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You have to stop making excuses for yourself if you want to succeed.
There, I said it. Making excuses is one of the quickest ways to fail at something (right behind giving up).
Setting goals is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your personal growth. Goal-setting can help push you into taking the first step in pursuing them. But, more often than not, what holds us back from achieving our goals is the excuses we make for ourselves.
In order to stop making excuses for good, you need to understand why you make excuses for yourself, what excuses can look like, and, most importantly, how to stop making excuses.
Why You Make Excuses for Yourself
Making excuses is really natural. For most of us, it becomes second nature in our everyday lives. When we make goals, oftentimes we don’t achieve them as we had hoped. This is when excuses tend to creep up on us.
Let’s look at the main reasons you might be making excuses for yourself (instead of sticking to your goals…)
You Are Impatient
This is a big one for me. I am such an impatient person. If we set a goal and don’t feel like we’re achieving it as quickly as we’d like (which often isn’t even doable), we make excuses.
STOP DOING THIS.
Learn to trust the process and view your goals as a journey, rather than hyper-fixating on the end result.
Your Goal Isn’t Realistic
Let’s be real… sometimes your goal just isn’t achievable.
This is actually way more common than you’d think. There are a lot of factors you have to take into account when setting goals.
Time frame, availability, resources, etc. are all things that you need to think of before setting your goal.
If you don’t set realistic goals, you aren’t likely to achieve them… obviously!
This often leads to making excuses for yourself.
If you find yourself making a lot of excuses for not achieving your goals, check in to see if your goals are even doable (or things you really want!).
It’s not a you problem. It’s a goal problem!
You Don’t Trust Yourself
Another big one. If your self-confidence is running low, you might be shooting yourself in the foot and ruining your chances of achieving your goals before you even begin.
Having trust that you can achieve your goals is imperative to your success.
If you want to stop making excuses for why you can’t do something, you have to believe you can.
You are Lazy
I said it.
And I’ve been there too. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed.
We all have times in our life when we feel a little lazy. To be honest, I don’t think this is a problem. I think it’s human!
That said, it becomes a problem when we forgo our goals and dreams because of our laziness.
You can pursue your dreams and still have moments where you experience a drop in motivation as long as you don’t start making excuses for yourself.
Don’t allow temporary laziness to push you into making an excuse and giving up on your goal.
You Have a Habit of Making Excuses
Making excuses can quickly become a habit. I know because I’ve been there myself.
This is a form of self-destruction. The second you start making excuses for yourself, you stop having the motivation to achieve your goals.
It becomes easy to write things off with excuses. Stop making excuses and hold yourself accountable if you want to get serious about pursuing your goals.
What Your Excuses May Sound Like
Everyone has their own forms of excuses that they tend to make. If you are wanting to stop making excuses, you need to know how to spot them when they come up.
Here are some of the most common excuses people make:
Excuse 1. “I can’t do that.”
Did you know that there are very few things you CAN’T do if you really try? Take some time to learn something new. Don’t give in to the “I can’t do that” mentality. Develop a growth mindset. Know that you CAN.
Excuse 2. “I’m not smart enough.”
Again, if you want to learn it, you CAN. Stretch your brain. You are capable of more than you think.
Excuse 3. “I don’t have enough time.”
You make time for the things you care about. That’s just the facts.
Atomic Habits is a book that really taught me this lesson. Building good habits allows you to prioritize things that really matter.
If you want something, you’ll make the time. That’s just the facts.
Excuse 4. “I’m not good enough/worthy.”
If this sounds like you, you need to work on your confidence love. Carrying yourself with confidence is everything. You have to believe you are worthy of all the good things you desire.
Excuse 5. “It’s not a good time.”
Okay, I am going to let you in on a secret.
If you wait until you feel ready to do something, you will never do it.
The time will most likely never feel perfect. You have to know that, understand that, and push yourself to chase your goals anyways!
10 Tips to Stop Making Excuses for Yourself & Achieve Your Goals
Refuse to Settle
Don’t make it an option to not achieve your goals. Tell yourself that you can and will get what you are hoping for.
If you go into your goals with the mindset of “maybe I won’t make it”, you are setting yourself up to fail. That is an excuse in itself. Stop making excuses like that and refuse to settle for anything less than you want.
Know that Failure Isn’t an Option
What you perceive as “failure” may happen. But the key to not making excuses when this happens is to not view it as a failure.
Failure is just a redirection.
Fail your way into success.
Failure just teaches you what doesn’t work and what not to do. When you view it like that, it’s not a failure… it’s a win. It’s a learning experience.
Do not view failure as a reason to quit or make excuses. View it as a redirection in your journey.
Learn to Be Flexible
When you set goals and plans, things are bound to shift and change. You gotta learn to be flexible rather than turn that into an excuse.
To be honest, things are most likely going to go wrong. Life happens!
Roll with the punches and learn to shift and be flexible rather than quitting or making excuses for yourself.
This is similar to the last tip… When things go in a different direction than you planned, turn it into something good!
Offer Yourself Grace
Lack of motivation? Okay.
Feeling tired? Fine.
Overwhelmed? Drained? Defeated? Feel like giving up? Things going wrong? That’s to be expected.
There is a huge difference between making excuses and offering yourself grace. You can be kind to yourself without ruining your chances with excuses.
Giving yourself grace simply means being realistic and gentle with yourself. Making excuses means rationalizing why you can’t achieve your goals. Grace allows you to continue with your goals. Big difference!
Do Not Compare
Your journey isn’t going to look like anybody else’s journey. Even if you had the exact same goal as someone else, your process to get there would look entirely different. You are different people, with different lives, and different realities. That’s okay!
You know the quote “comparison is the thief of joy“? It couldn’t be more true.
Maybe you perceive someone as doing better than you, achieving goals faster than you, or being more successful than you.
First of all, their journey is separate from yours.
Their path says nothing about yours. You can cheer them on and still achieve your goals, in your own way, at your own pace.
Secondly, that is your perception.
Chances are good, you see their highlights, especially if you are going off of social media – a constant highlight reel. Have you ever thought that there are people comparing themselves to YOU and your success too? You don’t see yourself the way others see you.
The bottom line: stop comparing.
Someone else’s life says nothing about you.
I’m going to give it to you straight here.
You don’t grow in your comfort zone.
Taking risks and pushing yourself to the point where you feel slightly uncomfortable is when things will start happening.
I was beyond nervous about starting college as a freshman. Here I am, graduated 2 years early with straight A’s all through college.
I was terrified to start my own blog. Now I am self-employed and the CEO of my own company.
Some of your biggest successes come from pushing yourself to take a risk.
So stop making excuses. Leap in and allow yourself to feel uncomfortable. You’ll be surprised by how much that pushes you to grow.
Set Small Goals Along the Way
This is a tip to stay motivated and not allow yourself to make excuses on the way to your goals.
If you focus only on your one big goal, it can feel like you have miles to go, never getting to where you want to be.
That is daunting for anybody. This can lead to feelings of defeat and a temptation to make excuses.
Instead of fixating on the big goal, try setting smaller goals that you can achieve along the way to your big goal.
For me, setting short-term goals helps keep me motivated.
This Forbes article is one of the best I’ve found for learning how to set small goals along the way to your big goal.
All around, having a way to measure your progress and accomplish things along the way is a great tool in helping you stop making excuses and feeling defeated.
Quit the “Blame Game”
One of the biggest excuses I see people make is blaming others for their position.
I’m going to give you some tough love here…
YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE.
Other people most definitely can play a role but, ultimately, your goals are up to you.
I used to blame others all the time for why I couldn’t achieve my goals. Once I realized I was doing this, I knew it needed to stop.
Once I stopped making these excuses for myself and took hold of my own destiny, I saw insane results in achieving my goals.
The power is in your hands. Own it.
Remove ‘But’ From Your Vocabulary
This is a HUGE TIP for when you are trying to stop making excuses. It happens so naturally once you get in the habit.
“I’m sorry, but…”
“I would’ve, but…”
“I was going to, but…”
It’s time to get real with yourself. When ‘but’ comes out of your mouth, that means you are actively making an excuse.
Not to mention, when you stop using the word ‘but’ in your everyday life, you will feel more motivated.
For example, say you have a goal of reading before bed. You finish your night routine and say to yourself “I should read, but…” (and then end up wasting 2 hours on TikTok!)
Stop yourself right there. Remove the ‘but’ entirely. Just say “I should read”.
Boom. Trick your brain. Now put the phone away and read.
This obviously may not be your goal, but (uh oh, I am using the word 😉 ) it can definitely apply to your individual goal too.
I challenge you to be on ‘but’ alert for one whole day. See how many excuses you begin to make. Then actively work to replace them with something positive.
Celebrate Every Victory
If you are on a long journey to achieving your goals, you are going to have to celebrate the little wins along the way.
Every single day is an opportunity to take a step in the right direction.
If you make a conscious effort to stop making excuses for yourself and take that step, you deserve to celebrate yourself. Even if it doesn’t feel big at the time… it’s the little things that add up to big results.
Be proud of every step in the right direction.
Choose to stop making excuses for yourself.
You are only harming yourself and getting in the way of your own goals. You have to actively choose to stop making excuses and implement these 10 tips to achieve your goals.
If you believe you can, there’s nothing else in your way! You got this!