Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses. ~George Washington
Did you know that there are websites that will provide you with excuses? Some are funny and some are serious, but all of them are conveniently provided so that you can excuse yourself. Whether they’re excuses for dating, missing work or school, or excuses for encounters with the police, they’re out there.
Why the need for excuses?
Guilt is a powerful force that can often prevent us from telling the truth. Therefore we make excuses – sometimes known as little white lies – to let ourselves off of the hook.
For example: Let’s say you’re not actually sick, but you just don’t feel like working today. This is where you’ll need an excuse, because you can’t call into your job and say “I don’t feel like working today so I’m not coming in” unless you’re okay with the boss saying “I don’t feel like paying you, so you’re fired.”
As you can imagine, being a business and life coach I encounter many people who want to be more successful in one area or another. When I ask them why they aren’t where they’d like to be, I often hear this response:
“Because my . . . spouse, boss, children or parents.”
This answer tells us that they aren’t accepting responsibility for certain things in their lives. As long as they continue to think like that, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll get to where they say want to go. I realize that certain people have more challenges than others, but if there are people who have succeeded beyond those same limits and then some, then it’s possible that they can too.
He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
~ Benjamin Franklin
We cannot blame others for our failures, unless we also give them the credit for our success. That’s only fair, right? The point is, that we must choose to accept full responsibility for both the good and bad in our business and personal lives. When we do so, a few wonderful things happen.
- We’re set free, realizing that we have more control over our lives and our futures.
- We enjoy our accomplishments that much more because we overcame obstacles, instead of giving up or accepting mediocrity.
- We grow stronger and feel empowered, taking on even more responsibility.
- People respect those who own up to their actions and also forgive them for any mistakes or failures.
Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” What if he had given up or made excuses? Do you think Bill Gates made excuses, or sought out solutions? You might say “well I’m not Bill Gates” and you’d be correct, however that doesn’t mean that we can’t employ the same strategies that he and countless others have used to create their success. And we can start by eliminating excuses.
- Have you utilized every option or resource to overcome any barriers you might be facing?
- Have you accepted that your success is largely dependent upon your choices and actions?
- Have you taken full responsibility for past choices and actions?
- What excuses might you be making in your life and career?
Reflect on whatever might be standing in your way, and change it, especially if it’s you. Whether the obstacles seem like cracks in the sidewalk, or the mountains in your path, figure out how you can overcome them. Take responsibility, be proactive in your career and your life, and start today!
Now if you’ll excuse me . . .
Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.
~ Erica Jong
Rock Star Life Coach & Sales Strategist