Excuses Steal Your Potential

I can’t think of even a single benefit of excuse making. People who make excuses make very little of anything else. Excuses, as much as anything, limit a person’s opportunity to reach their full potential.

 

Excuses are rationalizations we make to ourselves about people, events, and circumstances. They are invented reasons we create to defend our behavior, to postpone taking action or simply as a means of avoiding responsibility.

 

Excuses are a temporarily effective method of placing the blame for an internal problem on an external condition. I say temporarily because sooner or later the excuse maker realizes whatever excuse they made was really a lie they told themselves….and likely lots of other people. 

 

Fear is the biggest driver of habitual excuse making. Fear of failure, fear of change, fear of responsibility, fear of making mistakes, fear of looking foolish, and for some people, fear of success. 

 

Excuse making leads directly to a lack of growth. It leads to living in a very small comfort zone and it is a leading cause of a negative attitude in the excuse maker. People who hesitate to make decisions seldom delay in making an excuse. 

 

Nothing good comes from making excuses. 

 

If you want to stop making excuses then focus on what can go right rather than what may go wrong. Don’t compare your current situation with a past situation that had a negative outcome. 

 

Don’t focus on problems. Focus on solutions and opportunities to learn and improve. 

 

If you want to put a stop to your excuse making then surround yourself with as many positive people as possible. Share with them your goal of making fewer excuses and ask them for help. Ask them to remind you of your goal whenever they hear what sounds like an excuse coming from you. 

 

Finally, make the decision to control your attitude. Every day you have the opportunity to choose either a positive attitude or a negative one. It’s likely your most important choice of the day. 

 

Successful people don’t make excuses. They take responsibility for their decisions and actions and they learn from their mistakes. 


Always remember, if you’re making excuses you almost certainly are not making much of anything else. 

 

 

Are You Too?

The excuses I hear most often when someone can’t or won’t do something usually have the word “too” in them somewhere. As in, “I’m too busy.” Or “I’m too old to learn.” Or “I’m too important to do that job.”

 

Here’s what the most successful people would tell you…. no one is “too” for anything. 

 

I understand that sometimes we don’t want to do something. I also understand that sometimes we don’t have a good reason for not wanting to do it. I get that’s why we make excuses. 

 

But geez, if you’re not going to put any effort into doing the thing you don’t want to do at least put some effort into a better excuse. 

 

I remember the story about George Steinbrenner the long-time owner of the New York Yankees who passed away in 2010. A group was visiting Yankee Stadium and for whatever reason no one was available to show them around. Steinbrenner offered to do it himself. 

 

While attempting to lead the group across the field they were stopped by security. Mr Steinbrenner was informed he didn’t have the proper credentials to cross the field. The security guard directed him to take the group back up the long stairs and walk the long way around the stadium. 

 

The guard didn’t recognize the owner of the team. Rather than pull the “don’t you know who I am” card Steinbrenner dutifully lead his group all the way back up and around the stadium. He wasn’t too important to give a tour and he wasn’t so important that he felt the need to embarrass the security guard who was merely doing his job. 

 

George Steinbrenner wasn’t too important to do any job.

 

I recall years ago meeting a man who would become a good friend and mentor. He was already arguably the very best salesperson who ever lived. He had sold billions, yes billions, in life insurance yet I met him in a sales training program. He was well over 60 years of age at the time. I expressed a little surprise that someone of his “experience” would be in a sales course. He said, “well, intelligence begins with the knowledge that you’re never too old to learn.” 

 

He was in a sales training program to learn, one that I was going to help teach, yet that single sentence taught me more than I could ever teach him.

 

As for those who feel they are “too busy” I have very little sympathy for you. No one has more time than you! Everyone has 1440 minutes a day. The people who manage to get everything important done in that amount of time have simply stopped long enough to learn how to prioritize. 

 

They know what’s important and they know that most things aren’t important. They are never “too” to accomplish what they need to do to succeed. 

 

The most successful people don’t make excuses, they make things happen. They are never too busy, too tired, too old, or too important to do the things that less successful people simply don’t like to do. 


So…are you too?