‘Ninety-Nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses’-George Washington Carver
I believe excuses are the only things that stand between you and what you want most.
We often limit ourselves and sabotage our own goals and dreams because we make excuses.
Our own excuses create barriers between us and our dreams, and they start to slowly push us away from everything we want.
The excuse becomes a huge weight that hinders any positive progress.
In fact, excuses have become a habit.
It provides justification for why we can’t get things done.
I believe an excuse is an avoidance of the truth.
Below is a list of my favorite weak sauce excuses:
- I have no time.
- I am too old.
- I am too young.
- My life is too busy.
- I’m tired.
- Now is not the right time.
- I don’t have the money.
- I feel overwhelmed right now.
- I never grew up with that kind of knowledge or thinking.
- I tried it before and failed.
- I’m not smart enough.
- I don’t feel like it.
- It’s someone else’s fault (fill in the blank).
In anticipation of writing this article, I kept a journal of my own excuses for the past 30 days.
After a month of self-awareness, I can share that I have used at least 3 of the above excuses to not finish a project or start a new idea.
It was quite easy for me to come up with an excuse and more importantly to JUSTIFY IT.
When I think back to my younger days, I became highly creative with my excuses.
I convinced myself and others that my excuses were real, and they became part of my identity.
It had become so habit-forming that I made excuses to get myself off the hook.
In fact, I had trained my mind to become so believable at making excuses – it became part of who I was for years.
I thought I was getting away with it.
But it became tiring…
I was ripping myself off…
I was giving my power and energy away to the excuse.
But the truth is that we all make excuses from time to time.
This is a simple pattern that we use to rationalize ‘why’ we didn’t follow through on a specific commitment.
So why do we continue to make a habit of making excuses?
- Fear of Failure.
- Fear of Change.
- Fear of uncertainty.
- I might be embarrassed.
- What if I make a mistake?
- What will people think?
- Perceived lack of confidence or resources.
The above examples are nothing but fear and confidence traps.
These mental blocks keep us locked in our comfort zone and therefore any small change or positive shift in momentum becomes a barrier.
In addition, it is easier to make an excuse and do nothing, than to do all the things we have to do in order to achieve our desired goals and dreams.
If you’ve developed a bad habit where you make excuses all of the time, then it might be time to minimize this behavior.
Take out your journal and ask yourself these powerful questions:
- Would I believe this excuse if anyone else besides myself was saying it?
- Does this excuse even make any sense?
- Am I really going to let this excuse stop me?
- What am I waiting for?
- What can I do right now, on my own, to move the idea forward?
- Who do I know that can help right now?
- Where can I go to find motivation?
- What’s the worst that can happen?
- Why am I afraid of moving forward?
- How can I start without investing much effort?
The truth is nothing can limit us…
Except for our own personal thoughts and limiting beliefs.
Therefore, we must stop the habit of making excuses and start looking for solutions.
‘Commit to stop making excuses. When we make excuses, we lie to ourselves and create bad habits.’-Joyce Meyer
The following tips will help you to Stop excuses and build personal power:
- TAKE RESPONSIBILITY and DO WHAT YOU KNOW
You have to decide to live a life where excuses are not a place to give yourself a pass.
Acknowledge that you have given your power away to your excuses in the past.
Search your soul for reasons why you can’t make your commitments and own them!
Throughout the day, be mindful of your self-talk and proclaim…
MY EXCUSES ARE DRAGGING ME DOWN!
I AM ONLY CHEATING MYSELF!
Then decide not to give yourself a pass when you choose a goal or project or idea that you want to accomplish.
In order to get to you’re your desired outcome, make sure the goal or objective has meaning and value for you.
For more information and tools on goal setting, read my article called…
‘3 TIPS TO ENSURE YOU FOLLOW THROUGH ON YOUR GOALS’
To move forward towards an excuse-free life, I recommend you…
Do what you know…Not what you feel!
During my coaching conversations with clients and even when mentoring my team, most know what to do.
In fact, they outline their plans, goals, and projects in great detail.
But then emotion takes over and they say…
‘I don’t feel like it’ or ‘I had good intentions’…but…
When you think like this and make an excuse you slowly lose power.
I have seen people weaken themselves every time they use an excuse or justification for not starting or doing something.
Excuses create weakness.
I have seen very capable people use ‘excuse after excuse’ as they continue to weaken their passions to the point where plans and commitments don’t hold together.
Next time you catch yourself coming up with an excuse, realize that…
You are lying to yourself!
An excuse poses as a mask and is a way of being dishonest to yourself.
One of my favourite authors is the late Wayne Dyer. His book ‘Excuses begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self Defeating Thinking Habits. It can be purchased on amazon.ca:
2. STOP MAKING SOCIAL EXCUSES
‘You can make time, or you can make time for your excuses, but you can’t do both.’-Grant Cardone
I believe you must be enrolled in the idea that you can do more.
You can make your dreams a reality and accomplish whatever project you are
You have to believe that you can move the needle and make a difference.
But, in order to think this way, we have to free ourselves of the perceived social pressures that are disguising themselves as excuses.
The most concerning excuse for many of my clients is that they are terrified of embarrassment or how they/it will look to others.
What I have learned is that most aren’t scared to start their dream or goal…but they are embarrassed that the dream is too small or insignificant to others.
For example, many of my clients want to quit their steady job and start something new.
But they don’t want their former colleagues to see them struggle.
Or they may feel people are looking down on them or gossiping because they are being careless with their career or don’t have a detailed or big enough dream or goal.
So, they become embarrassed and think other people are judging them.
They use an excuse, think poorly of themselves, and stop pursuing their goals and dreams.
‘If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.’-Jim Rohn
The perception of embarrassment and how things look to others really steals their energy and shuts them down.
During these conversations with my clients, I will often ask:
- Are you not going to pursue something because you are scared of what someone else will think?
- If you have never tried this before, are you assuming that you will feel horrible or uncomfortable if people have an opinion or perceived negative belief about what you are doing?
- Is this a dream or goal worth pursuing, even if a few people make assumptions or think you’re crazy and careless?
- Is it worth having someone judge you in the moment, give your power away, and stop your momentum and passion to something that matters to you?
- How important is this goal or dream to you?
- Isn’t it worth a little discomfort, even if you feel you are being judged?
Being brave in this situation is to not give up or make excuses and give your doubters ammunition or power.
Here is a powerful question to ask yourself:
If you woke up everyday energized by what you are doing, wouldn’t it be worth it?
Start painting that picture:
What would it feel like if you were doing the things you were meant to do?
What would it feel like if I stopped using excuses as a crutch to achieve my goals and dreams?
Embarrassment is a lame excuse, especially if you know what other people are saying is NOT true.
In summary, constantly making excuses means we are choosing the easy way out.
Excuses rip you off because you think you are getting away with it, but you are only cheating yourself.
Take responsibility and build personal power by shining the spotlight on your excuses by becoming aware of self-sabotaging, excuse-making behaviours.
Do not let your excuses rationalize your actions and prevent you from achieving your dreams!
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I sincerely wish you the best on your journey to enhance your life!
George Andreas, Founder