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March 16, 2022

“If you recite your excuses long enough you’ll start to believe they’re true.”

Listen Now:

No one likes the person that makes a lot of excuses, and I’d like to think you don’t want to be the type of person that makes excuses. Yet, myself included, I think we all fall into that trap every once in a while. It’s all driven by our ego. On a psychological level our ego is designed to keep our self-confidence intact and sustain psychological safety. In doing so the ego constantly places us relative to others - We have a need to know our position in the hierarchy and ideally perceive ourselves as better than others. That’s the root of why we make excuses.

But this is a very slippery slope, and Robin Sharma shared a quote that shows the real consequences of this. He says “If you recite your excuses long enough you’ll start to believe they’re true.” The implication here is that what you do to protect yourself will actually harm you in the long run. Our beliefs are dictated by what we’ve experienced, and each encounter molds our beliefs in the subtlest of ways. If you give excuses enough times, eventually it will represent a disproportionate amount of your understanding for how things are. This is dangerous because if there are certain times when you fall short and make excuses, your brain associates excuses with the stimulus until eventually, it becomes the default response pattern.

Now what can we do about it? The antidote to excuses is accountability. When you take responsibility for outcomes in your life you retain the power and agency to influence your life. Yes, it threatens the ego in the short term, suggesting you’re not good enough and makes you prone to making excuses. But in the long term, taking ownership builds a more empowering mindset. It affirms that you are in control and it gives you psychological freedom.

In short - While it may be tempting to slip into the safety of making excuses, we don’t want to do that. So let’s call it out right now - Thinking back, when was the last time you made an excuse?

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