book is designed to be read. It would work better on a series of placards.


On merits, this book contains some great messages to mankind. I enjoyed the references on memerics and DNA alterations regarding one's strong faith and belief. However, the reader gets no chance to digest the material as the writing was too repetitive and at some points overexerting. I got the gist of it during the first three chapters, thereupon I tagged alone with a feeling that I have been brainwashed more than I needed to. The seventh principle of compassion, upon which Dr. Dyer elaborates in chapter 10, is a stumbling stone for the author. When you give an example of a test of faith that should appeal to mankind, you cannot simply walk in the other direction. Dr. Dyer praises the generous wise woman for giving her precious stone to the greedy traveler. However, it had nothing to do with compassion. It was a matter of generosity vs. greed. Like the greedy traveler, Dr. Dyer wishes to thrive on the generosity/labor of others, and he even gave expression for his real motives for his book industry: see page 133: ‘The traveler saw the precious stone and imagined how it would provide him with financial security for the reminder of his life’. The reason I didn’t fall for this book is simple. In 1993 I visited South Africa. It was in Johannesburg that I have passed the test of faith upon which Dr. Dyer elaborates in chapter 10. I gave all of my money to the poor and returned to my homeland with zero money, no job and no place to stay. I was broke and on the verge of homelessness. If it was not by the grace of an old friend, I would have been just another poor homeless walking the streets of en elite society. Three days later I became a volunteer in a kibbutz, and ever since my life changed dramatically. Dr. Dyer will never give his money away to the poor and do what I did. He talks the talk but he never walked the walk. I doubt he will ever pass such a test himself. What counts in life is acta non verba (deeds not words). Dr. Dyer is a greedy elitist. He made an industry out of spiritual guidance. I was very disappointed to discover the truth about him in chapter 10. I grew weary of charlatans.

Susan Lynn

This book is wonderful if you feel "stuck" in your personal or professional life or if you know you are "your own worst enemy".

The author outlines, with wonderful examples and analogies, excuses or negative self-talk many employ when attempting to change aspects of your life or character;such as "I'm too old" or "It will be expensive" or "I'm not smart enough". There is no judgement or chastisement for using these excuses. Dyer explains, in simple and eloquent language, the psychology or reasoning behind why people create such obstacles to their personal evolution.

With this insight as to why we use excuses, Dyer then goes on to provide alternate ways of thinking. These alternates include questioning old thinking habits as well as ways to open oneself to embracing a paradigm shift. With this embrace a universe of opportunities opens up before you and you have the strength to banish any excuses that prevent you from discovering your beautiful, authentic self.

Patricia Bogoevici

I heard a lot of good reviews about this book and since I haven't read anything by Dyer before, I was curios about it.
The book is a good summary of excuses but it doesn't do a good job explaining them, relying too much on explanations based on ego and god (or source of energy as Dyer says quite a lot in the book). The book has quite a lot of quotes from diverse authors, some are quite nice. One of the quotes which I think summarizes the book was: "you don't solve your problems, you simply outgrown them".

A side note: I think the book title "Excuses begone" was tongue in cheek, but it may be just me.


I wasn't sure if I needed to read this after I listened to the audio version but I'm glad I did. The two are supplementary.

This book is a brilliant way to organize and conceptualize the basic tenets of personal spirituality. Although I don't necessarily recommend it for everyone in the same way I have recommended the audio version. The writing is dense and the book requires introspection that certain people in my life don't get on board with, namely my mom. She liked the audio version but didn't have the patience for deconstructing her thoughts in the way this book suggests. Spirituality is not a one-size-fits-all.

For me, this fits. I am always trying to identify and jettison toxicity and open myself up to infinite possibilities. I loved the delineation of thoughts, exercises, and principles. If you are a student of this kind of thinking, you will likely appreciate things you already know presented in a manner you had not previously conceptualized.

Lewis Manalo

I've seen Dyer on PBS for years, but I've never read any of his books till excuses I kept hearing coincided with this show being on TV. Dyer applies New Thought terms and ideas to an interpretation of Taoist philosophy. This volume is meant to shake the reader out of inertia by using this philosophy to examine his or her thought processes.

I enjoyed reading the book, and I believe in what he writes; however, like most Taoist and New Thought writing, the evidence presented here is anecdotal and personal, which won't win over any skeptics. Taking so many quotes out of context also feels unscholarly and awkward. Though inspiring, most of the quotes are unnecessary for supporting his points.

But what Dyer writes about makes sense. Why persist in believing in something negative when it can't be true and it isn't helpful? Skeptics will miss out, but readers who believe in New Thought or Taoist spirituality and philosophy will definitely benefit.