Let’s be honest; we all make excuses. Excuses are a defense mechanism we use to justify our actions and rationalize our behavior. Sometimes our excuses are healthy and even necessary when we need to set boundaries and take a break. However, excuses can become toxic. Making a habit of using excuses to pardon our bad decisions or procrastination can lead us down a path of irresponsibility. To be successful, you need to own each decision you make. Empower yourself by making deliberate and thoughtful choices.
Many times I see clients make excuses because they feel like they don’t have time to do everything on their “to-do” list. It is hard to manage every aspect of your life and your business. Try starting with some basic time management. Create blocks of time dedicated to specific tasks to help keep you focused on achieving key goals each day. Having the foresight of what lies in store for each day helps you mentally prepare for the tasks you face and can keep you from procrastinating.
That brings me to my next point. If there are certain tasks you find you consistently procrastinate doing, it may be time to consider what things you need to release. There is no shame in admitting there are certain things you don’t enjoy doing. If those things are becoming a deterrent to your success, it’s time to find a solution. The hard truth is you can’t do it all alone. Ask for help when you need it. Whether it’s asking your partner for help with picking the kids up from school or deciding to onboard an employee, knowing how to ask for help when you need it will help tremendously to manage your time and energy, which will help keep you from making excuses or procrastinating.
Think about why you make excuses. What are you really telling yourself? If you make excuses for why your children can’t attend weekend birthday parties regularly, and honestly, it’s because you’re just exhausted from operating and putting out fires for your business all week, maybe it’s time to think about your boundaries. Running your own business means operating on your terms and what works for your life. It’s okay to say no (and not feel guilty about it). You can say no to scheduling an appointment because it doesn’t work with your son’s soccer schedule. It’s okay to decline a last-minute project request from a client because you committed to helping with the school fundraiser. It’s okay to say no to toxic people and relationships that are not contributing to your personal success and fulfillment.
In order to stop making excuses, you need to get rid of the negative mindset. With a negative mindset, your brain turns excuses into reasons; you want to keep your reasons positive. Reasons are based on the most positive and beneficial possible outcome in any given situation. Reasons are thoughtful decisions. As you begin to see your decisions pay off in big and small wins, you will become more confident. And equally, as you learn from your mistakes and failures, you will grow.
Excuses and procrastination can lead to an ever-growing “to-do” list, which can become overwhelming and stressful. We tend to avoid things that are uncomfortable and hard, and so it becomes a toxic cycle of avoidance behavior leading to poor results and negative feelings. Excuses are barriers to your path to success. Overcoming obstacles is part of learning how to grow and achieve more. Finding solutions to overcoming those obstacles means taking charge and commanding your business and your life. It means making decisions and taking action so that you move forward. Stop the excuses because, let’s face it, not taking action is a decision too.
Empowered Leadership helps businesses find freedom through business coaching, executive coaching, assessments, and training. Stacie is an entrepreneur who helps business leaders balance their time to grow businesses they are proud of WHILE having the time and energy to show up for their families, communities, and themselves.