Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?
Sound familiar? If it does then chances are you are one of the many people in this world who find a way to constantly make excuses for their shortcomings, faults and weaknesses.
Some of these excuses are legendary, like: “Sorry darling I’ve got a headache”! Others are pathetic, like “I don’t have time to go to gym”, or “I’ll never get an executive position in the company because the boss doesn’t like me”. Worse still: “Oops, I forgot!”
So if you’re falling into the excuse trap now is the time get motivated and get a life!
What are Excuses and why do we make them?
Essentially excuses are explanations that we put forward to justify something that we either feel – or know – is wrong, or less than perfect. You could say it’s a reason we give ourselves for not dealing with an unpleasant truth, often to avoid doing something that we in fact don’t want to do. The way it usually works is when we aren’t achieving or simply don’t want to do something, we make an excuse.
If you think about it, it’s an easy out.
Let’s take three typical excuses and analyze why someone might need to use these excuses, and then look at the possible implications.
- “So sorry I couldn’t meet my deadline, my computer hard drive died.”
- “Apologies for being late for our meeting, my car broke down.”
- “I’m afraid I won’t be able to make the company’s annual general meeting because I have to be at home with my children.”
As they say in the classics, sh*t happens. But if you are motivated, you’ll find a way to address and overcome any sort of problem.
Let’s say your hard drive really did die and you couldn’t meet your deadline. The first point is whether it is enough to simply offer an excuse. It might seem the only way, but in real life, if you are going to be successful, you need to be thinking of quick solutions before you start making excuses. In today’s day and age, all half-decent computers have CD drives, so there is absolutely no excuse for not regularly backing up your hard drive. Then if your hard drive does die (and they do), at least you will have it all on disc. Sure you might lose some current work, but it won’t be half as bad as losing everything and you’ll have a chance to upload it to another computer and complete your job.
If you make an effort to complete the job close to deadline, you have a fighting chance of keeping the job or client. If you only offer an excuse, chances are you’ll be burning bridges, and may even be fired.
Much the same applies to the situation of a car breaking down. It’s all got to do with mechanical things and maybe you aren’t to blame – unless of course you’ve been making excuses about getting the car serviced or repaired, secretly knowing that it’s likely to break down one of these days. While there are other forms of transport (from buses and taxis to accommodating friends) IF you can’t make another plan and make the meeting on time, then at very least phone whoever it is you are due to meet and apologize without making irrelevant excuses.
Whether you are man or woman, if you have children, there are going to be times when their needs will come first. But unless your child is sick and/or cannot be cared for by someone else for a few hours, missing an important function could have serious repercussions for you later. Never lose sight of the fact that there are hidden opportunities at every turn, and the best way to pass these up is to make an excuse not to be where you might encounter them!
Even when excuses are dinkum, meaning they are based on total truth, people don’t often take kindly to them. On the other hand, if they can see you have made, or are making, a genuine attempt to solve the problems you have, most are likely to be considerably more understanding.
Apart from hard core real life problems, like breakdowns and illness, an incredible number of people make stupid excuses throughout their lives. These relate equally to everything in life, from unsuccessful relationships, unfulfilled work experiences, inadequate social skills, to failed goals relating to anything from getting fit and losing weight, to adequately (and lovingly) disciplining your children.
How often have your heard people say they don’t have time to do something? But the reality is that unless you make the time, you will never succeed, be it in business, with a relationship or anything else. If you believe you are lacking the time to do something you claim to be important, spend a week or more noting the time you spend doing nothing constructive. You might surprise yourself.
Then there are those who ascertain they are unable to achieve a goal because they simply don’t have the skills to do so. If you really want to do something, you’ll get some guidance, learn the skills, and stop making stupid excuses for your lack of motivation.
Another universal excuse is not having the funds to do something. Undoubtedly having a budget shortfall is a challenge, but if you want something badly enough, you’ll find a way to raise the funds – even if it takes a few years to save, or means taking a loan or finding a partner.
There are millions of successful entrepreneurs out there who have achieved the impossible, having started out with absolutely nothing. They take slow baby steps and start out going to school for a degree in management or working their way up through word of mouth. Instead of making excuses for your own inadequacies, learn from their success.If you found this helpful, please share it below. Thank you!