Are you the kind of person who always finds excuses for his shortcomings? If so, it is time to find out why, start doing something about it and drop that excuse.
Excuses are nails which failures use in building their houses; you cannot go far in life if you live a life full of excuses. 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 know your excuses have become a problem if someone confronts you about it, even if it is in a joking manner. Worse still, people may not seem to respect or trust you. Your friends and colleagues view you as the last person they can ask for a favor and no one wants to be that person.
How do you stop making excuses?
- Face the facts: As with most bad habits, the first step to dealing with excuse-making is to acknowledge that you have this problem. The act will never resolve itself, conscious effort need to be made to resolve the problem. Don’t procrastinate and hope it will resolve itself.
- Another step to stopping making excuses is to examine how much you view life as being under your control. Excuses are often made to shift blame away to circumstances beyond our control. For example if you hear yourself saying that you cannot lose weight because your partner bakes too much, you are shifting the blame to someone external and you instead need to take personal responsibility.
- Understand self-efficacy. Your belief in your ability to complete a task greatly influences the actual accomplishment of that task, whether it is a work, fitness, or personal goals. Self-efficacy is based on your past experiences with a task, seeing how others have experienced the same task, how people treat you related to performing that task, and your emotional cues related to the task.
- Increase your sense of self-efficacy. There are many things you can do to start building up your confidence in yourself. Small changes allow you to quickly meet goals and start increasing your self-efficacy. Try making small changes to start. Instead of revamping your entire diet, start by increasing your water intake for a week, then move on to decreasing sugary treats the week after that. Reflect on past successes.
- Examine your own excuses. Make a list of the excuses you make, consider why you make them, and decide which ones you want to work on stopping first. Review the excuses you are making about your performance at work. If you find you complain about deadlines, for example, maybe you need to re-examine your workflow process. Consider what excuses you make about getting healthy. Think about the excuses you make about achieving your life goals. Make a list of what you want to accomplish in life and list off why you feel you aren’t achieving these goals, then try to problem solve ways to overcome any personal obstacles you find. Remember that nothing will change until you do. n