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No More Excuses—Please!


To make an apology for; to try to remove blame or accountability from; to grant exemption or release to; to serve as a reason or justify for

Are You Making Excuses Instead of Progress?

All of us at some time or another have made an excuse for not achieving something!

What are the excuses costing you?

Equally important, are you around people who are making excuses instead of getting results?

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
Benjamin Franklin
1706 – 1790

Excuses are dysfunctional, disabling, and destructive—yes, destructive. The quote from Benjamin Franklin says it best. If you are a person of excuses, you are not good for much else.

You cannot count on individuals who make excuses. Excuses replace results and accomplishments, thus creating the question of integrity.

Let’s say you are the parent of a teenager who always makes an excuse for why he or she is late, doesn’t get homework or chores done, and so on. What level of trust would you have for that person? Little, I suspect, because you are anticipating another excuse instead of the fulfillment of the activity.

This moment, think of someone you know personally or professionally who is always making excuses. What are your immediate thoughts about that person? For the most part, they aren’t positive.

But not all excuses are external in nature, meaning they affect others. Some excuses affect YOU.

What excuses have you made in personal matters? Let’s cite a few possibilities.

  • Your Health and Wellness Levels

Are you making excuses for your weight and fitness levels? In the past, I made excuses—I am too busy, the weather is unpleasant, I am too tired, and on it goes. In the past decade, I have shifted from excuses to action. Accepting a less-than-healthy condition for your precious body—overweight, poor eating habits, unfit—is inexcusable. That does not mean I’m perfect but am I mostly on track!

  • Career

You dislike your job or career and have done nothing to shift out of it. You have not applied for that new job. Fear and excuses will not help you progress to new opportunities.

  • Meetings

You are constantly late for personal appointments but there always seems to be an excuse. That simply means whatever else you were doing had higher priority. You are stating by your actions that people cannot count on you. This is a personal integrity issue.

  • Recreation

You have wanted to engage a new recreational hobby but after months or years, you have yet to try. Do it—or get it off your list.

There are many other examples, but you get the point.

Now when you continuously make excuses in a specific area, that MIGHT be a clue that you are involved in or expecting something that is not congruent with your beliefs or purpose. Make sure your activity list is not based on guilt or someone else’s expectations.

Excuses limit your success because, if you say them often enough, they become self-fulfilling prophecies—like a sales rep stating that no one wants to buy because the price of the product is too high—well, before you know it, the rep believes it. The results? Dismal sales.

Or I can’t lose weight! Before you know it, this becomes “truth.”

By refusing to use excuses, we reap many rewards—confidence, pride, self-respect, competence, and power . . . to name a few. The beauty is that it’s your choice to make excuses or not.

Which are you choosing: Success or failure?

To help you on your journey to confirm your purpose in all areas in your life and to stop the excuses, I recommend my latest book The Quest For Purpose. It will take you on a personal discovery that will assist you to confirm and affirm your passions in life.

As building blocks, I also suggest CRG’s Values Preference IndicatorSelf-Worth InventoryStress Indicator and Health Planner, and the Personal Style Indicator.

Follow these Action Steps and complete the recommended resources, to help you reap the rewards of no excuses.

Action Steps

Are You Making Excuses Instead of Progress?

  1. Are you making excuses instead of taking responsibility for your life?
  2. Success or failure depends on you. Take a moment to list ALL the areas in your life—minor and major—where you tend to make excuses.
  3. Beware of rationalization. It is used to hide shameful or discreditable behavior. If you have defensive responses to challenges, more than likely you are guilty as charged.
  4. Now that you have your list of excuses, what are you going to do? Do you continually make excuses for not doing some activities? Remove them from your list. Why? You really don’t want to do them.
  5. In some areas, there will be a gap between where you are and where you would like to be. Start making plans to find a way to make it happen and stop the excuses.
  6. Think about the individuals around you, personally and professionally. Is there anyone in your inner circle whose life is riddled with excuses? What is this person doing to your energy and your peace of mind? This very moment, take charge of your space. Limit your exposure to excuses. We become like the people around us, so don’t make an excuse for people with excuses.
  7. When you make a mistake, take responsibility. Learn from it and use your time productively to find solutions—not excuses.
  8. Set aside time to reflect and confirm your progress. If there is a gap between where you are and where you want to be, find out why and move forward.
  9. Individuals not living on purpose will have more excuses. To help you get clearer on your passion or calling, I encourage you to engage the process outlined step-by-step in The Quest For Purpose.
  10. Benchmark your gifts, talents, and preferences with the following assessments. Your results will assist you to make fewer excuses and better decisions—with confidence and clarity. As part of the clarification process, we recommend four specific assessments.
    • To understand how your level of self-worth is affecting your success, complete theSelf-Worth Inventory.

11-Now enjoy the many rewards of your excuse-free life—confidence, pride, self-respect, competence, power, and success.

Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!

Ken Keis

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