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Are You Making Excuses?

Are You Making Excuses?

Are you blaming others for your lack of success, or are you taking responsibility? I’m sure that I have brought this up in other articles, but this one is going to dive deep into how disempowering excuses and blame really are. So, before I begin, I want you to ask yourself: Am I taking responsibility or am I blaming others for my lack of success?

Now for a brief example of what excuses look like to me as a coach. I had a mentee who had spent a long time on a payment plan to get together the money to work with me. Then, literally on our second call, the mentee’s opening statement was a long list of all the justifications for why they hadn’t done the homework we had set.

We had gone back and forth, negotiating and facilitating nine months of a payment plan to get together the money to work together, breaking up sessions into half-hour calls, because that is the way they wanted to work. I had been doing everything possible to be flexible and understanding and I know how valuable this time is. In my eyes, that session had required significant time to earn the money and to invest the money and so therefore, whatever the true monetary value of this 30-minute call may have been, the effort to get on the call was much greater.

It was really important that these 30 minutes were productive and actually moved this client forward. So, to arrive on a call where the first five minutes are all the justifications of why they haven’t done the homework, when I’m thinking, “well, if you didn’t do the homework, why we having the call? Why didn’t you just move the call?” Because of my coaching background, the idea of justifying when you haven’t done things is actually something that speaks to mindset for me.

As the call went on, we then got to the stage where they lost their temper. Just before they lost their temper, they were distracted by their phone and their head went down. And of course, when your head goes down on a video call, you never know whether someone’s taking notes or texting or dozing off. I was explaining a process that they needed to understand, so I thought they were taking notes. And then all of a sudden in the middle of me speaking, they said, “oh, I need to just take a call from my wife.”

I was stunned and asked “were you messaging on your phone, then?” And they said, “yes.” And I said, “so you weren’t listening to what I was saying?” And they said, “no,” they lost their rag, and then they hung up and they left. It was tremendously disrespectful on their part, but I don’t think that that’s really what this is about. That client won’t get the value out of their time and my time that they should have, and they won’t move forward and grow in some crucial ways.

I absolutely passionately value my time. I absolutely passionately value their time and your time. I absolutely passionately want to help you be successful. As a coach, if I see or experience you doing something where you are getting in your own way, I might be blunt when I say it, but I feel the need to offer you the idea that this action or this thought or this behaviour is what might be stopping you from success. Yes, people have referred to me as blunt before – usually the people that don’t like what I say—but a coach who is honest with you and invested in your growth is giving you value for your time and money, rather than taking the check and fawning over you while you stay stuck in place.

I love mindset, I love being selective with the language I use, and I love coaching. If you want to succeed at your goals, drop excuses. I will show you how using tools that work for me and work for my clients. So, what isn’t going right in your life? What have you failed at or what hasn’t worked out?

Whatever you want to blame, whether you want to make excuses – that’s your choice. I believe everything we have in our lives is a result of the decisions and the actions we take. We are in control of our lives. Yes, we are in an Uber environment, but our lives – the macro that we deal with – are down to us.

We almost always have the power to choose how to respond to things that happen around us, even when the things themselves are out of our control. Is there financial uncertainty? You could keep on as usual or you could increase your savings by 100 pounds per month. Do you hate your job? You could keep grumbling for ten more years, or you could apply for other jobs, pursue a degree or qualification, start investing…

Also, keep in mind that if you surround yourself with people that are making excuses and that are busy blaming others for their lack of action or their lack of success, then that will rub off of you. So, are you focused on your success or are you making excuses and let’s move away from them?

One way you can tell is the language that you use. So, let’s pick up on a couple of the words. So, the first word is “try.” Do you use the word “try,” or you could even use the word “hope.” I had hired a builder that didn’t work for me that tried and hoped a lot, and in the end, not a brick was laid. Here is what I mean: try to sit if you are standing or try to stand up if you’re sitting. Try to breathe. Try, right now, to become wealthy. You can’t. It is the most ridiculous verb “trying,” because to “try” produces no actual output.

The next word to watch out for is “because.” When you use “because” what comes after the word? Very likely some kind of excuse or justification for why something didn’t work out, why you failed or why you aren’t where you want to be. Watch what happens after the word “because.” Do you use it to describe more, enhance and solidify the first part of the sentence, or are you using it as an excuse?

As my former mentee told me during our call, “I didn’t do the homework you sent me because I didn’t have enough time, because this was happening and that was happening.” Maybe you say something like “I am not fit like I wanted to be because of COVID,” or “I don’t have that professional certificate because it would take too much time.” These are excuses that cut off opportunities and shut down creative thinking.

Don’t make excuses. The excuses will get you nowhere. The excuses will keep you stuck in the position you are in while everything else will move forward and leave you behind. After two years, or five years or 10 years you might realise you haven’t achieved what you had set out to, and effectively you’ll have moved backwards because others will be focused on their success of moving forward. Excuses hold you back and prevent you from growing.

Would you rather say, ten years from now, “I achieved my goal by putting in the effort, I kept my mind open to possibilities and opportunities and I prioritised success before comfort or failure,” or “I never got around to it and I don’t really know why. My friends have bought a house, or run a marathon or travelled to Japan, why haven’t I?” Tackle your mindset, clear out the excuses and see what you can do.

If you are interested in learning more about creating a success mindset and achieving your goals, make sure you listen to my podcast A Wealthy Life, and look at the free resources I offer like the Readiness to Retire Wealthy Audit. Keeping excuses and blame in check can be hard on your own, but that is precisely why I am here. For more impactful wealthy life tips, please visit my website, listen to my podcast here and here, or schedule a free call with me.