Whether you're in the habit of making excuses for not doing something, or trying to lessen your blame and responsibility for something, there are eight things you need to knowing about living life on the "excuse express."
We all make excuses. Sometimes it's for not doing something we know we have to do. Other times, we excuse our behavior or avoid responsibility, shifting blame for our inaction, or pointing a finger at someone else for a mistake, all the time knowing it was our fault.
Here are eight things to remember when addressing your tendency to make excuses.
1. Regardless of the type of excuse we create, the habit of making excuses causes problems.
Inability to accomplish our goals.
Not living up to our potential.
Not having personal and professional growth we want.
Having the tendency to procrastinate.
Dishonesty with ourselves and others.
Not taking charge of our responsibility.
2. If you've been in the habit of making excuses for a long time, you might not be aware of the fact you are doing it. If this is the case, you need to admit you have been riding on the "excuse express" for years and commit to getting off at the next station. Like breaking any habit, tell yourself it won't happen overnight.
3. The excuses you are making could be masking the real reason you don't want to do something, the true "why." You choose not to accept a new position at work, telling the boss you don't need the raise, when you actually question your ability to do the job. Look at yourself in the mental mirror and be honest with yourself. You may identify an issue you need to address.
"He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else." Benjamin Franklin
4. Extinguish the "buts." Instead of expressing interest in doing something, do you often find yourself saying "yes, but" out loud or to yourself, expressing a concern, real or imagined? Put out that "but" as soon as you find yourself using the word "but" as an excuse. Replace the "but" with a can-do attitude.
5. When you face a task at work or at home that seems like a mountain to climb, do you get overwhelmed by its size. You can learn two things from successful mountain climbers. They break their climb into manageable sections and keep their eyes on the summit. Break large tasks into smaller, manageable steps, and keep your eye on the final goal. You'll be motivated by small successes and the expectation of big success.
6. People often make excuses for not doing something because they make assumptions about the outcome of their efforts. They conclude negative things will happen. The longer you make excuses in life, the easier it gets to expect the negative. Make a habit of arresting the negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts, claiming "everything will turn out right."
"Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses." George Washington Carver
7. If you're a person who compares themselves to other people and what the other person is doing, you're more likely to unconsciously create an excuse to protect yourself from disappointment. After all, you may not measure up to how you perceive the other person. Get used to being your own self and loving who you are, a unique and special person created by the Creator who never makes mistakes.
8. Finally, making excuses is a way of avoiding responsibility for our actions, shifting blame for our inaction, or pointing a finger at someone else for a mistake we made. Remember what they say about pointing our finger at someone else. One finger goes one way and the rest point back at us. Get into the habit of accepting responsibility for your actions and adopting responsibility for caring for people and priorities beyond you.
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." 2 Corinthians 5:10
"God's plan for enlarging His kingdom is so simple - one person telling another about the Savior. Yet we're busy and full of excuses. Just remember, someone's eternal destiny is at stake. The joy you'll have when you meet that person in heaven will far exceed any discomfort you felt in sharing the gospel." Charles Stanley
Also read: How to Create Habits Not Resolutions