None of us likes excuses. We don’t like hearing them and wouldn’t want to be caught or accused of using them. And I would guess that you enjoy losing even less than you dislike excuses — and the truth is, excuses expedite the process of losing.
Excuses are not “circumstances.” Excuses are mere characterizations of circumstances that we allow to be our reasons for the situation being what it is. Circumstances are adjustable — if not the tangible facts of them, then always the mindset with which we approach them.
This article details the three main excuses people use to set themselves up for failure and loss — the tragic part being that we bring 100% of these reasons/excuses upon ourselves.
These common excuses are not circumstances, but choices. Remember this.
“No one joins me or helps me.”
When I was around 16-17 years old, I helped out as a counselor for a kids basketball camp in my neighborhood rec center. The kids were all between 6-14 years old. We broke them into age groups and held a draft of players for the kids to play games against each other.
Some of these kids knew each other, and apparently, had solid beliefs about who was good and who wasn’t. One particular team of 9-year-olds was supposedly a “bomb squad” with all the best players teamed up. Coaching a team that was set to play against this 9-year-old version of the Golden State Warriors, one of my players approached me before the game to protest the existence of the unwinnable game.
They have all the best players! We don’t even have a chance! It’s not even fair!!
One the one hand, I could understand the kid’s mindset; he was only nine and not quite ready to learn how to be a dog (though some kids that age can do so). On the other hand, it was sad to see a nine-year-old who’d already learned quite well, on the other hand how to quit on himself. He and his teammates got their butts kicked in the ensuing game, a game that was over before it began.
Every day, I get emails from athletes who believe that the only way they’ll “make it” in their sport is if someone with skill and experience invests their time into the athlete in question.
Or there’s the player who feels an unbelieving parent or coach of theirs has been the biggest barrier to their success.
Or the athlete whose issue is that no one around them is as serious about the game as (s)he is, and that’s why it’s hard to train seriously.
Or, the person who’s from some small town in the USA that “scouts never come to” — I’ve heard this complaint about a town in every single U.S. state — or from a country in which basketball is not taken seriously.
There are myriad other forms of the nobody’s helping me!! excuse. They sound like the following.
- The opposition is too good
- I don’t have the resources that others had / have
- I’m all by myself
- No one will tell me what to do
Remember this, and don’t forget it: Help from other people is not a prerequisite for success. No one helping you is not some insurmountable circumstance. It’s an excuse for failure.
“I don’t have time.”
I want to write a book, but…
I want to get better at basketball and really improve my game, but…
I wish I had time to be on social media every day and build my brand like you do…
So you know the basic cliche about time: We all have the same 24 hours each day. And we all have desires for our lives. Life is made up of but one thing, and that’s time. Anything else — energy, money, relationships — can come and go quickly. Time is a constant, a resource that, once you run out of it, you’re done.
Which brings us to a truth about life: Anyone who doesn’t have time to do what they claim they want to do in life either
- Doesn’t really want to do it it, or
- Is a terrible manager of their own lives
As time is the one element that makes life what it is, if you can’t find time for what you want in your own life, that means you have no control over your life. I don’t know what does have control over it, but it can’t be you— you can’t even manage your time.
The easy thing about the time challenge is, the amount we all have of it isn’t changing (even though 24 hour days are a completely man-made creation that we’ve collectively agreed to believe in). So there’s no need to strategize how to have more of it — you’ve already got your fair share. What you need now is a strategy to allocate your time.
Here’s how to keep it simple:
- Open your calendar to your next not-yet-scheduled day.
- Prioritize your life. What are the 3-5 most important things to you? Put those in the calendar FIRST.
- Put everything else in the spaces in-between priorities, in the time that remains — if any time remains.
- Anything that doesn’t make the cut just isn’t important to you right now. And that’s perfectly OK — everything can’t be important! Then nothing would be important.
Take my 25 Hours course to get complete control over your time — and your life.
“I can’t see myself succeeding.”
While most people don’t come out and say this one directly, that’s exactly what people are telling you when they —
- Blame circumstances
- Procrastinate and delay action
- Use other’s failures and successes as proof of their own ineptitude
- Require a guarantee of positive results before doing the work
- Use a lack of time, money, energy, or information as an excuse
Fear of failure stops more people from taking action than lack of any resource. But, smart as we humans are, we come up with many convenient, logical-sounding and seemingly unchallengeable reasons (other than fear of failure) that don’t expose our egos as much.
Is there something that can be done about this excuse? Of course there is: SEE yourself succeeding.
Create a mental picture of who and what you wish to become. Include every aspect of your life. Make it detailed. Read it aloud to yourself every day until you can recite it verbatim without looking at it. Repeat it to yourself every time you doubt yourself. Repeat it to yourself every time you look up and realize that something you wrote down has actually come to life (because it will).
This is all explained and detailed in The Mental Workbook.
This excuse of not being able to see yourself successful is often an error of omission: You didn’t know what you didn’t know. Well, now you know. So you’re responsible for this knowledge.
Only losers make excuses. And the only people who make excuses are losers. By taking ownership of your situation, even when it’s not quite working out and you’ve previously been tempted to make excuses, you position yourself, mentally and physically, to never need to make excuses again.
Start 30 Days To Discipline now, because you don’t procrastinate.