Stop making excuses and start building the life you want!
Making excuses is a habit that starts very early in life. Why does this happen? I believe that it is a defense mechanism. It might start out as an honest explanation for why you did or didn’t do something, but it quickly changes to a way for you to defend yourself from “harm.”
It is really possible that your dog did eat your homework, right? You did the homework, but the dog ate it. Maybe your teacher gave you the benefit of the doubt and allowed you to redo the work. More than likely, you just played video games all night and didn’t do the work.
What did you learn when the teacher allowed you to “redo” the work? You learned that making an excuse kept you out of trouble. Staying out of trouble is a good thing! Over the years you build a fairly sizable list of excuses. They do tend to work. If you use the right one, you can usually stay out of trouble.
You have this nasty habit of wanting to stay out of trouble. That’s what making excuses is all about.
Who can blame us? No one likes to get in trouble or taking the consequences that come with taking responsibility for what happened.
Then you grow up, but nothing much changes. You just get a little more sophisticated.
You might be telling the truth when you tell your boss that you didn’t get the presentation finished because the clothes washer over flowed and it took all night to clean it up. The boss believes you and you get an extra day to do your work. Life is good! By the way, are you still playing video games?
Well, life is pretty good.
You’re still making excuses even when they do you harm. By harm, I mean that they are impeding your progress in life. They get in your way and slow you down. It doesn’t seem fair! How can the desire to stay out of trouble keep you from realizing your dreams?
Every time you make an excuse, you reinforce that habit. In network marketing, we sometimes call them objections, but they are just the same as an excuse. “I don’t have the money.” “I don’t have the time.” “I don’t know anyone who would want to do this.” They sound familiar, don’t they? They are all excuses for why someone “can’t do the business.”
To me, they are just saying, “I don’t think that I will make any money running this business.” Losing their money is the “trouble” that they are trying to avoid.
It’s like any other habit. It’s very difficult to break. If you’ve ever tried to lose weight or quit smoking cigarettes, then you know how difficult it really is.
The bad news in all of this is that a lot of people even make excuses to themselves. They are no longer excuses or even explanations. They are rationalizations. You’re trying to make yourself believe that something, that you have no knowledge of, is really the truth. Making excuses is avoidance behavior.
You know you need to do something, but you don’t want to do it or you’re afraid of doing it.
“I can’t talk to my accountant about my business because he already makes enough money. He wouldn’t be interested in it.”
You have no knowledge of how much money your accountant is making. You have no knowledge of whether they are happy doing accounting. You have no knowledge of whether they would be interested in your business or not. Yet, you insist on trying to convince yourself that they wouldn’t want anything to do with your business.
How do we stop making excuses?
It’s really just a matter of trying to do what it is that you’re trying to avoid. This is where I lose a lot of people. You have to do what it is that you are trying to avoid, by making your excuses. Yes, it’s tough to break habits.
You can start by making a list of all the things that you’d rather make an excuse for, instead of doing it. It doesn’t have to be just business related things. You should write the list like this:
“I can’t _______ , because ______ . ”
It might look like this.
“I can’t buy a new laptop, because they are too expensive.”
“I can’t talk to my Mom about my business, because she might laugh at me.”
After you have written every thing that you have made an excuse for, I want you to get another piece of paper and rewrite all of them, but this time write them in this format:
“I can __________ , because _________ . ”
They should look something like this:
“I can buy a new laptop, because I will earn some extra money to pay for it.”
“I can talk to my Mom about my business, because she loves me and would want to support my efforts.”
After you are done rewriting all of them, I want you to tear up the “I can’t” page.
Your “I can” page is now your daily affirmations. Read them every day. This will give your mind new tasks and a new way to look at them. Your subconscious or unconscious mind will think of ways for you to earn that extra money so you can buy that new laptop. It will help you figure out how to approach your Mom about your business.
Your “I can” list is also your “to do” list, too. Start checking off these things as you accomplish them. You can do this! As you begin checking off these items, you’ll build your self confidence. Doing these things, that you used to make excuses so you wouldn’t have to do them, will help you to develop that confidence.
As time goes by, don’t be surprised if you start thinking of things in this new “I can” way.
If you can conquer the desire to make excuses, you can design a life of your own choosing. You can have the life you want! Stop making excuses!
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