Yesterday was National No Excuses Day. This got me thinking about excuses and why we use them. Excuses are the little lies we tell as to why we can’t do something. Excuses are what holds us back from living our dreams and getting to where we want to be. They hold us back from so much in life and prevent us from doing what we should be doing or want to do.
I myself am the queen of excuses. I am an excuse making machine. I literally have an excuse for everything. I have excuses for why the house didn’t get clean. Or why I didn’t workout today. Or why the laundry still isn’t folded. Or why I bought coffee instead of making it. My arsenal of excuses is endless. WHy do I make so many excuses? Honestly I don’t know. I’m a fairly productive person always cleaning, working, volunteering, or taking care of my kids. I think I’ve just made so many excuses for so long it’s a part of who I am.
I didn’t realize I had so many excuses until I started writing this. It got me thinking, why do we make excuses? We make excuses to defend our own behavior, the behavior of others, put off taking action to better ourselves or our life, defend the actions of others, or to defend the fact that we are neglecting our own responsibilities. We use excuses to justify why we did or didn’t do something. It’s often easier to make an excuse that to be honest with ourselves or others.
I fully believe excuses hold us back from our full potential in every aspect of our lives. So here’s a few ways to stop making excuses:
- Recognize excuse signals: Learn to recognize your excuses for what they are. Every time you find yourself making an excuse look into why you’re making that excuse and find a way that you can move past it. This will take practice, but will allow you to fulfill your full potential.
- Check roadblocks: Roadblocks are the things in your life or schedule that prevent you from doing what needs to be done. Life is unpredictable, but in this instance it’s not an excuse. It’s figuring out a way around the roadblock to get done what needs to get done. Don’t allow the roadblocks to stay in your way.
- Stop saying “but…”: Stopping yourself from saying but… will trigger your mind into focusing on what you need to do to reach your goals, instead of focusing on what stands in your way.
- Don’t overthink: When we overthink things we tend to make an excuse and give up. When we don’t overthink we trust our gut, stop making excuses, and start creating the life we want.
- Don’t compare yourself to others: Don’t compare yourself to what others are accomplishing. This will leave you wanting to make excuses as you feel even more less than. You are uniquely you and that is your power. Focus on you and be content in what you are accomplishing.
These are just a few ways you can work on not making excuses. There are many more out there. Making excuses is easy, but not making excuses is the hard part. It won’t be easy and it will take time, but it’s possible to change your thinking and become excuse free. I myself will be working on myself to make less excuses. It’s time we stop holding ourselves back with our excuses and live the lives we dream about.