Let me ask you a question. . .
Have you ever met someone who is truly successful in the way you want success?
I’ve learned that successful people drop the excuses and take full responsibility for their success. As a result, they don’t just get what they want in life–they get the life they always wanted.
When you take responsibility for your success, people automatically want to hand you positions of leadership, and follow your great example. People who take responsibility easily make important friends and are well-liked by others.
. . .On the other hand:
People who are full excuses aren’t just failures–they wind up with the life nobody wanted.
A leader who is full of excuses is seen as weak, and they soon lose their following. Not to mention excuses turn other people off–so your excuses will repel people from you.
Personal Story of Excuses
I remember meeting an older guy at the bus station once. He had a mildly defeated vibe about him. His face crunched into a frown, but as I chatted with him, I noticed that as soon as he got on to his excuses for failure, it’s like some spirit came over him.
I could tell that he was recounting a story that he had recited many times.
As I sat silently, holding back the urge to judge this man, I noticed that he was 100% convinced by his excuses. In fact, it was beyond conviction–not only were his excuses for failure completely legitimate in his mind. . .
He was literally possessed by his excuses.
I thought his excuses were weak, but I tried not to impose a judgmental lecture on him, because I could clearly tell that he wasn’t interested in being proven wrong.
He was totally out of control of his excuses, and he just wanted to keep feeling the semi-depressing-yet-comforting emotions that his excuses gave him.
Throughout the conversation, I especially tried not to judge this man, because I realized a few hours later that I have a ton of excuses in my life just like this guy. I was really good at noticing them in other people, but not myself.
It’s not good enough to just drop the excuses. Once an excuse develops into a belief, then it’s as-close-to-being-possessed-by-a-demon as it gets. . .
Our minds will do anything we have to in order to keep believing our excuse–even if that excuse is bad for us!
The excuse will be cemented in there, until we manually re-examine that belief, and reprogram it by seeing it from a new perspective. . .
Reframing Your Excuses
Reframing is a term from NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). It is a technique that literally allows you to wedge a crowbar into your thick belief system so that you can reconsider your excuses from a new perspective.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
A few short months ago, I wanted to lose 20 pounds. I had every excuse in to book as to why it was impossible, but when I learned about Tim Ferris’ Slow Carb Diet, I discovered that thousands of people were losing 20 pounds or more in their first month.
This discovery reframed my beliefs about losing weight. Weight-loss didn’t have to be hard, and it wouldn’t be so impossible to give up junk food.
Here are some reframing questions that you can try. Think of your biggest excuse for not succeeding at something, and answer these questions:
- Are you saying that you should be encouraged to fail because your excuse is somehow “valid”?
- Has there ever been someone in history who has succeeded in spite of your excuse?
- How might someone who has succeeded at your goal think about your excuse?
- What’s your life going to be like 5 years from now if you believe this excuse?
Apply these questions to your excuse for success and see how they work. And on a final note, just remember that the true movers and shakers of the world make no excuses for themselves, and thus, they don’t apologize for their success because they’ve earned it.
These go hand in hand.
Try reframing your excuse now, and leave a comment below and let me know how you see your excuse differently and if your excuses still possess you like a demon, let’s hear that too!
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Hey man, thanks for kicking me in the ass with this post. I really needed it.
The whole excuses thing is true though, instead of moping about not getting any clients, go look for them and soon you end up with too much work. I’ve slowly been getting up and taking things that I hate on, and it has paid off in the first 2 weeks already.
Maybe it’s my fault.
Maybe I led you to believe it was easy when it wasn’t.
Maybe made you think my highlights started at the free throw line, and not in the gym.
Maybe I made you think that every shot I took was a game winner.
That my game was built on flash, and not fire.
Maybe it’s my fault that that you didn’t see that failure gave me strength;
That my pain gave my motivation.
Maybe I led you to believe that basketball was a God given gift, and not something I worked for… every single day of my life.
Maybe I destroyed the game.
Or maybe… you’re just making EXCUSES.
— Michael Jordan
I. Love. This. Post. Like what the previous poster said, thanks for the kick in the bum. Ha ha! I myself have a loooong list of excuses that I have to get rid of. I’ve bought tons of self-help books recently and some like The Dark Clouds at Work [http://www.depressionatwork.com] work pretty well. In your post, I like the part about questioning my excuses. I’ll do just that! 🙂
I need to lose weight. I have no problem overcoming excuses. If I am determined to do something, then it will happen. So, my problem is that I just don’t care that I am fat.
Oh great, now I’m thinking of excuses for why I can’t overcome my terrible excuses! I evidently have more work to do…
I was following you until the very end. I’m having some trouble understanding what you wrote here.
Are you saying that I should encourage you to fail because your excuse is valid?
Are you saying that you should encourage me to fail if I have your same excuse?
Please clarify. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to be reading this, or who the you, me, and I refer to.
The author refers to himself as “I” or “me” and to you (or anyone who is reading) as “you”. I gather your difficulty in understanding the statements, and have tried to reword the sentence before the list of questions. Does it work now?
I like the idea here, but I’m afraid that the first two questions are pretty incomprehensible:
– Are you saying that I should encourage you to fail because your excuse is valid?
– Are you saying that you should encourage me to fail if I have your same excuse?
Even with the change Pooja Lohana has presumably made above, I don’t understand who these two people are supposed to be and in what relationship they stand.
These are questions you’re supposed to be asking yourself about excuses for not doing something. These two (extremely similar) questions both seem to be trying to ask a single question about whether the excuse is actually valid.
After puzzling over these for a while, I think both might be replaced by a simpler single question something like:
– Does my excuse mean that I’m guaranteed to fail?
Point taken. The lines are edited for better clarity now.
Excuses are just a diversion people use to not be considered as lazy. When someone has the capability to accomplish something, but does not want to put for the effort to do so, and has something to do that has higher priority, then an excuse is born.
I believe if you truly want to achieve something all excuses should be pushed aside and pressed through if you wish to reach your true potential and the success beyond your comprehension.
So not a bad idea. I enjoyed it, but maybe take a look at the oatmeal comic on the use of the word literally.