How Excuses cause us to Avoid Taking Responsibility, Erode our Self-Confidence, and Stunt our Growth
I’ve set a couple of goals for this quarter that I’m not going to achieve. This isn’t an uncommon situation for me. I’ve long come to terms with the fact that I set challenging goals and as a result, there will be a few that I don’t achieve. Knowing it doesn’t make it any easier.
At the end of each calendar quarter I take time to review what I have accomplished in the last 3 months. It’s a time of reflecting on what went right and what went wrong. I know that my third quarter 2019 review is going to be tough. I am tempted to make excuses about why I wasn’t able to achieve the goals I set out to achieve. But, I’m not going to allow myself to do that.
Are you ever tempted to make excuses? There are three serious consequences in store if we give in to that temptation.
- We Avoid Taking Responsibility – No matter what the circumstances may be; we play a big part in our failures. If we start making excuses about why we weren’t successful; we shift blame onto other people or circumstances.
Taking responsibility for our part in a failure is crucial to having the respect of others. We’ve all known someone who is quick to accept praise for a job well done, yet, when something goes wrong the excuses start flying.
- We Erode Our Self-Confidence – There is a difference between I failed and I’m a failure. Knowing the difference requires self-confidence. Excuses frame us as a victim of our circumstances.
We know it feels bad to fail but how many of us understand the larger consequence of losing belief in ourselves? We start to believe the lie that our circumstances are out of our control and that we are our failures.
- We Stunt our Growth – The only way to grow is to spend time examining how we could have done something better. We cannot grow if we don’t allow ourselves the ability to examine our own complicity in our failures.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Every time we make an excuse we lose the opportunity to learn from the experience. Some of our greatest achievements come from the examination of our mistakes.
He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. – Benjamin Franklin
We know deep down that excuses are harmful, but their pull is tremendous. Keep these consequences in mind next time you want to take the easy way out and make an excuse.