You may not have noticed, but I didn’t write a blog inApril. In all reality, that probably doesn’t impact anyone but me. Anyone who knows me recognizes that I coach self-awareness as a core element to excellence. One of the ways you can be aware of something going astray is when you notice you’re making excuses, and I kept trying to make them. When you miss a deadline or don’t achieve a goal you set out to do, you catch yourself justifying your actions (or lack thereof). Sound familiar?
Why do we make excuses?
- We don’t want to fail or admit failure. Failure is hard to take because we’re either letting ourselves or someone else down.
- The goal or objective isn’t clear or not that important, allowing us to justify our actions and the ‘miss.’
- We are afraid of doing something new or unfamiliar.
These excuses manifest in so many ways, and we need to recognize them.
- Time: I am too busy. I have too much on my plate. It’s not due until next week. I only have 10 minutes.
- Money: It costs too much. If I spend the money on it, I’m not sure it will work
- Deflection: Jim didn't get his part done, so I couldn't do mine. I’m too tired.
- Projection: Re-read the first two sentences of this blog and you’ll see what that means.
And so many more, but you get the idea. The key to moving forward is what you do next. Take ACTION!
A – Act. Recognize that you have made an excuse and create an action that moves you in the direction you need to go.
C – Consistency. When you find yourself making excuses, understand why then be consistent in your drive to move forward.
T – Tenacious. Be firm in your commitment to eradicating excuses. The definition of tenacious says it much better: holding fast; characterized by keeping a firm hold, persistent, stubborn, etc.
I – Innovative. Become creative in your solutions. If you solve problems the same way you have in the past, what makes you think doing things the same way will give a different result?
O – Own. Be accountable to yourself when you make excuses and take ownership. Mea culpa is a simple way to remind yourself who can make the changes needed.
N – Navigate. Navigate this process with deliberate intention and flexibility. Recognize there will be setbacks and course corrections as well as successes.
Reflect on those instances where you’ve made excuses. How did they manifest? Will you take ACTION?
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