People ask me all the time how they can improve their life. They want to know how they can be happier or how they can be more successful because they’re dissatisfied with themselves and/or where they are currently at. I always reply with this simple answer:
Stop. Making. Excuses.
As human beings it’s normal for us to blame our shortcomings, failures, and poor behavior on factors other than ourselves. We do that because our ego doesn’t allow us to admit we may need to improve in certain aspects of our life. But if you are serious about making a change and improving your life here’s how you can stop making excuses and start taking control.
Identify The Problem
The first step to fixing any behavioral problem is to identify whether or not you have one. Here are some signs that making excuses may be hindering your personal growth:
–When working with others: If you notice that when working in a group or team environment you pass the blame on to your teammates as opposed to accepting your roll in team failures –you’re making an excuse.
–When dealing with setbacks/adversity: when you fall upon hard-times or when things aren’t going your way do you blame your situation, other people, or outside circumstances for why you aren’t where you want to be in life? If so you’re making excuses.
Realize that making excuses will only hurt you
It’s hard for anyone to admit they messed up or made a mistake but in order to take back control of our life and reach your full potential you have to stop blaming outside factors. Making excuses only guarantees that your situation will never improve and that you’ll never learn from your mistakes –it is a waste of your precious time and energy. Once you realize how toxic excuse making really is and once you recognize how it impedes your ability to be successful in every aspect of your life then you can start ensuring you never make them again.
Take Responsibility/Empower yourself
Begin taking responsibility for where you are in life and take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Even if you’re a victim of extenuating circumstances; the responsibility is still on you to succeed in the face of adversity. By ownership of your actions and behavior you have now given yourself the power to work on improving yourself and achieving your goals. You no longer have any excuses! Nothing is standing in your way toward improving yourself in all areas of your life!
Now that you know you have the power to effect change in your life. It’s time to do it! Remember all those things you made excuses for? Your behavior, your shortcomings (both personal & professional), your situation in life? Now is the time to come up with ways to improve upon them and start taking action. You have the power. You can be better. Realizing that is incredibly liberating. Use that realization to take action and start making changes!
Remember: We make excuses because it can be painful to admit we have made a mistake or failed in some capacity. But it’s okay to experience these things. We all have. We’re human. So instead of making an excuse that will benefit you in exactly zero ways. Start taking action and work to improve upon yourself. You have complete autonomy over yourself. You can improve and change your life for the better. You just have to be willing to stop making excuses and start taking control.
Zakk LeCates is a business owner, freelance writer, and host of the Daily Dose Of Motivation Podcast.