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Are You Playing an Excuses Game?

As children, we all played an excuses game and were highly skilled at it…”he made me do it…” etc. “I had to eat it because it looked so good and there wasn’t much left…it was just a little bit”…or maybe you are familiar with this one…”it’s her fault that I yelled at her (hit her). If she didn’t act that way, I wouldn’t have to do it!” There are never good excuses for bad behavior.

What would happen if you did let all those excuses go


Bad Excuses and Good Excuses

There are all kinds of excuses. Some are good excuses. Some are bad excuses. For example, this week I had dental surgery and was told by my dentist to rest, among other things. So I had an excuse to not do housework or walk the dog. It was a legitimate excuse and one I would rather have not had! :)

Breaking a leg and being told to stay off of it for x number of weeks is a good excuse to stay on the couch. Sitting on the couch all day and eating chips in front of the television for x number of weeks “because I'm bored and can't think of anything else to do” is a bad excuse.

Do you remember when you were young and you asked your parents (usually your mother) if you could do something? And she asked “why?” and you said…”because all the other kids are doing it”…and she gave you that look and said to you “If all the other kids were jumping off a bridge, would you do it, too?” Maybe it was just my mom who said that…but I think not…that is a bad excuse.

There are lots of good excuses and there are lots of bad excuses.

Why Do We Continue to Make Bad Excuses

Because…on a certain level…it works…that is why we do everything…on a certain level, it works for us…we get something out of it, even if we aren’t aware of it. There is a desire to have or do something in our lives and yet…underneath that are the “justified reasons” or excuses that prevent us from accomplishing it.

  • It’s a habit or pattern to make excuses that we have gotten into (and habits can be broken)
  • It helps us to avoid taking responsibility for our lives (it wasn’t my fault)
  • It helps us to cope with a life that is overwhelming (we can get new coping skills)
  • It prevents us from feeling pain or embarrassment in new situations (or so we think)
  • It stops us from dealing with any underlying negative beliefs (those can be changed)

Taking Responsibility: the Ultimate Excuses Killer

When we can understand that our behaviors all stem from CHOICE and we can take responsibility…those excuses all fall away.

Yet, taking responsibility can be one of the hardest things that we ever do. For some people, it is a gradual realization that the path to personal power starts with being at a position of assuming responsibility. For others, there is a sudden moment of realization, an epiphany, that if they want things to be different, they must be at choice…

There is no right or wrong way to arrive. You might be surprised at how quickly you can let go of making excuses…if you saw that you could…let go…just by making a choice to…how easy would that be?

And imagine all of the good things that can happen if you believe that you ARE at choice…that you hold that power in your life…it makes it all so much better…doesn’t it? Because when you know that you are the one who makes the choice, then you are the one who makes all of the choices…and you can have the life that you choose…when you let all of those bad excuses go…

"Drive your own life…you deserve to, don't you?"  Sherie Venner

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I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sara Nickleberry June 25, 2012, 8:19 pm

    It all really comes down to taking responsibility doesn’t it? It’s the hard thing to do, but it’s the right thing and it’s worth it. If only more people would realize that. Great post as always Sherie!

    • Sherie June 25, 2012, 9:14 pm

      It really does, Sara…and thank you my dear, for your very kind words! : D

  • Dr. Sarah David June 24, 2012, 12:39 pm

    Great post Sherie! Taking responsibility is the only way we can make positive change in our lives and the lives of others. Otherwise, nothing gets done. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Sherie June 24, 2012, 12:59 pm

      It is…thank you for reading and commenting, Sarah!

  • Theresa Cifali June 23, 2012, 1:28 pm

    Great post, Sherie. I often start to make excuses when I am feeling overwhelmed. The funny thing is that all I need to do was ask for help in the first place…but then I make the excuse that I can do everything myself. Sigh….I’m working on it. 🙂

    • Sherie June 23, 2012, 2:44 pm

      Yes, Theresa, thinking that you need to do everything yourself is a huge part of feeling overwhelmed. Just the fact that you recognize it is a huge step, my friend!

  • Mandy Edwards June 22, 2012, 6:53 pm

    I tend to make excuses about the things I don’t want to do…I know now I just need to do it!

    • Sherie June 22, 2012, 8:20 pm

      Absolutely! Thanks for commenting, Mandy!

  • Stacy Stevens June 21, 2012, 10:13 pm

    Thank you for the reminder Sherie! We have a little excuse maker at my house! We’re working on that though! One step at a time!

    • Sherie June 21, 2012, 10:56 pm

      One step at a time is an excellent strategy, Stacy! Way to go!

  • Edmund Lee June 21, 2012, 8:36 pm

    I enjoyed reading this article Sherie. I was taught not so long ago that in life, we either have reasons or we have results. If we have reasons (same thing as excuses), then we’re not going to have the results we want in life.

    On the other hand, if we have the type of results we want in our life, then those reasons (aka: excuses) don’t really exist anymore. At this point, we’ve taken responsibility over our own lives, which is key as you’ve mentioned.

    • Sherie June 21, 2012, 8:54 pm

      Edmund, responsibility for our own lives is key…thanks so much for your insights and comment!

  • Sue Graber June 21, 2012, 6:36 pm

    Great post Sherie! Definitely can see how easy it can become to use excuses to simply stay “stuck” . I’m ready to break through and be the best I can be… so need to “let go” of some of this for sure!!! Thanks for the positive reminder to take responsibility!!

    • Sherie June 21, 2012, 8:53 pm

      You’re very welcome, Sue, and I am glad that you are ready to break through! Bravo!!

  • Traci Woodside June 21, 2012, 3:31 pm

    We are so quick to make excuses for everything! Thank you for the reminder NOT to make them!

    • Sherie June 21, 2012, 3:36 pm

      Totally, Traci! Thanks so much for your comment! : D

  • Rhonda Uretzky June 21, 2012, 11:17 am

    A wise person once told me, “If you’re giving the reasons, then you didnt get your results.” Simple and truthful, that hit home for me: best to skip the excuses, recognize that the results didnt happen, ask yourself, “What now?” and move forward from there without recrimination or the extra burden of the story

    • Sherie June 21, 2012, 11:35 am

      Excellent insight, Rhonda. If we skip the excuses, we can save ourselves a LOT of time in the long run…it really does simplify life.

  • Lorii Abela June 21, 2012, 10:26 am

    I love this post, Sherie. I believe that in everything that we do, we are responsible for it. So, whatever happens we shouldn’t pass the blame to another person. Great article. Truly an eye-opener. Thanks for sharing this, Sherie.

    • Sherie June 21, 2012, 11:33 am

      We really are responsible…thanks so much for your comment, Lorii!

  • denny hagel June 21, 2012, 3:48 am

    Excellent article that I hope everyone reads! Personal responsibility seems to be lost these days and sadly this ‘excuse’ mindset is being passed on to children. Thanks for sharing such an important topic!

    • Sherie June 21, 2012, 11:34 am

      Thank you, Denny. It is a very important mindset to have. We model what our children learn, don’t we?

  • Susan Preston June 20, 2012, 9:21 pm

    Thank you for sharing your great wisdom and knowledge. It is Amazing just how much our life gets even more Extraordinary when we take responsibility for our life and gt rid of the excuses. Love it 🙂

    • Sherie June 20, 2012, 9:28 pm

      It makes a tremendous change in our lives, doesn’t it? : D Thanks for your comment, Susan!!

  • Sharon O'Day June 20, 2012, 5:58 pm

    As you may know, Sherie, “be personally responsible” is about as close to a mantra as I come. So this is right up my alley! If you’ve ever read Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements, this one falls right into the first one: “Be impeccable with your word.” This article’s going straight up on my FB page!

    • Sherie June 20, 2012, 6:35 pm

      Sharon, thanks so much for your generosity in sharing the post, I so appreciate you doing that!! : D What a wonderful personal mantra to have. I read “The Four Agreements”, many, many years ago…might be time for a reread of that one, too.

  • Joanne June 20, 2012, 3:16 pm

    Wonderful insight. 🙂 I shared this on my fb page.

    • Sherie June 20, 2012, 3:35 pm

      Joanne, thank you for your kind words and for sharing! I appreciate you doing that, my dear! : D

  • Alexandra McAllister June 20, 2012, 11:38 am

    Great eye opener, Sherie! It is so easy to blame things on someone or something else! We must flush out those excuses in order to move on with life! Thanks for sharing! I love it!

    • Sherie June 20, 2012, 12:31 pm

      It is! I love how you say “flush” out those excuses…brilliant…then they can be “flushed” away! Thanks for commenting, Alexandra!

  • Sally K Witt June 19, 2012, 10:43 pm

    Good postm Sherie. Hmmmm, excuses! LOL

    • Sherie June 19, 2012, 11:46 pm

      Hee hee….thanks so much for your comment, Sally!

  • Amy June 19, 2012, 8:58 pm

    You are so right about the power of excuses. There’s a saying that goes something like “If you want to do it, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” It has sensitized me to taking time to look behind the excuse to see what’s really going on. It’s usually a task that is complex and I don’t know how to approach or has some kind of loaded emotional element to it. After figuring this out, I will follow your advice to just get whatever it is done already!

    • Sherie June 19, 2012, 9:50 pm

      Absolutely, Amy…my mom always used to say, where there is a will, there is a way. Thanks so much for your insights, I appreciate your sharing!

  • Helena June 19, 2012, 8:17 pm

    Great post Sherie! It’s so easy to fall into the trap of blaming others or our past, when in reality it’s our choice whether to make an excuse for our behaviour or to change it. I’m reading Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book Excuses Begone! right now, so this is really great timing for me. Thanks! 🙂

    • Sherie June 19, 2012, 9:48 pm

      That’s an excellent book…I read it a few years ago, should dig it out and reread it! Thank you, Helena, I appreciate your comment. : D

  • Sharon June 19, 2012, 8:05 pm

    Choice! Yes! Everything we do is a choice. One excuse (or poor reason) is “I didn’t mean to do it” when the “it” was an obvious choice. Crutch..too many crutches out there for sure. Love this post. You rock.

    Sharon G. Cobb

    • Sherie June 19, 2012, 9:47 pm

      Thank you, Sharon! Yes, everything we do is a choice…you’ve hit that nail right on the head! : D

  • Wendy Cassera June 19, 2012, 5:57 pm

    “we can understand that our behaviors all stem from CHOICE and we can take responsibility” I love this line. I think more people need to understand that it is all about choice.
    Thanks for sharing!!

    • Sherie June 19, 2012, 6:40 pm

      Thanks for reading! It truly is about being at Choice…

  • Cathy | Treatment Talk June 19, 2012, 11:39 am

    Hi Sherie,

    Great post and good reminder to let go of those excuses. I seem to put off things I’m not comfortable with for whatever reason, and then at some point, it doesn’t work anymore. When we take back our power, good things await us. Take care.

    • Sherie June 19, 2012, 11:48 am

      Absolutely, Cathy! Thanks for your comment!

  • elizabeth Maness June 19, 2012, 11:35 am

    Oh i do this.. my oh my.. it’s always someone else’s fault ! LOL Thanks Sherie I needed that little hand slap..;)

    • Sherie June 19, 2012, 11:37 am

      LOL…we are all guilty of it to some extent or the other, Elizabeth…: D

  • Olga Hermans June 19, 2012, 11:04 am

    We all know that we have made excuses someway for certain things that we didn’t want to be responsible for…only to find out that we will have to face it again..it is a way of postponing things, sin’t it?? And our life goes by thats the bad thing about it!!

    • Sherie June 19, 2012, 11:35 am

      It is a way of postponing things…absolutely…and yet, we do end up having to face it again and life does go on! Thanks so much for your comment, Olga, appreciate it!

  • Carolyn Hughes June 19, 2012, 9:19 am

    Great post Sherie, because it is so easy to make excuses and play the blame game as to why we haven’t achieved something. So this post has prompted me to ask myself if I’m making excuses to prevent myself moving forward with a situation I know I should be tackling! ( The answer will probably be ‘Yes!’)

    • Sherie June 19, 2012, 9:36 am

      Excuses can be very subtle in our lives…it’s good to flush them out and then deal with them! : D Thanks so much for your comment!

  • This is excellent and such an important reminder. It’s so easy to get caught up in excuses and miss out on life. I will be sharing this with my readers as excuses are often what keep people stuck in substance abuse or “excusing” the behaviors of someone who is…

    • Sherie June 19, 2012, 8:12 am

      Lisa, it is very easy to get caught up in the excuses trap…I SO appreciate you sharing this with your readers…thank you!