Excuse Factory is Closed

February 02, 2021


Own your success.

It’s easier to make excuses. I get it. Do the hard thing and close the excuse factory for good.

You might feel driven one day, come up with an amazing idea or plan, get the urge to execute – then wake up in the morning and it’s like being hungover. Little to no motivation or understanding how to get closer to clarity in making your idea a reality. Yet twelve hours ago you felt good; you felt confident. What happened?

So how do you own your success?

The first thing that gets in most people’s way: Excuses.

We don’t want to feel guilty so we make excuses to ease the pain.

Resist the urge to fall back on that pattern and let everyone else be really good at this. This is a powerful way to set yourself apart. It’s not self-serving and if you genuinely want to achieve your goals, it’s the first habit you need to break.

So what does this look like?

Take one step back.

One thing that kills me is seeing the new year roll around and people create resolutions without realizing their goals are too grandiose from the start. It’s a surefire way to fail and feel terrible while doing it. The obvious example is when someone creates a goal to start working out more.

What if you don’t workout at all right now? What is going to motivate you to even start getting to the gym every day? Is every day realistic in the beginning?

I’ve written about this before. In “Addicted to the Process,” I discussed the importance of setting micro-goals and building up to a macro goal..

I told myself I wanted to read more but instead of maintaining a broad goal: I’d get more specific.

What started at “I want to read more” ended up as “I want to read one book per quarter.” Clarity of focus. Attainable in scale.

After that small goal is achieved, not only does it create a positive association because it generates more “wins”, it leads you to want to do more because it’s so achievable and feels good.

So, get specific, make them measurable, and quit making excuses.

After years in the hospital, I learned that no one is going to be a better advocate for yourself than you. You need to find your internal fire to fight for what you want in your life and from your career and drive to it.

The more you leave room for excuses, the easier it will be to avoid your goals.

I wrote on LinkedIn the other day about being amongst my fellow degenerates; it ultimately led me to this place in my life.

There will be people that look at you whether you have a degree from a community college, a liberal arts degree from an esteemed university, or none at all and simply a mission to live out your dreams and they will tell you that you can’t do it.

If you listen to them,  you’ll start to believe it. So do the opposite.

Use their condescension as fuel for your fire.

Move in silence, hone humility, express gratitude, beat down the path that was paved prior and win your own way. Don’t be afraid to take the risks that others might be incapable of taking.

Some final thoughts and actionable ways to stop making excuses and own your success:

  1. Find reliance in yourself. Be your own advocate, and fight harder for your goals than anyone else.
  2. Plan accordingly. Make a schedule, stick to it as much as you possibly can.
  3. Smaller, attainable goals for more frequent wins. This is pure psychology: the more you condition yourself to feel the boost of making small wins, the more wins you’ll want to make and the larger and larger they become, you’ll have more confidence to do so.
  4. Enjoy yourself, but be committed. The road will test you, but remember: you never know how much time you have to make this goal a reality. So have fun, enjoy the journey, but be driven to it.

Owning your success and pushing excuses to the side will ultimately set you down the path you intended to be on.

So get out of your way, get off the excuse train. Own your success. Because you deserve it.