How Excuses Are Killing Your Business (and what to do about it)

Being told that you are making excuses— that you are standing in the way of your own success— is never easy.

I was recently told that it seemed like I was making an excuse for my own struggles, and you know what my knee-jerk response was to that?

You betcha. Another damn excuse. It's like they show up without being asked for, a little army of reserve excuses, ready to head out (except p.s., they're not doing you any favours).

Sometimes taking action is absolutely scary. Getting out of your own way and chasing down success means that you have an opportunity to fail. If you're telling yourself you can't do something, it's not scary, because there is no opportunity to fail. Ditching the excuses means you're vulnerable. It means that you're now giving it your all, and if things don't work out— well, that's on you.

But there's a way around the excuse-making I've been thinking a lot about lately, and it comes in the form of a question.

What if you're wrong?

Yes, that's it. What if you're wrong? What if your assumptions about yourself, your abilities, your situation, your future—what if they're wrong?

I might say: I really can't do this because I just don't have time.

Well, what if I'm wrong? What if I can make the time and make my desires an actual priority? We all have the same 24 hours.

I always struggle with getting things done on time because I'm so disorganized.

What if you're wrong? What if you tell yourself you're actually an organization master, you just haven't found the right way to organize for you?

Often I even hear people discrediting themselves before they even try.

I'd love to make a comic some day, but I sooo can't draw.

And when I ask if they'd ever really tried drawing, if they spent time practising every day, they said no. So why believe that they don't have any ability to draw? Why not choose to believe they can draw, they're just a little out of practise?

Your thoughts about yourself, the things we think we know, are beliefs— and they're not necessarily any more right than what someone else might think. They are not unshakeably true simply because you're the person thinking them.

The next time you find yourself putting up excuses for why you're not chasing down your dreams, for why you can't make it work, ask yourself:

What if I'm wrong?