We know excuses hold us back. Yet we all make them. Here’s how to get rid of this self-limiting habit once and for all.
By Nila Sweeney
I’m full of excuses. At least I used to be.
I had a lot of excuses for the bad decisions that I’ve made in the past. I had a long list of excuses for my bad behaviour and certainly made excuses when things went wrong. Of course I also had many reasons for not doing the things that I’m passionate about.
I used to believe that if I had an excuse, then I didn’t have to be responsible. I could get away with anything. And I did get away with a lot of things.
But I also paid a big price. Because I was too busy making all these excuses, I didn’t learn from my mistakes. I kept making them over and over again. I’ve wasted many precious opportunities to improve myself and my situation.
I was stuck in a rut, which is not exactly the kind of life I dreamed about.
I wanted an extraordinary life where I’d be doing what I love while making a difference to others. I didn’t want a life where I was just getting by.
So I knew my excuses had to go. Once I made the decision to let go of my excuses, I was able to focus on actually doing what I'm passionate about. I've been a happier person as a result of taking action instead of hiding behind my excuses.
Here's how I banished my excuses and how you can do it too.
Get clear about what’s important to you.
Once I got clear about what I want in my life and what’s important to me, I was able to see my excuses for what they really are: obstacles in my path to living my dream.
Once I realised just how much my excuses have been running the show and preventing me from living a fulfilled life, it was easier to let them go.
You can do it too. Ask yourself, what excuses have you been telling yourself and others for not pursuing your dreams? Why are you holding on to these excuses? Are your excuses more important than living the life you want?
Realise that having an excuse is not a substitute for taking action.
If you missed a deadline for example, having an excuse doesn’t make up for the fact that you missed it. You’re still late. You still have to bear the consequences, like it or not.
If you want to travel but always have an excuse not to do it, you’re still stuck in wishful thinking territory. You’re still not going anywhere.
If you want to start an exercise regime but always finding an excuse not to do it, you’ll still end up in poorer health despite your excuses.
Until you realise that your excuses are not substitute for taking action and responsibility, you’ll always be stuck. You would continue living a comfortable, but pretty ordinary life.
I’ve used my excuses to get out of owning up to my mistakes. I’ve also used it to justify my actions, no matter how damaging they were.
When you take responsibility instead of making excuses you'd find solution to your situation. It compels you to take action.
Realise just how much your excuses are hurting you.
Holding onto your excuses is pretty twisted. Yet we do it because it's an easy way out.
But if we’re really honest about it, we can see how it’s hurting us. Our excuses are holding us back. They prevent us from reaching our potential and living a fulfilled life.
Next time your excuses crop up, remember to see them for what they really are: ineffective and damaging habits that are obstructing your way.
Once you stop believing in your excuses, you can start living your life.
Please feel free to share with others. You may also want to read How to bounce back from failure.