“We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.” ―Rudyard Kipling
There are many reasons why people make excuses. In fact everyone has different reasons for making them. However, when it boils down to it, we only make excuses for the following main reasons:
- Fear of Failure
- Fear of Embarrassment
- Fear of Success
- Fear of Change
- Fear of Uncertainty
- Fear of Responsibility
- Fear of Making Mistakes
- Perceived lack of confidence or resources
What are we really doing when we make excuses? We’re allowing ourselves to justify our decision to avoid a certain task or behaviour.
The bottom line? By making excuses, we’re accepting the least amount of momentum possible from ourselves.
So why do we do this? An excuse is just our mind’s way of telling us we don’t have to do something, when our heart knows we should.
To eliminate excuses from our lives we must first look at eliminating all traces of fear.
Fear traps and locks us away within our comfort zone. Yet fear often develops as a result of a lack of understanding, information, resources, experience or perspective. If you lack all these things, you will naturally lack confidence, and as a result you will fail to take the action necessary to achieve your goals and objectives. Consequently you will tend to make excuses about your life and circumstances in order to help boost your self-esteem. However, all you’re doing is creating the illusion of security. You’re simply masking the pain by taking a pain killer. The pain is still there, and will continue to persist until you finally overcome your fears.
How To Stop Sabotaging Yourself?
- Look in the Mirror and Accept Responsibility
It’s all about you. You are the only one who can turn things around or achieve the goals you set. Stop blaming and start doing.
- Remember: excuses only hurt you
Don’t want to go to the gym? Cancelling a dinner with friends? Avoiding calls from family?
By making excuses, you’re only hurting yourself. The moment you realise that, you’ll wake up and be more mindful of how your actions are affecting yourself and others.
If you decide to go to the gym after all, how do you feel afterward? Great (and sweaty!). How do you feel if you decide to get some buddy time in, even though you don’t feel like it? Probably even better than if you just left the gym.
That’s because our brains know that we have to push ourselves, and if we avoid pushing, we’ll create as many excuses as we can to justify our behaviour.
- Have a “funeral” for your excuses
I know it sounds crazy, but it’s effective!
If you’re leading a team at work who just can’t seem to get it together, have everyone come to the meeting in black, write down their excuses, and talk them out. At the end of the meeting, shred the excuses that were written down.
If you’re not leading a team, and you just want to do this for yourself, even better! Start by writing down your excuses (don’t overwhelm yourself with too many at first: try to make it manageable), and write down pros and cons to all of your
Once you’re feeling like you’ve got a good idea of what needs to change, shred those excuses. Even better, put them in a box and bury them in the desert!
Going through the motions of putting those excuses to rest are something that will stick with you, and the more effort you put into it, the more you won’t want to go back to your own ways.
- Get Over Yourself
Living in Dubai, I find that people who make excuses are afraid of what other people think of them. They think that everyone is out there scrutinising them, taking note of their failures and laughing at them behind their back. So instead of putting themselves out there and possibly failing they never try at all and just make excuses.
Get over yourself. Nobody is watching you and nobody cares if you fail. So quit your excuse making. Everybody has got too much going on in their own head to give much thought to you. Everybody is the centre of their own universe so while every detail of your own life matters to you it doesn’t rate highly on anybody else’s.
- Expect Challenges
Almost nothing worthwhile in life comes without a fight. Challenges are an essential part of life which should be embraced, engaged and overcome as they allow you to grow as a person. Whether you like it or not, you will face challenges along the way so, you might as well avoid making excuses and get on with the job of overcoming them.
Imagine a baby decides to stop trying from his/her first fall, no one would be walking by now, so Excuses won’t get you anywhere at all. Instead, they are a terrible distraction which take your focus off of your most important tasks and, reduces your confidence and self-belief. So, avoid making excuses and face your challenges head on. You will be more empowered, more confident and more successful.
It’s your life. It’s your decision of how you prefer it to be lived. Those being said, stop sabotaging yourself! No more excuses. Stop Doing It.
Life is simple. Death is the only certainty. Let’s make sure while we’re here that we keep it as simple as possible—no excuses, no regrets, just love and progress. The sooner you decide to keep it simple, the happier you’ll be, so stop making excuses. You’ll thank yourself later.