How To Escape the World of Excuses
By Sandy Schroeder
Everybody needs to use an excuse once in a while, but sometimes one excuse leads to another. If you have watched others do this, or fallen into that trap yourself, there are ways to escape the world of excuses.
Fast Company Magazine took aim and hit the bulls-eye with some simple ways to just walk away from excuses and never look back. Well, almost. See what you think.
Ways to Eliminate Excuses
See if these tips work out better in the long run.
Take responsibility - As hard as it may be, simply owning up to the mistake, problem, late arrival, or whatever, is often the better choice than creating some glib explanation of what happened. Most people recognize and appreciate honesty. You may be surprised at the positive response that you get.
Watch for patterns of excuses - Most of us know how easy it is to create patterns. If you consistently arrive 15 minutes late for the morning meeting, then everybody may just come to expect that. However, you and everybody else, might feel a lot better if you just set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and arrived on time.
Start tracking your excuses - If you feel like you have slipped into the excuse habit, you might want to keep a running list of your excuses. As you accumulate the list, you may be surprised at how many times you used the same excuse for late delivery of work, or late arrivals for family, friends or work. Put together a week's worth of excuses and see if you feel it is making a difference with the people around you. If you have to admit, life would be smoother without all of these excuses, you may have to create a plan to eliminate the most flagrant ones.
Create new responses to replace excuses - This may be a real test of your creativity and the circumstances, but ask yourself what can you do instead of showing up with an excuse. If you have been accumulating a list of excuses you have used, start categorizing them by people, place, and situation.
- Are the same people being impacted over and over?
- Is this just a work issue, family problem, or an overall one?
- Are the excuses inevitable or correctable?
The further you look the clearer it may be as to what is happening. You may realize you could make personal changes like setting an alarm that would correct them. Or you may have just trained everyone to accept the areas where you needed excuses.
Whatever is going on, taking a closer look may help you escape the world of excuses and move on with your life.
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