If you’ve ever wondered how to stop making excuses, this article is for you.
Understanding how to avoid making excuses is essential to success in life, business, and relationships. As such, psychological theories can help us understand why we make excuses and, ultimately, how to stop making excuses and accept responsibility for our actions.
How To Stop Making Excuses:
1. Identify your locus of control.
The first step toward stopping excuses is to consider how much control you think you have over your life. Excuses are often used to shift responsibility to events beyond our control. If you tell yourself that you can’t lose weight because your partner cooks too much, you are placing the blame on someone else when you should be taking responsibility for yourself.
The degree to which you accept responsibility for your actions and believe you have control over your life is called an “internal locus of control.” Having an internal locus of control helps you focus on your goals for the future.
An external locus of control is the image of yourself by blaming fate or others for your mistakes or failures and avoiding responsibility.
2. Improve your understanding of self-efficacy.
Whether it’s a professional, fitness, or personal goal, your belief in your own ability to complete a task has a significant impact on actually doing it. Self-efficacy is based on your previous experience with a task, as well as observing how others have performed the same activity, how others treat you while you are doing it, and your emotional signals.
If you have previously gained muscle mass by lifting weights and you see your peers doing the same, you hear others complimenting your larger muscles, and you feel proud of yourself in the mirror, you will be more likely to do it again instead of making excuses as to why you can’t.
3. Create a strong sense of self-efficacy.
There are many things you can do to improve your self-esteem. Small changes can help you reach your goals faster and increase your sense of self-efficacy.
Start by making small changes. Instead of changing your entire diet, start by increasing your water intake for a week and then limiting sweets the following week.
Reflect on your past accomplishments. Keeping in mind how you achieved previous goals can give you the motivation you need to achieve the next one.
Visualize yourself as a winner. Think about how you would look in a smaller dress size.
Decide on a role model. If you are trying to lose weight, look for a friend who has just made the same change and ask her for advice and motivation.
Allow yourself a little self-doubt. Expect setbacks and stoppages along the way; setting yourself up to be flawless will only lead to disappointment. Expect self-doubt, and it will be easier to change and move on.
4. Analyze your own excuses.
Make a list of your excuses, think about why you use them, and choose the ones you want to focus on first.
Analyze your excuses for poor performance at work. For example, if you happen to worry about deadlines, perhaps your method of organizing your work needs to be reevaluated.
Consider why you don’t take care of your form. One of the most popular excuses is a lack of time to exercise. That’s why doctors now recommend exercising in ten-minute increments, which can be as simple as a brisk walk on your coffee break!
Think about the reasons why you are not achieving your life goals. Make a note of what you want to accomplish in life and why you seem to be failing, and then try to problem solve strategies to overcome the personal obstacles you face. Remember that nothing will change until you change.
5. Analyze your goals.
To better understand how you can achieve your goals, you need to analyze them carefully, decide whether they are feasible and within your reach, discover what concerns you about them, and recognize any underlying assumptions you may have about them.
Consider what “more successful” means to you if you say you want to be more successful at work. You may be unfairly comparing yourself to the expectations of your parents (1) or a co-worker who has been with the company longer than you.
6. Use the SMART method when setting your goals.
Make sure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, and achievable, as well as relevant, realistic, and time-bound. Achieving SMART goals will be more likely if you write them down.
Specific goals are very narrow in scope. Instead of stating that you want to improve your job performance, write down that you want to get 5 new clients this month. Think about who, what, where, when, and why you want to achieve your goal.
Measurable goals make it easier to track progress. Instead of declaring you want to lose weight, say you want to lose three pounds this month.
Unrealistic expectations will not destroy you if you set goals that are attainable. You may desire to make more money, but a goal of an extra $1,000 from sales may be more attainable than $10,000.
Goals that are relevant Make sure you’re not spending time on something that won’t help you. Instead of signing up for a chess league this season, sign up for a gymnastics class to improve your flexibility as a dancer.
You can set a deadline for yourself by setting time-related goals. Some people need the added pressure of a deadline. Suppose you want to finish your 10,000-word book by the end of the month.
7. Shift to an internal locus of control and start taking personal responsibility.
You can be more successful if, for example, you take responsibility for increasing the effectiveness of your workplace. Managers and employees who are more confident in taking action and influencing others are valued and feel more effective at work.
Taking responsibility also involves taking responsibility for your mistakes and not making excuses for them. Everyone makes mistakes, but honesty and accountability make it easier to learn from them and overcome them.
Remind yourself that you are in control of your position and your environment. You have the ability to change if you choose to do so.
8. Developing a strong sense of self-awareness
Self-awareness is the ability to examine oneself in order to adapt to situations more quickly. Knowing how to properly analyze your talents, skills, and goals in a given situation allows you to adapt more effectively, and effective adaptation leads to goal achievement.
If you can monitor and change your communication style at work depending on who you are talking to, you can become a better friend to your co-workers and a better leader when dealing with different employees in different positions.
9. Sharpen your problem-solving skills.
Write down what’s bothering you, brainstorm how many alternative approaches you can take to the problem, weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each, apply the strategy, and evaluate the results.
Writing down problems and then brainstorming solutions, no matter how absurd they may seem, is a good way to start solving them.
10. Develop resourcefulness
One of the most important aspects of overcoming any difficulty is resourcefulness.
Asking for help is part of that resourcefulness, so don’t be shy about asking for help from family, friends, or co-workers.
11. Do a self-assessment.
Tracking and analyzing your actions—no matter how many sales you’ve made at work or how often you make dinner at home instead of ordering take-out—is the best way to see your progress, evaluate what’s working, and improve what’s not. You can do a self-assessment after you manage to monitor and achieve your goals.
Be your own worst critic. When doing a self-assessment, remember to be objective and realistic and remember that “if it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.”
12. Make the necessary changes in your language.
If you doubt yourself and say things to yourself like, “I can’t do it” or “If only…”, you are succumbing to an external locus of control and may feel trapped in your current circumstances. Instead, tell yourself, “I believe I can.”
“I can do it” or “I’m getting better at it” are two optimistic mantras worth repeating (2).
Reframe your “if only” comments to be more positive. For example, “If only I had more time” can be replaced with “I can find 10 minutes a day to do yoga.” Half of success is believing in yourself.
Thank you for reading this article about how to stop making excuses and I really hope that you take action my advice.
I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.