One of the most important moments of my business life was when I realized just how many excuses I was making on a daily basis. Each day thoughts such as "Working out is too grueling, I'll just skip it" or "I'll never get this job, so why should I even apply?" would pop into my head, and I wouldn't give them a second thought. Once I saw how many excuses I made each day however, I began to take steps to remove them from my life. I believe anyone can get beyond excuses with a little work, so here's how I've trained myself to avoid making excuses.
1. Ask "Is This True?"
Whenever I catch myself making an excuse for something, I ask myself "Is this true?" or "Does this need be true?" For example, if I catch myself saying that working out is too grueling, and it will be an unpleasant experience, I ask myself if this is in fact the case - to which the answer is "Of course not." All I need to do is find a workout program that I will enjoy, rather than forcing myself to do one that I find unpleasant.
2. Reflect On Your Excuses
At the end of each day, I take a few minutes to look back on the excuses I made that day, and try to figure out why I made them. I make a mental note of the things I am avoiding, and try to look for better ways to approach them. The only way to start combating excuses is to notice them, and taking time to reflect helps me to do this.
3. Find People To Push You
Lastly, you should surround yourself with people who will call you out on your excuses. Holding yourself accountable is one thing, but it is much more effective if you have other people holding you responsible as well. Find a workout partner, or someone who will check in on you each day to ensure you met your goals, and didn't find an excuses.
Training myself to avoid making excuses was not easy, but it was worth it in the end. Now each day I can catch myself if I am making an excuse, challenge the assumption behind it, and I have people around me who will push me through those difficult days. With excuses gone I get more done, and I feel better about myself. With a little training, you can too.