Making excuses is a natural human response – we are social animals, and we care about what others think of us and want to fit in. Instead of confronting uncomfortable conversations and feelings, we make excuses and shirk responsibility. People who make excuses can feel happy in a moment because they have avoided some pain. In the long term, however, they will be less satisfied and may feel anxious or depressed.
So why do people make excuses? And how can you stop making excuses and start following your dreams instead?
Why do people make excuses?
Making excuses can almost always be traced to one of three reasons: fear, uncertainty, or a lack of purpose. To stop making excuses, first determine which one applies to you.
Making excuses can almost always be traced back to one emotion: fear. Fear can come in many forms. Perhaps you make excuses to go after your dreams because you are afraid of failure. Self-doubt and lack of confidence can cause you to make excuses about your weight or your health. It’s not easy to stop making excuses and face your fears – but it can be done.
As human beings, we all have six human needs that drive our decisions. One of our most powerful needs is certainty: We are driven to avoid pain and seek things we know will bring us pleasure. That’s why it’s so tempting to stay in your comfort zone or adopt bad habits. When we are faced with a situation we are not sure about, our brains like to make excuses to deal with the uncertainty. But you can overcome these natural impulses and stop making excuses.
Lack of purpose
People who make excuses also often seem lazy, apathetic, and indifferent. Yet it is more likely that they have not yet discovered their purpose. As Tony says, “People aren’t lazy. They just have goals that don’t motivate them.” Focus on finding your passion and living a meaningful life, and you’ll naturally stop making excuses.
9 Tips to overcome excuses | How to overcome excuses?
It’s normal to make excuses from time to time – we’re all human after all. But if it’s starting to interfere with your life and keep you from reaching your goals, it’s time to learn how to stop making excuses.
The first step to stop making excuses is always to realize that you alone control your destiny. As Tony says, “The past doesn’t equal the future until you live there.” It doesn’t matter what happened to you in the past, your future is up to you.
Change Your Attitude
When you take responsibility, you begin to see that problems are opportunities, not obstacles. Life is happening for you, not for you. Everything that has happened in your life has brought you to this moment – and you can either change your life or make excuses.
Unleash Your Limiting Beliefs
People who make excuses have some limiting beliefs that are holding them back. These are the stories we tell about who we are. If you deeply believe that you are not worthy of success or that you do not have the inner strength to overcome failure, you will continue to make excuses to avoid going after what you really want.
Change Your Story
Once you identify your limiting beliefs, you can change your story and stop making excuses for good. Do this by identifying negative self-talk and replacing any limiting beliefs with empowering ones. When you change your words – and your story – you change your life.
People who make excuses don’t bother to look closely at their mistakes and determine what went wrong. They blame others and never learn the valuable lessons that failure can provide. Successful people always find the lesson and apply it to future decisions.
Tony tells us that “the road to success is to take massive, determined action.” The ability to make tough decisions is a top characteristic of great leaders and an essential skill for everyday life, but many people who make excuses suffer from “analysis paralysis.” To stop making excuses, you must stop thinking, let go of the past, and take massive action.
Define Your Vision
Do you get out of bed every day with excitement and enthusiasm? If you’re wondering how to stop making excuses, the answer is likely “no.” So how can you get started? Go back to the drawing board and examine the blueprint of your life. What do you really want? Create a powerful vision you’ll be proud to follow, and you’ll never make excuses again.
Discovering your purpose is valuable, but setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. By working toward actionable goals, you stop making excuses and start building a compelling future. Start small and set achievable SMART goals. As you build confidence, set bigger and bigger goals.
The key to stopping making excuses is to hold yourself accountable for your actions – but it’s not always easy. Get the support of a trusted friend or your significant other. Better yet, find a mentor, join a mastermind group or join a coach. They will have the necessary experience and training to keep you accountable and productive.
Saurabh Goel is the founder of Brain Soul & You. He is an Entrepreneur, Author, Brain Performance coach, NLP Wellness Coach, Life Coach, Brain Analyst, and Trainer for Education, Corporate, Entrepreneurship.