The toughest thing about excuses is they tend to be based in some semblance of truth. You really did miss the meeting because two lanes were closed due to a car accident. It’s also true your wifi did not work the night the paper was due. It may even be realistic to say you would be more successful if you had more support from your family.
There are plenty of valid reasons to explain why success was out of your reach. Yet, wouldn’t you trade every excuse for the opportunity to be successful? That’s the thing about excuses. As good as they are, they are a sign you fell short of your intended goal. That is why it is essential you discover how to stop making excuses so you can live your dream life.
Why Do People Make Excuses?
Learning how to stop making excuses will ensure you are always in control of your life. The most common reason people make excuses is because they don’t like a particular result in their life.
This result could about their finances, family, career, or health. When faced with the question of why your life is not where you want it to be, you can make an excuse or accept responsibility. The mistake most people make is they blame their shortcomings on outside circumstances.
While excuses may seem insignificant, they are actually very dangerous to your ability to create your dream life.
Imagine if your goal was to lose twenty pounds in 90 days. At the end of the 90 days, you stepped on the scale and discovered you only lost five pounds. As you contemplate what went wrong, your first thought was about all the times you cheated on the meal plan. Then, you remembered the days you were tired or busy and skipped your workout. By taking responsibility for not achieving your goal, you give yourself the opportunity to improve in the future.
For instance, if you know you didn’t achieve your weight loss goal because you didn’t follow the plan, all you need to do is find a way to stick to the plan. If you followed your plan and didn’t achieve your goal, then you need to reevaluate your goal or the plan. You may realize your goal wasn’t realistic in the time provided. In this situation, you can either adjust your goal or adjust the amount of time you give yourself to achieve your goal. Either way, you know exactly what to do to create the results you want in your life.
When you blame your failures on a circumstance or situation out of control, you will find yourself waiting for the world to give you the life you desire. Those who understand that excuses limit their ability to succeed will relish in the opportunity to take responsibility for the results in their life.
How to Stop Making Excuses
If you really want to stop making excuses and focus on achieving success, try the following tips to keep yourself on track.
1. Recognize the Need to Step out of Your Comfort Zone
If you want to learn how to stop making excuses, you need to focus on why you want to improve your life. When doubt creeps into your mind, you will start to make excuses to justify keeping things the same. When your mind is in this state, your motivation to continue is the furthest thing from it. Your mind has transitioned into “flight or fight” mode. Therefore, every excuse you think of is an attempt to justify a return to your comfort zone.
The most dangerous aspect of your comfort-zone is the fact that it can feel so… comfortable. Your comfort zone is filled with habits you have grown accustomed to. The problem with staying in your comfort zone is that the changes you want to make in your life require you to leave it to expand your horizons. As the saying goes, what got you here won’t get you there.
2. Avoid Associating with “Excuse-Makers”
One of the significant revelations I had when I started venturing beyond my comfort zone was the prevalence of excuse-making among the people in my life. In retrospect, our conversations were often filled with complaints and justifications. Just think about what we could have accomplished if we had channeled that time and energy into action!
Like you, the individuals you surround yourself with may not be aware of their tendency to make excuses. Believe me, you can point it out repeatedly, but it’s a realization that everyone must arrive at on their own before they can initiate change. Take the initiative to steer conversations in a new direction; become the catalyst for change. By eliminating your own excuses, you’re likely to inspire those you care about to do the same.
3. Focus on Your Motivation
To motivate yourself to expand your comfort zone and stop making excuses, you need to keep your passion and motivation in the forefront of your mind. Each time you succumb to your excuses, you are creating a reason to accept the status quo of your life. There will always be a reason to wait for tomorrow, but you cannot allow yourself to continue procrastinating.
Ask yourself, “How do I see my life changing when I accomplish my goal?” Will you be better positioned to take care of your family, support causes you are passionate about, or chase your dreams? Whatever the reason, understand that excuses rob you of the opportunity to accomplish your dreams.
4. Harness Your Excuses as Valuable Signals
In your journey towards personal growth and productivity, it’s crucial to view your excuses as valuable signals rather than obstacles.
Each time an excuse arises, it serves as a signal pointing to a deeper underlying issue. Embrace this opportunity to gain insight into your inner workings.
When you catch yourself making excuses, take a moment to delve deeper, identify the root cause, and take proactive steps to overcome it. The more consistently you apply this practice, the less you’ll hinder your progress toward realizing your full potential.
5. Fight the Fear of Failure
Those who know how to stop making excuses accept the fact that they will not always get it right the first time. Fear of failure causes many to make excuses to justify their inaction.
Taking steps into the unknown is difficult. Your mind is focused on keeping you safe, and as a result, it is bombarding you with images of the worst-case scenario.
If your goal is to apply for a new job or start your own business, your mind is concerned about you leaving your stable income. As soon as you start to visualize yourself leaving, your mind starts making excuses for all the reasons you should stay.
While you were tired of being overlooked for a promotion yesterday, you are now wondering if you really wanted the promotion in the first place. You contemplate if managing adults is really worth the trouble.
You start to feel lucky you didn’t get promoted because you think the additional work will outweigh the additional pay. And what if you are not as ready to be promoted as you thought you were? Then you run the risk of your employment being terminated.
In just a few short minutes, you have created multiple excuses to keep things just the way they are. When you take accountability for the results in your life, the answer to each of these questions is the same.
While you may not know exactly what your future entails, you are comfortable knowing that you will rise to the challenge. Whatever that challenge may be, you know you are going to learn the skills necessary to succeed.
As simple as it sounds, you cannot allow yourself to believe that life is happening to you. You are in control of a great many parts of your life. You are the creator of the results in your life, and if you do not like the results, learning how to stop making excuses is the first step to changing them.
When you take responsibility for your life, an amazing thing will happen: you will start to think of ways to change it. You must have faith in your ability to find a path to succeed in the most difficult of situations.
|||^||Psychology Today: Hierarchy of Excuses: The Pathetic Path of Least Resistance|
|||^||Harvard Business Review: Understanding the stress response|
|||^||Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy: The Complexity of the Relation between Fear of Failure and Procrastination|