Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tip Tuesday: No Excuses

Something I have been trying to accomplish lately is being aware when I am using excuses and to stop using them all together. We all hear people tell us that they don't want to hear our excuses and they really don't serve a purpose. Instead I stay 100 % responsible for all my actions at all time and don't lean on excuses as a crutch to bear some of the responsibility. 

When I first started thinking about this I wondered if there was really a difference between an excuse and an explanation. Say you are 10 minutes late to meet a friend. You are late because you didn't realize how tough parking would be. When you finally meet up you feel the need to tell her you were late because you couldn't find parking. Are we making an excuse or just offering the explanation for why we were late? I'm still working on making the distinction. So far I've concluded that excuses are usually given when not asked for and an explanation could be given if someone genuinely wants to know why you are late.

What I do in situations is instead of blurting out an excuse/explanation for  why I have or haven't done something I just give a quick apology and move on. The apology shows my respect for the person and shows I've taken responsibility. I've stopped being defensive in every situation, therefore excepting my own limitations and releasing peoples' expectations of me. 

I believe excuses are a self-defense mechanism. When we feel like we've disappointed someone, we have to build ourselves back up again by explaining that we aren't as bad as we just made ourselves out to be. By me releasing the need to make excuses I am telling myself that I am not constantly searching for other peoples' approval. The only person's opinion I truly live by is my own. 

I challenge you give this a try. If nothing else, just notice when you are making excuses. Are they quick and simple? Are they used just as a filler in conversation? Are they true and really what happened? If you want to go farther, challenge yourself to quit using them all together. Leave me some comments with how you are doing.