Episode 166- Do Your Excuses Make You Better?

I’ve got a question to start you off today. Are you looking to succeed or are you looking for an excuse? And the reason why I ask is because I talk to and hear from so many people who make excuses. And not only do they seem to not have a problem with it, but they actually go out of their way to defend it. And I personally simply do not have time to listen to anybody make excuses anymore. And that goes for myself as well. So I really do want the people in my life to call me out when I make an excuse for myself. And by doing things like recording this podcast and actually makes it much harder on myself to make those excuses because it’s going to be really easy for you to say, you just made an excuse there. That was an excuse. If I get defensive, they could be like, I’m just pointing back.

That episode you did about making excuses. So then I gotta go, all right? Okay. And then I have to stop myself. And what I found is I really stop making as many excuses as I used to make because I know that somebody is going to hold me accountable to that and what it’s done to made me have to take action, do the things follow through. So I try to pay attention to why we make so many excuses. Is this something we’re taught? Is it something we develop on our own as a defense mechanism from criticism of the past. And I think back on all the awful excuses I used to make and I still make hopefully to a lesser degree now, but I really was the king of excuse making. But I had a friend who I used to watch sports with all the time and I remembered excuse he made one day we were watching a game together.

Now I had made excuses for everything you could imagine up until that point. So I don’t know why this particular excuse stood out, but it really did, and I won’t say his name, but him and I were watching a Steeler game and we were both Steeler fans and into this game. And near the end, the Steelers got called for a penalty. A touchdown got taken back and then about a minute later, and I can’t remember what team they were playing, but the Steelers wound up losing the game right after that call. But I looked at my friend, he had a smile on his face and he almost had a look of satisfaction on his face. And I said to him, I said, “What are you smiling about?” And he said, “Don’t you see? At least we have an excuse now why they lost.” And that reminds me so much of what I see when I talk to people that go through the same thing today.

They’re more concerned with actually having an excuse, having something to pin it on somebody or something to blame it on. They’re more interested in that than actually succeeding in what they’re trying to do. And as long as you have someone or something to blame, you never really have to take responsibility for anything you’re doing. And my friend’s situation with the game was extreme because it wasn’t even him doing it. He was now looking for excuses for a group of football players that he’d never even met before. The excuse gave him a way out. But we do this all the time to ourselves. And if excuses give you, if they give you a place to hide, you will always find a way to make another excuse and it will prevent you from finding a way to win. And I get it. That changing a bad habit is difficult to do.

It’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror and take accountability and say, this is on me. It’s not my parents’ fault. Why I don’t have enough money right now. It’s not my boss’s fault. Why they didn’t get the promotion or the raise. It’s not my client’s fault. Why they’re so demanding. Because if you blame your mother, you’re going to eventually blame your boss. If you blame your boss, you’re gonna eventually blame your clients. And when that habit continues, you’re going to blame your spouse and you’re going to blame your kids and you’ll blame the weather and you’ll blame your dog if you have to. The problem with making excuses is the more that you do it, the better you get at it and the better you get at it, the more you rely on it. And before you know it, you’re sitting in front of a television and you are quite literally looking for ways to make an excuse for people you don’t even know.

And if you’re willing to make excuses for people you don’t even know, can you imagine the length that you will go to? Make excuses for yourself to think long and hard about things that you’re making excuses for, that you’re actually justifying to yourself. And I’ll give you mine. I had not been to the gym in a few weeks and I’ve got all the reasons that I can say why I didn’t go. We were out of town a couple of times. We have three kids and you know how it is, you know the weather’s starting to get cold. I could think of a million reasons, a million excuses, why haven’t gone to the gym? But the truth is they’re all excuses. Because if you said to me, if your life depended on it, if your kid’s life depended on it, would you have been at the gym at six o’clock this morning?

And the answer is- hopefully- of course! But excuses aren’t going to get me into shape. Excuses aren’t going to make me feel better, and excuses certainly are never going to bring me success. And they won’t help somebody else win a football game either. So think of an excuse you made today excuse that you justify that made you feel better because you didn’t get something done and start today by admitting it was just an excuse. It could have gotten done. And I, and the reason why it didn’t get done. And now that this is done, I have absolutely no excuse for not publishing a podcast for tomorrow and tomorrow I’ll be back with you.

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