“Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.”
~George Washington Carver

Excuses drive me crazy.

Whether it’s someone I work with who is making excuses about why they didn’t get something done, or a client making excuses about why they didn’t take the steps for themselves that they committed to making, or one of my kids making excuses about why they’ve dropped a ball I’ve asked them to carry.

Or me making excuses about something I did or didn’t do or a reaction I had or didn’t have.

Excuses drive me crazy.

I do think excuses, even when I make them, are a waste of energy and time. I, if not at that very moment that I’m making an excuse then soon thereafter, can generally realize that I could have moved forward on something or changed my actions or reactions rather than spending time coming up with excuses.

The wasted energy of making the excuse, which keeps me from moving forward, also keeps me from looking at the real reason why I didn’t do something or why I made a mistake or why I over reacted. And it’s only when I look at the real reason and dig deep that I can learn from whatever happened and gain momentum toward my goal.

Don’t get me wrong. I practically preach about self-compassion and gentleness with ourselves. But compassion toward myself for not taking care of what I needed to take care of or for not handling something as my best self and coming from love is different than making a (lame) excuse for my behavior.

There is sometimes a fine line between putting too much pressure on ourselves and letting ourselves slide too much. But when I make excuses a habit, I err too far on the side of letting things slide.

How have you learned not to make excuses?
Please leave a comment.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

To let go of your excuse making habits, contact Robyn at rmcleod@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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