Distracting Excuses

Distractions are everywhere…Facebook, Instagram, TV, online games and everything else that visually and mentally distracts us from interacting in real time with life. While those are readily accepted as deterrents from staying focused on our tasks at hand, I think we need to consider excuses as the greatest distraction of all.

Excuses are ways in which we delay action…the “I can’t do it”, “I’m not ready”, “I’m not good enough”, etc. It takes as much emotional energy to maintain an excuse as it does to actually do what we need to do. How many of us will fret over something until we’re too tired to tackle the task and then use being tired as an excuse to not do it?

So many of our excuses come from a sense of feeling inadequate and inferior. We think about all the ways we might fail, or not do it well enough, until we’ve talked ourselves out of actually doing it. Why do we assume we are less capable than anyone else? Those people who succeed are the ones who simply do what is necessary when it needs to be done.

Most of the time our excuses are about insignificant things rather than the reality of what we are struggling with. This is why we never seem to get the help we need…we continue to hide our true issue. Maybe we don’t even know what it is ourselves at first but it likely comes out of an inner fear.

I did an experiment one day to see how much I could get done if I stopped worrying and quit making excuses. I got everything on my list accomplished, and more! Each time I’d catch myself wondering about the next task, I’d stop and refocus on the job at hand. By the end of the day I was amazed at how much time and energy is wasted on worrying excuses. If we keep making excuses to mask our fear, we will accomplish very little.

My biggest fear is that I won’t have enough energy to complete a project so I don’t want to commit to it…often it’s just a matter of pacing my activity in manageable segments. I know not everyone will have the same excuse as I do, but we all have something we think holds us back. Identifying our go-to excuse gives us the key to stopping that deterrent in its tracks.

For some people it is a lack of education…”I don’t have enough training so I don’t know what to do.” Lack of education has never truly been a deterrent to success…many successful business owners have had very little formal education but have mastered the skill of acquiring the necessary knowledge as they went…learning from other’s mistakes and figuring out ways to do it better. If we want something bad enough, we’ll find a way to make it work.

Most excuses are not very good because they are simply a mask to disguise our lack of confidence. Everyone has insecurities…everyone has to start somewhere. Distracting excuses hold us hostage to feelings of failure when we all have the ability to succeed.