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How to Stop Making Excuses: The Antidote to Failure

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I recently typed three words into Microsoft Word…

I changed the type to my favorite font (Verdana) and the point size to 48.

I printed them out… cut off the bottom of the page… and posted the three words up above my desk.

I did this because one of the three words defines something that Brian Tracy says is the primary cause for failure in life.

Tracy was talking about our tendency in life to make “excuses” for our mistakes and failures.

The three words I tacked up above my desk and the three words I’m confident will change your life are…

“No More Excuses.”

Tracy adds that “the continuous making of excuses and trying to explain away our faults, our problems and our deficiencies instead of accepting full responsibility for our lives and doing something to change them is one of the critical factors that holds people back from ever achieving their potential as human beings.”

U.S. Statesman and Founding Father Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

English poet Alexander Pope (1688–1744) was quoted as saying, “An excuse is worse than a lie, for an excuse is a lie, guarded.”

These are just a few of the millions of possible excuses in life…

“I don’t have enough time.”

“I can’t because American Idol is on tonight and I never miss it.”

“I’m not going to phone up XYZ Company because they’ll probably just say no.”

“I’ll have a piece of pie because it’s my favorite pie. I’ll start my diet tomorrow.”

“I’m too tired to go for a walk.”

“I’m not smart enough.”

Can you relate to any of the above? Do you have any common excuses you’ve made to slow down your own progress towards living the writer’s life?

If so, here’s a quick four-step formula for how to stop making excuses:

1. Turn on your defense probe.

First, you have to recognize when you’re making excuses. Every time you come up with an excuse, be aware of it. Identify it as an excuse – and as something you have to rise above.

2. Remember it’s always your fault.

Accept once and for all that you have to take responsibility for everything that happens in your life. If you’re not as successful as you want to be and not living the life you always hoped for, you have to accept complete responsibility for your situation. Then whenever you begin to come up with an excuse, simply say to yourself, “I am responsible.”

3. Choose a brain direction.

Make a decision that you’re either going to be successful or you’re not. If you’re content where you are, there’s no need to change. But if you’re not – make a decision that from this day forward, you’re not going to rely on excuses to justify your inaction. And that you will achieve all the goals you set out for yourself in life.

4. Change your future with paper and tape.

Type “No More Excuses” into your word processing software, increase the font size, change it to your favorite font (if you so desire), and print it out. Then find a nice place in your office where it’s visible during the day and tape it to your wall.

Are you ready to live your life with “No More Excuses?”

I know I am.

If your excuses have paralyzed you into inaction…

… it’s time to take action.

There’s no better way to stop making excuses than good constructive action towards your goals.

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