Excuses Begone! 22 Ways To Eliminate Excuses Entirely

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Your higher self needs no excuses.

Your higher self needs no excuses.

Excuses! There must be as many as there are stars in the universe. There is also an enormous distance between A)the many cop-outs and cover-ups, and B)the reality of one great reason that aligns with your purpose and moves you closer to your dreams.

The Problem Of Excuses

One of the main problems with excuses is that not one of them will ever help you reach your goals.
Consider also that they cause:

  • delayed decisions.
  • emotional pain.
  • lowered expectations.
  • paralyzed progress.
  • real regrets.

If you tend to make excuses and you’re serious about your goals for the brand new year coming, you’ll want to know how to be better and do better, right?

So, why do we make excuses, anyway?

If you really don’t find value in an objective or a goal, you will find any excuse to justify an out. Some people are so good at making excuses, they have one tailor made for every occasion. You know the kind:

Excuse #11… “I don’t have enough time.” You have the same time that any successful person has ever had.

Excuse #23… “I’m not smart enough.” Who told you that? You are a genius!

Excuse #37… “It’s too late for me to change.” Not as long as you’re drawing breath it isn’t.

Excuse #41… “The planets are out of alignment.” No, excuses are misalignments with your purpose.

Benjamin Franklin said,

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.

People tend to make excuses because:

» excuses are a convenient way to cover up insecurities or mask inadequacies.
» false assumptions lead them to the wrong conclusions.
» false beliefs lead them to the wrong priorities.
» fear is the culprit holding them back in life… fear of failure, fear of rejection.
» it’s easier to avoid embarrassment.
» of a lousy outlook on life, and therefore, see no need to participate.
» some people are completely unreasonable.
» they wish to avoid accepting responsibility.
» they wish to avoid being blamed.

In the previous post on OPPORTUNITY, the 6th point I made was to ELIMINATE EXCUSES.

So what can you do if you’re infected with “excusitis?”

Eliminate excuses from your thinking.

Eliminate excuses from your thinking.

Excuses Begone! 22 Ways To Eliminate Excuses Entirely

  1. ACTIVE AWARENESS. Higher self awareness sheds light on the ego. When you develop the awareness that “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26) you eradicate excuses and make manifest what you desire.
  2. ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT. A poor attitude might have you saying things, such as, “I’m not qualified.” or “That’s never going to happen.” The Master Motivator, Zig Ziglar, was famous for saying, “Quit your stinkin’ thinkin’ and get a check-up from the neck up.” Your priorities change the instant you change your attitude. Why not make it a change for the better? No excuses!
  3. AVOID ALIBIS. People can see right through lies and alibis. Tell the truth to begin with. You’ll certainly have less to remember. CULTIVATING CREDIBILITY is much more meaningful, wouldn’t you agree?
  4. BE BLUNT. Be totally honest with yourself. Take time for INTERNAL INVENTORY. Examine every area of your life. Notice the effect excuses have had on you, and you will realize how they’ve held you back as well as motivate you to be better.
  5. BEYOND BOUNDARIES. What would going beyond your boundaries look like? Sometime people settle for can’t and end up using that as a reason to not move forward. Let your CANT mean Cancel All Negative Thinking.
  6. BREAKING BAD. Carlos Santana said, “Most people don’t have that willingness to break bad habits. They have a lot of excuses and talk like victims.” How willing are you?
  7. CANCEL COMPLAINTS. Be your own speech therapist. Eliminate, from your vocabulary, all the reasons why you can’t do something! Replace complaints with commendable words of affirmation.
  8. CONTINUOUS CONTEMPLATION. Minding your mind or monitoring your thoughts allows you to pay attention to when you’re using excuses as a crutch. Kick out the crutches and walk away free. 🙂
  9. DEEP DETERMINATION. How determined are you to live a life of purpose? Certainly, anyone who is ON PURPOSE makes no excuses.
  10. DISPEL DOUBTS. You may have been told or you might have come to believe that you aren’t good enough, aren’t smart enough, etc. Is that REALLY true? Allay your fears and dispel your doubts by looking to the truth. You are better at some things than anyone else. You are smarter at certain things than many people. Believe in yourself!
  11. ENERGETIC ENTHUSIASM. When there’s a fire in your belly to be better and make the most of every moment, when you have energy and the passion to succeed… no matter what, you feed your purpose and starve excuses.
  12. EXERT EFFORT. When you’re willing to try, you expend extra energy enacting the things that matter. Action is an instant excuse killer.
  13. FIND FREEDOM. Imagine living completely free of the excuses that hold you back. What does this look like? What does it feel like? When you identify what that freedom feels like, you won’t look back. You’ll begin to live each day without excuses.
  14. IDENTIFY ISSUES. What is holding you back? Is your comfort zone really more important than personal growth? List the excuses you make. How can things be better? What can you do differently? Examine POSITIVE POSSIBILITIES. When you find answers within to these questions, say goodbye to those excuses!
  15. KEEN KNOWLEDGE. Understanding why people make excuses is important because awareness of them can serve as a gatekeeper. Knowing why leads to the way, and you can use this as a red-flag in guarding yourself against making excuses.
  16. MINDSET MAKEOVER. Envision excuses as unwanted guests that have overstayed their welcome. Make room for positive replacement habits by evicting all the excuses that currently occupy your mind.
  17. MOTIVATION MOTTO. Adopt a positive, meaningful motto to be your motivation, such as “Just do it!” or “Oh, yes, I can!” Repeating this motto as an affirmation provides positive reinforcement. Let this motto serve to strengthen you.
  18. POSITIVE PEOPLE. Associate with those who will keep you encouraged and motivated to fulfil your purpose. Avoid the naysayers, the scoffers, negative thinkers and excuse makers.
  19. POSITIVE POSSIBILITIES. Jim Rohn said, “Any day you wish, you can change your whole life.” Is there any possibility of being better? Always look to the opposite side of an excuse for your answer.
  20. QUICK QUESTIONS. Ask yourself a few simple questions. How are excuses effecting you? For example… are they causing regrets? … stifling success? … causing you to settle for less? Learning their effects helps you know why they need to be eliminated.
  21. SHIFT SIGHTS. Many excuses are made from fear. Focus on love, not fear. Set your sights on wins, not losses. Shifting the focus to alternative options is always a healthy choice.
  22. TRY THINGS. Be open minded and learn news ways of doing things. Soon, you will have increased your life experience to the point where you won’t see the need for excuses.

In summary, there are two words that really put all these things together: REPEAT REGULARLY! 🙂

For the acronym buffs, EXCUSES are…
Every eXpedient Coverup Undermines Stalls Everyday Success

Have Your Say…

How much more can be accomplished without excuses?
Do you have a method you would add to the list?

I value your input. Please contribute your thoughts here. Thank you so much!

May your burdens be light and your blessings heavy!

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About Bill Butler
William A. Butler is a John C.Maxwell certified coach. He loves to add value to others and aspiring to be a great humanitarian, lives by four words: BE LOVE TO OTHERS. William often goes by "Bill" and is a poet, a songwriter and has an upcoming novel.

38 thoughts on “Excuses Begone! 22 Ways To Eliminate Excuses Entirely

  1. Dear Bill,
    Thank you for speaking to many today. This article is like a quick reminder for me that my Busy(ness) life should not lead me to the avoidance of some responsibilities. I think, I also avoid being blamed.ahaha.Any one else?
    But the good news is that among the ways you suggested, trying new things is my best strategy to deal with that.
    Great message: Associate with people, who value you, who love you a true love, who will keep you encouraged and motivated to fulfill your purpose. Avoid, negative thinkers and excuse makers. Be who you are made to be, Be Joyful person, JOY:)

    • Dear Charmant,
      You are so welcome, my friend. Yes, it’s true, busy does not always mean productive.
      I can’t imagine anyone wanting to blame you for anything Charmant. 🙂 Hold your image, my friend!

      Yes, comprehensively, these suggestions can serve as a strategy to eradicate excuses and gain other
      personal benefits as well. Yes, count it all joy! 🙂

      All the best,

  2. Sean Van Zant says:

    Thanks Bill. I have, or have had excusitis. I will take a healthy dose of each number, one a day. Not only until excusitis is gone, but even after that. I compare it to taking antibiotics, and I will report to you for a couple of checkups, and journal about my progress every day.

    I’ve committed to a lot in the previous paragraph, but I must do this to be rid of my excuses forever. It had been almost if not the main sickness I have had! 🙂

    God Bless,
    Sean 🙂

    • Hi Sean,
      You’re very welcome. That’s the beauty of awareness; once you possess it, there is no turning back.
      Progress is forward moving. For your edification, there is also a great deal to learn about excuses in
      Luke, Chapter 14.

      Thank you! God bless you too!

  3. Dear sir Bill,

    When I heard about ‘Excuses’, it is delaying every opportunities in hand. So we should not delay to be in success of our dreams– stop excuses.

    Thank you for the strategies to eliminate excuses, let it begone!


    • Hello dear Bren,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I trust you and your family are well. You’re right – excuses have
      no place in the life of anyone who truly desires to fulfil their purpose. The problem with excuses and
      self-justifications is that they start with SELF, or the ego, which, in a loud voice, proclaims all the
      things you DON’T want. But the higher self, one’s true self knows better, and only lays claim to things
      they desire to make manifest.

      You’re most welcome. I look forward to hearing from you again. 🙂

      Warm Regards,

  4. Bill, I really like what you have written. I’ll keep a link to your site for this post as my excuse buster. Thanks so much for your work and your life because as I’m learning the first grows out of the second and has meaning because the second is lived from a good heart with purpose.
    Have a blessed day and thanks for shining your light.

    • Greetings Michael,

      I’m glad you find value in the post. You’re so very welcome. I am grateful to contribute.
      Kind words are always encouraging. Thank you so much! 🙂

      Have a great rest of the week and weekend upcoming.

  5. Bill you make some good points about excuses. I believe excuses have become a way of life.

    It is common to most people to find a way around something they consider inconvenient.

    It does not make it right, but I also believe sometimes an excuse is a good way to not hurt someone else’s feelings.

    If a friend asked you to do something you did not want to do, you probably would say I am sick, no money, or I am busy.

    My thoughts.

    • Hi Michael,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, especially one of the reasons people tend to make excuses to protect
      feelings… and perhaps avert an argument. I personally have no problem saying “No” when I need to, but
      I’m also considerate of people’s feelings. And you’re right, many people will skirt the issue, hemming and hawing.

      Hope you’re having an enjoyable weekend. 🙂

  6. Hi Bill,

    Your post reminded me of “Magic of Thinking Big” so vividly. I love that chapter (I think it’s chapter 3?) from the book which talks about it, isn’t it? Wow! There is no worse disease than excusitis!

    And 22 ways to get rid of this disease? That is incredible, Bill! Thank you for sharing those and adding value to our lives. You are AWESOME!

    Kumar Gauraw recently posted…The 60-60-30 Time Management Technique For Optimal ProductivityMy Profile

    • Hi Kumar,
      I had to pull that book off the shelf to find out. It is actually Chapter 2, “Cure Yourself of Excusitis, The Failure Disease.” Now that I have it out, I will re-read it. Thanks! 🙂

      I think there is one disease worse than excuses, but that will be a future blog post. 😉

      I’m sure there could be a hundred and 22 ways to eliminate or eradicate excuses. I think the key
      is repetition; the habitual mind working on the principles that leave no room for tidy outs.

      Thank you for those kind words. I appreciate you!

  7. The cardinal Key of keys to reversing the attitude of peddling mind-boggling excuses, and then wallowing in the debilitating consequences on personal progress and success is “Mindset Makeover”.

    • Hi Ime,
      In all the replies you sent before you left, I must have missed this one. 🙁
      I love your alliteration. Here’s another for excuses: Always Abate Alibis After Apologizing

      God’s richest blessings!

  8. Bill,

    You are so AWESOME! I truly believe that we always need to give ourselves a mental overhaul when we find ourselves making excuses.

    I had to laugh at myself reading this post because I must have the most excuses in the world for not going to the gym: It’s flu season, there’s too many germs, I don’t want to take a shower in there. I’m tired now. Maybe I’ll start tomorrow.

    But the thing is I am AWARE I’m making excuses. That’s the first step. When I was doing this to get over it I went out and purchased some expensive gym clothes. “that’s gonna do it” I said to myself. I’ve invested a few hundred dollars so I have to go to the gym now.”

    That awareness put me into action, that action caused me to go to the gym as much as my brain hated it. But the fact of the matter was I took off all the tags and was stuck with these clothes. I didn’t want to waste them….so I went.

    When I find myself making excuses I try to find some cleaver ways to get out of them. I don’t like to be held back at anything.

    I’m not perfect and it doesn’t always work, but I keep on trying. I just get too mad at myself when I find I’m making excuses!!!

    Donna Merrill recently posted…Partner, Pal and ProductMy Profile

    • Thanks Donna,
      I’m awesome? No more than anyone else. Funny how your list of excuses brought back a long forgotten memory.
      Before my mother died, she and her husband had a woodworking shop. He used to cut circles from wood.
      My mother hand painted the letters T U I T around the circle. They would sell them telling people
      Now you have no excuse for not getting a round tuit.

      I’m glad you developed the discipline and the better reasons for going to the gym.
      Keep smiling. Nobody is perfect.

      All the best!

  9. Jeevan Jacob John says:

    Hey Bill,

    Excuses are certainly an obstacle to overcome (I think they can be helpful, as long as we are in control. I mean, we don’t need to take too many risks, that will only make things harder).

    I have certainly accomplished a lot more by overcoming the excuses my mind came up with 🙂

    I think it all comes down to motivation. Have a strong motivate to do it? Well, then we will surely do it, no matter what the excuses are.

    Take for instance: I have wanted to learn basic programming (HTML/CSS) for a while now. I did start to do it, but in the end, I quit because I couldn’t find a reason to learn it. Sure, I loved learning, but I felt I could use the time for my other habits. And, I certainly did (sure, it was an excuse, but in the end, that excuse did give me time to learn other things :D).

    Anyways, my motive became stronger last week, while I was trying to customize my upcoming blog.

    I use a drag and drop theme, and as with previous blog, I expected to not use any CSS to customize my blog. I planned to use the in-built options.

    At least that was the plan. After a lot of tweaking with the design options, I decided to finally learn CSS (and I am doing it. Can’t believe how much I have learned in a few hours :D). I hope to finish it soon and get back to customizing my blog 😉

    I use inspiring music to overcome my excuses – I especially love Hans Zimmer’s (not sure if you have heard of him) work in Inception, Batman movies and Man of Steel

    Anyways, thank you for your awesome post, Bill 🙂 Appreciate it! Hope you are having a great weekend.

    • Greetings Jeevan,

      Welcome and thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and insights.

      In some cases, it is normal to adjust priorities and to change the way we do things, such as opting
      not to do one thing to take up another. That’s fine. But I think the intention behind excuses are very
      revealing, for the ego is always telling one what it doesn’t want; whereas, one’s higher self or spirit,
      operates on manifesting and bringing things into fruition.

      It’s always great to learn new things, isn’t it?

      No, I have not heard Hans Zimmer, but I do have plenty of music, as well as a stack which I have written
      and recorded.

      Jeevan, I’m glad to contribute, and you’re certainly welcome. 🙂
      Yes, a nice weekend is underway, thank you.

      Kind Regards for a wonderful weekend, what’s left of it.

      • Jeevan Jacob John says:

        No mention 🙂

        Perhaps. I like to consider several different possibilities/explanations (right now, I believe in everything and yet, nothing. It doesn’t make much sense to me, but it helps calm my mind).

        Yes, indeed 😀

        • Hi jeevan,
          Yes, it’s important to be and remain open-minded. When considering your purpose and gaining clarity on what is important to you, you find yourself doing only what matters. When you arrive at that point, you really have no room for excuses in your life.

          All the best. Hope you’re having a great week!

  10. Mary Stephenson says:

    Hi Bill

    Darn, I thought excuses were a good way out of a sticky situation! LOL

    I think we all our inclined to make them, probably more often than we should.

    I have just added your phrase “Just do it” to my list of getting things done. There have been 2 other phrases that have been helpful for moving forward in life. They are: “Let it go” and “In the past”. Let it go is about forgiving and not dwelling in what has happened. In the past is about seeing myself with flaws, mindset, etc. as no longer an issue because that was then and this is now. Even “then” was only a moment ago.

    Great list.


    • Hi Mary,
      I love your first line. I can imagine the look on your face as you’re saying it.

      Yes, we’ve all made excuses because nobody is perfect.

      I love it. You’ve taken on “Just do it” and already have two that work for you.
      Guess those excuses are in trouble now. 🙂

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience. I appreciate you and
      am also grateful to learn more about you.

      Have a great week ahead!

  11. Sean Van Zant says:

    Hey again Bill:

    Love the title of this post also! Magnetic and compelling!

    MFE (My Favorite Excuses):
    1. I have to lay down a lot because I meditate, and that gets me closer to my goals. NOT! Laying down a lot makes me more tired, and the more tired I get, the less I reach my goals.
    2. I’m too tired at night. I’ll do my homework tomorrow morning. A lot of time tomorrow morning never comes, because I don’t get out of bed early enough because I am “meditating”.
    3. I really need this extra book on top of the thousands I already own because it has some “special” knowledge in it that I have been seeking for a long time.
    4. I don’t have enough knowledge or “know how” to design websites even though I just graduated a Web Development course.
    5. And so on…
    6. And so on…

    I’m excused out. I’ll think I’ll excuse myself for making any more comments 🙂

    You’re epic Bill!!


    • Hi Sean,
      I know that you know that excuses are not going to fly.
      You’ve got every good reason to counter them… your entire future.
      You’ve got every reason to smile… you’re making progress 🙂

      Have an enjoyable week ahead!

  12. Please Bill, don’t be shy about telling us the real truth! LOL!!!

    Oh my goodness, this is an excellent post my friend. Now I’ve been guilty of this myself in the past and I probably still have my moments from time to time. What I find the most though are all these people who want my help getting to where they “say” they want to be but then when I tell them what’s involved and here come all the excuses. You know exactly what I mean.

    I finally had to realize in my own mind that what I was feeling was either fear, insecurities or the not good enough thoughts. Once I worked through all of that then I knew I wanted this bad enough that I put all those excuses aside. We all have some work to do on ourselves but I know for a fact that it’s so worth it in the end. We are all good enough so I would hope that everyone will realize that and get to work.

    Thanks again Bill for this fabulous message and so spot on. Great way to wrap up this year and get people motivated for what’s to come.

    Adrienne recently posted…You Have Been Found Guilty for Breaking HeartsMy Profile

    • Hi Adrienne,
      I know. I’m just a little bit shy 😉

      I think everyone has had membership in the Excuses Club at one time or another.

      I hear you, and yes I know exactly what you mean… many people don’t want to pay the price,
      and therefore aren’t really interested in moving forward. Instead of wasting time making excuses,
      they could use their time to improve themselves.

      True enough. Everyone has work to do in their being and becoming. When we understand the pain we sometimes cause ourselves by making excuses, then we value what life will look like without them.

      Thank you so much for sharing. Standing in agreement with you that 2014 will be our best year ever!

      Kind Regards,

  13. Hi, Bill!

    I would add to the list – Dare to dream big and have a huge dream! Because when you have a great dream in life, everything starts to be easier.

    Talking about excuses, it’s a very bad thing, most people don’t even realize that they make them. They are so much used to live that way, that it seems normal to them. I hope your post will inspire others to change. Every action has its outcome and excuses always have the result nobody likes!

    Best regards,

    • Thanks Aistis,
      I see your point. Dreams don’t in and of themselves help you to eliminate excuses, but if you have high aims and aspirations, you will be internally motivated to achieve what you are set on.

      You’ve certainly identified the subtlety of excuses, which is viewing them as normal.
      Just go with the flow and the status quo. That reinforces the thinking behind excuses, which is “why bother trying to move ahead?”

      Thanks for your insights. Have a great week.

  14. Hi Bill,

    I think I had skipped this post, so here I am.

    I think that excuses are well spread, indeed. For the past few months I’ve been helping someone who is full of excuses, and he actually admitted to me that it was due to fear.

    My favorite excuse is “I’m too old for that!” Boy, what a terrible thing to say, and those who are saying this on a regular basis don’t even realize that they are speeding their aging process, as it is a strong affirmation that you put in your brain, yes, your subconscious mind. Bad stuff to say.

    All the tips you’re giving to stop excuses are great and we should really apply them.

    Thank you for the reminder.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…10 Wonderful Ways Of Giving That Won’t Cost You A PennyMy Profile

    • Hi Sylviane,
      I agree with you. Stating that one is too old to learn is a terrible excuse.
      Anyone can turn that thinking around by affirming the intention: “I am a life long learner.”

      I appreciate your kind words of support. Have a great weekend!

  15. Bill, love this topic! Being blunt is the one I’ve always had a hard time wtih but as I get older am finding it a little easier to do. Beyond boundaries is another one that can be difficult. I’ve just gotten over that in my personal life and it feels good so far. If something itsn’t working you have to make changes, or it will not mend on it’s own. Life is too short to continue to do the same thing and expect a different result, right?
    #13 and #19 probably helped me to the most make changes.
    Thanks for sharing this inspiring post Bill!
    Lisa recently posted…Blogging in 2014 to Blow Your Readers Out of the WaterMy Profile

    • Hi Lisa,
      I trust you are well. Thanking for expressing how you relate to certain points here.
      I penned a two line poem last year:

      Life is too short to live in a hurry,
      Life is too long for heartache and worry.

      You’re very welcome Lisa. Continued success on your journey.

  16. Hi Bill

    I love your post and as Adrienne said – don’t hold back 🙂

    I have been guilty about this and some still creep in. I used to say I was not technical and it became a great excuse for not doing many things. Now I say I do not want to do it and it is a conscious choice.

    I love then Benjamin Franklin quote as it really sums it up perfectly. Sadly most people live their lives with their list of excuses.

    Excellent advice Bill.

    Sue Price recently posted…A Time for Reflection as Another Year EndsMy Profile

    • Hi Sue,
      I trust you and your loved ones are well.

      Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes being blunt works to wake people from slumbering through life. 🙂
      Restructuring those thoughts turns the negative into positive encouragement to be better.

      I just saw a program about modern geniuses, and one in the program decided to map out Benjamin Franklin’s
      social profile from the thousands of letters he sent from London, England. If Ben were alive today he’d
      have a heyday with Facebook and Twitter.

      I wish you every success in the New Year to come. 🙂

  17. Excuses die a quick death when you alert yourself to making them Bill. Love the tips! If you want to get rid of excuses catch yourself immediately. Use a trigger. Alert yourself. Maybe a rubberband snap on the wrist? 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  18. I was fired 4 months into the very first job I got after completing my NYSC ( compulsory one year federal civil service for graduates student in Nigeria), and do you know why? Excuse, I gave an excuse not to execute a particular task assigned to me..it was a painful experience.

    Your post is an excellent and highly inspiring content about the terminal disease called ” excuse”. i love the five points you gave on the problems of excuse and what it usually causes.

    Thanks for sharing, It’s a must bookmarked page for me.

    • Greetings James,
      Even though being fired was very painful, I’m sure the value of the lesson you learned will reward you the rest of your life. When you leave no room for excuses in your life, you only have room for growth and flourishing.

      I’m glad you have found value in this post. Thank you very much for your kind words of encouragement.

      May the weight of your blessings be your heaviest burden!

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