I have been wanting to write this post for quite some time. It has been in draft form for way too long. I want everyone to take the day that you read this post, just make a mental note of how many excuses you heard or offered. For those that mental notes don’t work (like me) – just put a tick for those heard and a circle for those you offered. I bet you get some!
Excuses seem to be everywhere. At work, out with friends or just with the family. How many times have you heard, “sorry I’m late but traffic was bad” coming from someone. The simple answer would be to stop after “sorry.” Stop blaming traffic! How about if you would have left 15 mins earlier? We all don’t need to know the excuse for being late.
We can think of excuses in two ways… Those that out and out in your face types or the excuses that sort of point to the person making the excuse.
We all can laugh at some of the in your face ones… Like, “the dog ate my homework!” or “Sorry, I missed out lunch date. But, my assistant marked in my calendar wrong.” I love the in your face ones, as they all want to deflect blame to someone or something. Let’s face the fact that no one hearing them really feels any better about the situation after hearing the excuse.
The other type sort of focus on something that we just can’t do or maybe we think this is part of our normal disposition. “I’m impatient.” “I always put everything off to the last minute.” “I could never do math very well. So, I think my kid is just like me.”
If you start off with an excuse, “I’m just not good at…” Stop and ask yourself, “Why not?”
I think it is time for us to stop offering excuses moving forward. You messed up! You were late, you did not get the work completed on time, or you think you can’t do something because of whatever. Take personal responsibility and apologize for you action or inaction!
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