If your doctor told you that your sickness was caused by a viral infection he/she might suggest you “just have to wait until it passes.” It might take a day, a week, a month, or a even a lifetime and you are never truly cured! Making excuses is a deadly virus that is crippling individuals, families, companies, and organizations from truly reaching their potential. The question is how much more proactive can you be to remove cause of the illness of excuse making than just drinking more water or eating more soup in the interim.
Consider me the king of excuse making.
Sure I get things done when I need to get them done but when it comes to holding myself accountable to do the right things consistently sometimes it doesn’t always match up.
Here are some excuses I’ve made recently…
I can go to the gym later.
These french fries are tasty but I can go to the gym later to burn off the excess calories.
It won’t really matter if I write a blog post today because I can make up for it later by doing some more prospecting.
I can do what Allison told me to do later because I don’t feel like it right now and she is patient with me so it isn’t that big of a deal.
I don’t have to be consistent sending to my email list because I wait until I have something really good beside I don’t want to send too much out too often otherwise my list will unsubscribe.
My clients are too busy to take my phone calls so I will just send them an email.
My client didn’t respond to my proposal so I guess they don’t know what they are missing. Too bad for them.
After writing these excuses I noticed a couple trends.
My excuse self justifies my self destructive behavior because of the story I tell myself that most times isn’t true in the first place.
When I make an excuse that involves another person I give my power away and invite the other person to fail.
When I accept someone else’s excuse I give my power away and invite the other person to never change.
This realization came to me after reading No More Excuses: The Five Accountabilities for Personal and Organizational Growth by Sam Silverstein. After reading the first couple chapters I started to reflect on how many times I made an excuse for myself and for other people. It made me sick to my stomach.
My skill sets in supporting arguments, supplying rationale and persuading to support any side or situation is a strength and a curse. A strength because I am good at moving others into action. A curse because I can easily persuade myself and others not to take action.
My assignment the next couple weeks is to identify how many excuses I make for myself and for other people and eliminate them right in the moment before I start to tell myself a story that self justifies it. You might just see more blog posts, emails or receive a phone call from me as a result 🙂
I have known Sam Silverstein now for 6 years ever since I started attending meetings at the National Speakers Association St. Louis Chapter. I’ve been out to lunch with him one on one at least 4 times and get to see him in person every couple months during chapter or national meetings for NSA.
I have known about book No More Excuses since the day I have met him and yesterday was the first day I bought and read his book. I believe it is truly life changing for me to be more accountable to myself, to Allison, and to my clients which is something I don’t say very often or casually. The strange thing is that he lives only 8.9 miles from my house.