It’s something few of us admit to, but something we all do: make excuses.
When we don’t do something, don’t achieve something or don’t find something goes the way we expected (or hoped), we have an explanation for why that is the case. Whether or not this is wholly, partly or at all true is by-the-by… it’s an excuse, pure and simple.
Of course, we’re all bumbling along to some extent right now; navigating life in a global pandemic and often just trying to hold it all together in the face of turmoil, adversity and uncertainty. It has almost become a societal expectation that we won’t achieve all we would usually over the last year, but as life resumes (somewhat) to normal, there’s no more time to procrastinate or to make excuses. It’s time to get stuff done!
What are your Excuses?
It is easiest to read this question and roll your eyes, shaking off any such ownership or responsibility of ‘making excuses’ behaviour. But we’ve all done it at some point, and no one is exempt.
In a battle of weak women vs strong women, the strong women are those who are able to take ownership, reflect and work on inhibitive behaviours: and making excuses is one of these.
Do you tell yourself you can’t achieve ‘x’ because you’re not ready? That you shouldn’t try because now isn’t the right time? That you’re too old, under-qualified, not talented enough, too skint, too time-constrained, likely to fail? …these are all excuses. You’ve made them before and you’ll probably make them again.
Ok, so how do I STOP making excuses?
The first step you need to take is to recognise when you’re making excuses, and to own that – which is one of the most important traits in how to be a strong-minded woman; because you learn to know yourself better, and the good and bad habits that you possess.
Understand the underlying issues
It’s imperative that you understand why you’re really making excuses in the first place. Are you afraid? Are you suffering with imposter syndrome? Listen to your instincts and understand them as best you can. If you can comprehend and overcome these issues, you’re well on your way to understanding what confidence looks like and adopting it, properly, for yourself.
Set some goals
Set goals, keep them small, achievable and tangible – and then go get ‘em! Each big dream is made up of a thousand small steps, and without mapping the route that’ll get you there, you’ll ‘not be able to see the wood for the trees’. Achieving small goals will help keep you motivated and inspired, as well as give you a way to track progress and reflect on how far you’ve already come.
Learn from the tricky stuff
It’s said often and is always easier said than done, but learning to see failure and mistake making as a learning opportunity really is critical. You grow through what you go through, so keep getting up and showing up over and over again. Repetition is what builds confidence and that’s the underlying trait in going after and achieving your goals.
You are you, and no one else. Your vision of success is not the same as anyone else’s nor is your path to achieving it. Acceptance of self, whatever that looks like for you, is the only way you’ll be able to make fearless decisions, take chances and really strive for success.
Jump on in!
The unknown is often daunting – but regret and missed opportunities are always the real fright. Change is often a bit discombobulating and can throw you off your path a little, but your ability to regain yourself and your vision is key. Don’t hesitate to try new things, take up new opportunities or pivot yourself entirely in order to meet your goals. Some of the best things in your life will have happened because of unexpected circumstances or risk-taking, so don’t assume that in more professional matters these moves should be avoided.
The universe rewards movement, even as side steps, so why not start now? See the excuses, hear the excuses, and discard them. Get up, get at ‘em, and get damn well going!