“Ninety nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.” -George Washington Carver-
Excuses are harmful because they prevent one from succeeding. When we make excuses and repeat them often enough, they become a belief. The belief then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You have the right to make excuses, but excuses won’t produce results. If you are someone who is a habitual excuse maker, it might be a good idea to ask yourself why you deliberately choose to be less than truthful. Excuses only SOUNDS rational to you. To those who expects the best out of you, it is lousy excuses, not reasons. You'll always come out with lame excuses to help you rationalize in your own mind, for not doing or achieving something that you’re suppose to achieve or do.
Everyone can make excuses and has a reason for not getting things done. Despite all the excuses a person could give, those people who really shine in whatever they do, won't make excuses. Sure, things get tough every once in a while; these people don't feel any less overwhelmed, but in the end they get things done. The habit of constantly making excuses for oneself can have multiple impacts, ranging from laughingly being referred to as undependable to being considered overly defensive and paranoid. You may be strong, forthright and well-respected in all other aspects of your professional, personal and family life, but if you're always covering up your shortcomings with excuses, some kind of negative reputation is bound to develop.
The solution lies entirely within your own control. It's time to break the habit of making excuses. When you make excuses all the time, you're perceived as a man who is overly defensive and not dependable. It's time to make a change.
1. Realize that your success or failure depends on you. It depends on the choices you make and also on your attitude. Resolve to start accepting responsibility today. Don't find an excuse, find a way.
2. Beware of rationalization. We make excuses to hide behavior we are ashamed of. Rationalization is the process of trying to hide shameful conduct from ourselves. This is dangerous because we become unaware of what we are doing.
3. Stop and examine your progress from time to time. Compare where you are now with where you would like to be. If you've realized there's a large gap in between, don't make excuses but make plans and take corrective action.
4. When you make a mistake, accept responsibility; learn from it; and don't repeat it. Use your time for discovering solutions instead of inventing excuses.
5. Prioritize your activities. It’s very tempting to put off tasks that may not seem particularly important, so set up a priority system for completing tasks.
6. Make a conscious effort to avoid excuses. Anytime you hear yourself starting to make an excuse for not staying on task, stop and take a minute to think if you’re really justified in putting tasks off until later.
Excuses are just like desires, both come from within, but the difference between them is huge. Desire will drive you toward your goals, while excuses pull you from your goals. The only reason for not reaching them is YOU. Desire and commitment are the keys to elimination excuses. If your commitment is lacking, you’ll make up excuses to justify failure. When you are truly committed to achieve something, you’ll never give up and never give excuses for whatever reason. Responsibility breeds competence and power. By living up to our promises and obligations, we win the trust of others. Once we are seen as trustworthy, people will willingly work with us, for our mutual gain. Making excuses can put the brakes on our progress, while accepting responsibility can lead us to the top.