I’m tired of hearing them.
Every day men give up on their dreams.
The reasons (aka excuses) we use to justify give up on our goals seem perfectly reasonable.
You won’t have to think hard to find a reason not to become a leader in your industry, get in the best shape of your life, or become the man deep down you know yourself to be.
I'm too broke to invest in myself, too busy to spend time with family, not enough experience to start a company.
What are excuses?
Imaginary rationalizations and justifications we make to ourselves. And then to others!
We invent reasons to defend our excuses while neglecting to take action and responsibility.
Excuses are an easy way to shift the blame from an internal problem (lack of discipline, resourcefulness, vision) TO an external situation (finances, people, economy).
Here's why you need to stop using them:
- Excuses prevent you from living to your full potential.
- Making excuses prevents you from recognizing resources, opportunities and skills you have which could be the answer to your problems.
- Excuses won’t get you anywhere at all.
- Excuses provide no value. Instead, they eat away your self-belief and personal power
If you are unable to achieve the results you want – ask yourself if you are making any of these 3 excuses:
Excuse #1 – “I Don’t Have Enough Money”
It doesn’t take money.
It takes a decision.
You have to decide and start doing.
If you are living on $100 a month in a developing country, with no other choice but to show up at a low-paid job – this is a valid excuse.
For most of you reading this article – that's just not your reality!
Often, it’s not the high cost of living, but the cost of high living that eats into your finances.
You could simply be lacking an idea or a strategy that could help you reach your financial goals.
Please note – I am not suggesting you just need ideas and strategies to have sufficient finances. Small changes in your lifestyle can result in having more money in your bank:
- Cut back on unnecessary expenses. Do you really need the latest model flat screen TV? How about upgrading your smartphone as soon as the latest model is released – is that necessary?
- Get rid of debt. Apart from an education loan, a mortgage or capital to start a company – debt is going to set you back on your life goals. Get serious about reducing debt.
- Start saving. Decide before hand what percent of your income goes into savings. Then stick to the plan with persistent determination.
- Ask for help. For ideas and strategies – read a few books, hire a financial coach or get a mentor who has already achieved financial success. Don’t be afraid to turn to your family or friends for assistance.
- Be resourceful. Resourcefulness is a key factor in overcoming challenges. Being resourceful requires taking a long hard look at what you have and using your current resources to improve your situation. It could be a talent you haven't used lately, an offer for help you ignored, an extra source of income you didn't bother to investigate.
Make it a priority to have a handle on your finances and stop looking for easy ways to get rich quick. To learn more about setting and planning for goals, read this article on setting SMART goals.
Excuse #2 – “I Don’t Have Enough Time”
The reality is usually a lack of passion, desire, discipline or focus in the right direction.
This excuse could also indicate that you don’t want to take the time to do what must be done to achieve a goal. The real cause could be habitual procrastination or laziness.
Instead of saying I don't have enough time, say what you really mean. This isn't a priority for me.
Be honest with yourself and focus on what matters to you. If it is important and urgent, you will find the time for it.
How do you manage your time?
A majority of the human population is stuck in routines and habits that that do not really matter. As a result, there seems to be a deficit of time.
Here are three simple ways to create more time for yourself:
- Boundaries – You need to manage your time effectively. Set boundaries around tasks that end up becoming time-wasters for you. Hours wasted on Netflix? Set a limit to the number of hours you watch TV shows in a day.
- Say ‘no’. Learn to say no to things and people who are going to waste your time and drain you of energy.
- Priority list – Your priorities are not in the right order. Do you use a Priority Matrix to order your to-do-list?
Excuse #3 – I Don’t Have Enough Information
We live in the Information Age.
Your challenge is to separate the sensible date from the noise that screams for your attention. The irony here is that you will never have enough information to make a 100% risk-free decision.
This excuse is actually about CONTROL.
When you accept responsibility and, learn to focus on the things you CAN CONTROL, you will find that the information you have at hand is sufficient.
Too much information causes a paralysis. It also creates a variety of what-if scenarios in your head.
There’s nothing wrong with gathering data and information to chalk out a clear plan of action. But, if you feel the urge to plan everything thoroughly, you need to change your perspective.
If you are stopping yourself from acting because of underlying fears triggered by too much information – identify and overcome your need for control. Let go of control and act on the information you already have.
Learn to be adaptable and flexible.
Often the right decision is to first make a decision and then make it right.
Excuses rob you of personal power. They are a terrible distraction, taking your focus off what's important to you while reducing your confidence in your abilities.
Put an end to excuses and start accepting responsibility for what you want to achieve.
Remember, nothing worthwhile comes without a challenge.
Avoid making excuses and face your challenges.
As a result, you will feel more empowered, have more success with your goals and have an improved sense of confidence in your abilities.