The 19 Excuses You Are Making That Are Keeping You Stuck

It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one. – George Washington

Do you make excuses or take initiative?

Okay, we’ve all been there. Something just doesn’t work out, or something doesn’t quite go the way you had expected. Just maybe you failed to hit the target you had in mind.

When things don’t quite pan out as you had imagined, do you typically take ownership? Do you take responsibility? Maybe you’re the kind of person who takes initiative? Or maybe you are the kind of person who just makes excuses?

Yep, excuses are great. After all, they make us feel much better about ourselves. Making excuses means that it’s easier to live with our failed expectations. As a bonus, we win the sympathy of others, which in turn helps us to create deeper bonds with those around us. We’re not perfect after all, in fact, we are quite flawed and achieving our goals and objectives is tough work. Excuses provide us with reasons that help us explain away why we just aren’t good enough.

Many of us have big dreams and aspirations. This is of course wonderful. However, the reality is that many people don’t end up achieving the big goals they set for themselves. And it’s not that people aren’t capable. Many of us are more than capable of achieving things beyond our wildest imaginations, however for most, this never actually becomes a reality because people just kind of get in their own way.

The way we kind of get in our own way comes through the excuses we consistently make for not having enough, for not achieving a goal, for not handling a problem, or for not making the most of the opportunities life throws our way. Excuses such as:

I’m just not educated enough.

I just don’t have enough money.

I just don’t have enough time.

I’m just not confident enough to do this.

I just don’t have enough experience.

I’m just not ready yet.

I just don’t know where to begin.

It’s just too difficult.

I’m just not good enough.

I just don’t have any luck.

It just isn’t the right time.

Nobody believes in me.

People are holding me back.

I’m afraid what others might think.

I’m afraid of making a mistake.

I fear failure would crush me.

I just don’t know the right people.

It’s just too risky.

I’ve tried, and it just can’t be done.

I just can’t deal with all these problems.

I’m just not creative enough.

All these excuses keep us stuck. They keep us stuck in limbo. We want all these wonderful things, but unfortunately for most people… well, they will actually never have them. We won’t have these wonderful things because the excuses we make prevent us from moving forward.

Success, of course, isn’t a straight line moving from Point A to B., In reality, this line zigzags, weaves, loops, and even knots up at times. There is still a Point A and B, however getting there takes a lot more work than what most of us probably expected when we first set out on this journey toward accomplishing our goals.

The unpredictable nature of this path means that we will experience many roadblocks and obstacles that temporarily prevent us from moving forward. During these moments you can either take initiative and commit yourself to plowing through these challenges, or you can sit back, relax and make excuses as to why you simply couldn’t make any progress.

It’s these excuses we make that keep most people living in mediocrity. Instead of taking ownership and responsibility for the situation they find themselves in, they prefer to simply wilt under the pressure and accept defeat before the final buzzer has even sounded.

These people just don’t have enough drive, dedication or motivation to push themselves forward. As a result, they resign to the fact that life will never be the way they had always imagined.

What if instead of making excuses these people dedicated themselves to just simply plowing forward along their journey? What if they had no option but to move forward irrelevant of the obstacles that life threw their way? What if making excuses brought upon them incredible shame and humiliation? What then? Would they still make these same excuses? Or would they simply dig deeper and push themselves further?

These are all interesting scenarios. Making excuses is just easy. In fact, people feel much better about themselves after an excuse because it just helps them make peace with their failed expectations. However, as good as it feels, it doesn’t change anything. In fact, their excuses just keep them stuck, and in the long-run, they end up feeling miserable as excuses turn into regrets of a life that could have been lived.

The only way you will ever get to that place you have imagined in your minds-eye — where all your goals and dreams have become a reality — is by letting go of all your excuses. This means giving up on all the things you say to yourself as to why you couldn’t, shouldn’t, didn’t or wouldn’t do something. It also means taking ownership, responsibility, and initiative to move forward with purpose. In fact, taking initiative is the polar opposite of making excuses. When you take initiative to work on something, there are no excuses to be made. You just accept what is and you do whatever needs to get done to move forward.

This is of course all well and good, however letting go of our excuses isn’t always easy. It ain’t easy because many of the excuses we make are habitual by nature. We make excuses for certain things because we’ve always made these kinds of excuses. It’s just easy to make them, and changing our habits takes work and effort.

The excuses we make are also tied to our belief systems. We believe certain things about ourselves, about others and/or about life, and these beliefs then manifest as excuses as to why we couldn’t or didn’t do something. Many of these beliefs are of course irrational. They are based on circumstantial evidence that may or may not apply to every situation. And in some cases, these beliefs are just downright absurd and have no basis in reality.

We’re not going to delve here into the intricacies of how to eliminate your limiting beliefs or how to establish empowering habits. I’ve already discussed these topics in detail in other articles. What we do want to do here is explore some of the common excuses that people typically make and discuss how to counteract them. In other words, let’s identify these excuses and then figure out what you can do to overcome them.

With this in mind, let’s use the remainder of this article as a platform that will help us to turn 19 excuses into initiative and proactive action that will move you forward in more optimal ways.

Excuse 1: I don’t have enough knowledge…

I’m just not educated enough.

I just don’t have enough knowledge.

Instead of making this excuse, commit yourself to growth and development. If you don’t have enough knowledge about something, then read some books or chat with someone who can provide you with the guidance you need in this area. Knowledge is everywhere, and for the most part, it is free. You just need to commit yourself to going out there and securing it for yourself.

Making Poor Excuses

Excuse 2: I don’t have enough money…

I just don’t have enough money.

I come from a poor family.

Instead of making this excuse, commit yourself to learning more about managing money, about investing, about budgeting, etc. The more you know about money the more financially savvy you will become. Then use this knowledge to find ways to increase your income. Even if it’s in a small way to begin with. Start small and slowing expand from there.

Excuse 3: I don’t have enough time…

I just don’t have enough time.

I’m always running out of time.

Instead of making this excuse, commit yourself to improving your time management skills. Time management is all about effective prioritization. You will always find the time for the things you prioritize. With this in mind, figure out what’s most important and then let go of everything else. Also, be cutthroat when it comes to eliminating distractions. A clear and uncluttered mind works much more efficiently than a distracted zombie. 🙂

Excuse 4: I don’t have enough confidence…

I’m just not confident enough to do this.

I don’t have the confidence to make this work.

Instead of making this excuse, acknowledge that self-confidence comes with competence and experience. It’s perfectly okay to lack confidence when you are doing something for the very first time. Familiarity breeds confidence. In other words, the more you know about something, the more familiar you become and the more confidence you develop in yourself and in your own ability. And if in doubt, just Act As If you’re already confident.

Excuse 5: I don’t have enough experience…

I just don’t have enough experience to pull this off.

I’m just not quite ready yet.

Instead of making this excuse, commit yourself to taking very small but gradual steps toward your desired objective. You don’t necessarily need to even know or understand all the steps of the process you are taking. All you have to know is what needs to happen next, right here and right now. Everything else will come to light as soon as you start moving forward. And above all else, remember that there is always a first time for everyone and for everything. We all start with baby steps before we learn to run.

Excuse 6: I don’t know where to begin…

I just don’t know where to begin.

I have no idea where to start.

Instead of making this excuse, acknowledge that help and support from others can be of tremendous value. With this in mind, commit yourself to asking for help from someone who has knowledge and experience in this area. If by chance that person isn’t available, then just start somewhere. Most people who just get started eventually work things out as they move along their journey toward a goal. In fact, the more you do, the more you’ll know exactly what needs to get done. 🙂

Excuse 7: Things are just too hard…

This is all just too hard.

I’m just not good enough.

Instead of making this excuse, accept the fact that learning something new takes time, energy and effort. Often, the greater the difficulty of a task the higher reward and satisfaction you will gain from accomplishing it. With this in mind, challenge yourself to do better on each attempt. Alternatively you could always outsource difficult tasks or find a partner with complementary skills who could help you out. Mentors can also be of value to help guide you through a difficult challenge.

Excuse 8: I just don’t have any luck…

I just don’t have any luck.

I have the worst rotten bad luck of anyone I know.

Instead of making this excuse, come to accept that luck increases as you take more chances, as you work harder, and as you network relentlessly with other people. The more people you know, the more opportunities you will be able to take advantage of. Moreover, those who are fearless and courageously take bold steps toward their goal, end up experiencing far more good fortune than anyone else. After all, you’re never going to win a race if you never get off the starting line.

Stop Making Excuses

Excuse 9: This is just not the right time…

It just isn’t the right time.

The timing of this is just not right for me.

Instead of making this excuse, acknowledge the fact that there is never really a right time or a perfect moment to do something. There will always be uncertainty and variables at play that you won’t be able to predict. Furthermore, waiting for the perfect moment might mean that you miss out on opportunities that may never present themselves again. With this in mind, commit to getting started in a small way today.

Excuse 10: Everyone doubts me…

Nobody believes that I can do this.

Everyone tells me this is impossible.

Instead of making this excuse, commit yourself to believing in yourself. Other people’s opinions shouldn’t matter. Everyone has a different set of perspectives and experiences that color the way they see the world. Moreover, people judge you and your ability very differently. At times they will simply doubt you because they themselves don’t understand something or don’t believe it is possible. What is impossible for them doesn’t have to be impossible for you. You have a different set of skills, knowledge, and experiences that can help you bring your dreams into reality.

Excuse 11: Other people are holding me back…

People are holding me back.

Other people make decisions for me.

Instead of making this excuse, acknowledge that you only live once, and therefore must make the most of every opportunity that life brings your way. If following your passions means going against the wishes of others, then that is sometimes exactly what you must do. At the end of the day the only person you can truly depend on is you. It’s therefore up to you to make the most of every moment and not waste time living by other people’s standards and expectations.

Excuse 12: I’m afraid of what people will think…

I’m afraid of what others may think.

I’m afraid of people judging and criticizing me.

Instead of making this excuse, accept the fact that everyone has a different set of opinions. And because of this fact, no matter what you do, you will NEVER EVER satisfy absolutely everyone in your life. Whether you succeed or not, there will always be someone who will judge or criticize you behind your back. Focus only on what you think, and not on what other people may say or do. The only opinion that truly matters is your own.

Excuse 13: I’m afraid of making mistakes…

I’m afraid of making a mistake.

I’m reluctant because I might goof this up.

Instead of making this excuse, accept the fact that mistakes are a natural part of life. We all make mistakes. In fact, no matter how much experience someone has, they are still prone to making mistakes. Mistakes are however valuable as they help you learn and grow from the experience. In fact, making mistakes is a natural part of success. As long as you take the time to learn from these mistakes, they can lead to tremendous growth opportunities and insights that can help you move forward in a better way.

How to Stop Making Excuses

Excuse 14: I’m afraid of failing…

I fear failure would absolutely crush me.

I’m afraid of looking and feeling like a failure.

Instead of making this excuse, acknowledge the fact that failure is only a temporary experience unless of course, you accept defeat. If you choose not to accept defeat, then failure becomes nothing more than feedback. It becomes a learning experience that helps you adjust your course of action moving forward. In fact, failure can very often contain the seeds of an opportunity. But of course, this opportunity is never handed to you on a silver platter. You must do the work to figure out how to make the most of every experience.

Excuse 15: I just don’t know the right people…

I just don’t know the right people.

I don’t know anyone who could help me get ahead.

Instead of making this excuse, be more proactive with developing deeper relationships and connections with those around you. Attend networking events, join mastermind groups, and ask to be introduced to people who you would like to get to know. The key here is to go the extra mile to meet, greet and connect with people. As you expand your social and professional network you will eventually get to know people who can help you to get ahead.

Excuse 16: I just don’t like taking risks…

It’s just too risky.

There is little chance this will work out in the end.

Instead of making this excuse, remind yourself that fortune favors the brave. Yes, all risks don’t always pay off, but if you never take a chance on yourself then you will never really know how far you can go. Too many people don’t live up to their full potential simply because they never step away from the confines of their comfort zone. Everything you want is there for the taking, however, you must have the courage and guts to go after it. At the end of the day, you will always regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did.

Excuse 17: I’ve tried and it just can’t be done…

I’ve tried and it just can’t be done.

I’ve tried and failed… I give up!

Instead of making this excuse, reach out to someone for help, guidance, and assistance. Other people may have more experience in this situation or may have gone through this process a little differently than you. Pick their brains and learn everything you can from them, then adjust your course of action moving forward. And if help isn’t available, then ask yourself:

If it was possible, how could it be done?

There is always a way, you just need to find it. Sometimes all it takes is a slight shift in your perspective. 🙂

Excuse 18: There are just too many obstacles…

I just can’t deal with all these problems.

There are just too many things getting in my way.

Instead of making this excuse, treat everything as a learning experience. Remember that adversity often leads to growth and development. The more adversity you face the more you’ll learn and the wiser you’ll become on your next attempt. As long as you keep an open mind and stay flexible in thought and action, you will eventually breakthrough and then wonder how on earth you didn’t figure all this out earlier. 🙂

Excuse 19: I just have no creativity…

I’m just not creative enough to figure this out.

Creativity just isn’t my strength.

Instead of making this excuse, accept the fact that creativity is often a numbers gain. For every 100 bad ideas you generate, you will see a return of ONE good idea. Given this, commit yourself to generating as many ideas as possible. In fact, spend time brainstorming with others. Two minds are always better than one. Use other people’s ideas to help stimulate your own imagination to help you come up with something that will allow you to move forward in a more optimal way.

But even with all this in mind, creativity isn’t always necessary. Overcoming problems doesn’t require creativity. Persistence, perseverance, determination, and passion often trump even the most creative of ideas.

Overcome Your Excuses

Concluding Thoughts

So there you have it… the 19 Excuses for Mediocrity.

Indulging in these excuses will often keep you stuck. They are very much self-sabotaging forces that prevent us from moving forward with our lives. In fact, they hold us back from achieving our goals by keeping us within the confines of our comfort zones.

Awareness is, of course, the first step to change. Becoming aware of your excuses and subduing them before they take over your mind is the key to developing new habitual thinking patterns.

With time and practice, you will get better at turning these excuses into positive proactive action that will help you move closer toward your desired goals and objectives.

Time to Assimilate these Concepts

Did you gain value from this article? Is it important that you know and understand this topic? Would you like to optimize how you think about this topic? Would you like a method for applying these ideas to your life?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I’m confident you will gain tremendous value from using the accompanying IQ Matrix for coaching or self-coaching purposes. This mind map provides you with a quick visual overview of the article you just read. The branches, interlinking ideas, and images model how the brain thinks and processes information. It’s kind of like implanting a thought into your brain – an upgrade of sorts that optimizes how you think about these concepts and ideas. 🙂

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Gain More Knowledge…

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