This friend is mine. She makes excuses to avoid responsibility. Worst of all, because she has been doing this for so many years, excuses have become a part of her personality.
I used to gently push her towards solutions to her excuses to get her to stop putting her foot down. But she now has the market monopolized. It’s a formidable force field. She doesn’t have the life she wants. Instead of accepting responsibility, she pulls out her excuses book and opens the section entitled “Reasons Why Everything Is Not My Fault.”
In truth, I would have more respect if she just said, “I’m not doing that or that because it’s too lazy.”
Why bother with her? Because I used to be her at one point: determined, ambitious, and motivated. But when things didn’t go my way, I became a victim of my environment. This caused years to spin my tires. My excuses were always there for me to fall, until they weren’t. My life turned out exactly the way I had hoped it would.
Excuses, like all bad habits are easy to make. These excuses allow you to be comfortable in your own comfort zone and “be okay” with your life. You’ll soon realize that this way of living doesn’t work for you. Either you accept your current situation (which is an excuse-coated version “give up”) or you can take responsibility for where you are and, more importantly, why it was created.
What’s it? Yes, that’s what I thought. Here are seven ways to get rid of excuses.
1. You can read between the lines
Most often, your excuses are masking the true reason you can’t do something. It could be a fear of failure for some. Others have low self-esteem. Others still feel it is a fear of failure or losing something.
If you are unsure where your excuses are coming, ask yourself this question: What would happen if you were to succeed? You’ll probably recognize a common theme if you list every possible outcome. This issue is worth addressing.
2. Don’t end your statements with “But …””
This little trick works every time. Instead of saying “I would really like to”, …”, cut yourself off, and instead say “I would really like to.” This will help your mind focus on the plans that you need to achieve your goals and not the obstacles currently standing in your way. Instant motivation!
3. Avoid other “excusers”
When I started stepping outside of my comfort zone, one of the most striking things was the amount of people in my circle who made excuses. There were so many excuses that, when we looked back at our conversations together, it was clear that we were constantly complaining and exacerbating! Imagine what it would look like if we put all that time into doing.
People you spend time with may not be aware of their excuses. Trust me, you can point it out all they want, but it is a realization that everyone must come to before they can make changes. Jumpstart a new conversation. Be the one to change the tune. You’ll be able to encourage others you care about by removing your excuses.
4. You can fool yourself
Sometimes just thinking is enough to achieve your goals. This is especially true for huge goals such as achieving a challenging career or starting a business. It is easy to get overwhelmed and not be able to get started.
Make your excuses disappear by creating the mother-of-all to-do lists that relate to this goal. It can be broken down into tiny steps. You should only work on one step at a stretch. The rest can be hidden in a drawer. It doesn’t feel so big once you have completed the step. Next, move on to the next step. This worked miracles for me when my screenplay was completed. I also felt better after overcoming adrenal fatigue. It’s now something I can do regularly, and comfortably, without any lists.
You’ll soon be amazed at how far you have come!
5. Create Excuse-Free Habits
You can’t help but feel the fear. But, do it anyway. Recognize your excuses, face them up, and do the things you want, regardless of what is stopping you. It’s not easy to do, but it’s another thing to claim you are in control of your own life.
Although it is hard and painful at times, these habits can be incredibly rewarding. You will feel energized and proud afterward. You’ll be eager to set your next challenge immediately. Once you start, it’s addictive! Enjoy the challenge of testing your limits and enjoying the process on your terms.
6. Use your Excuses as Signals
You can use your excuses to your advantage once you realize what they really are. Your excuses are a sign of a deeper problem. This is a great way for you to get to know yourself and what drives you. Every excuse you make is an excuse. Instead of making excuses, dig deeper, identify the root cause, and then work towards moving on. This will help you to realize your full potential.