Last time you discovered that you need to take credit for your successes as well as full responsibility for your mistakes. That’s because doing so puts you in full control of your fate. Plus, when you take responsibility for your mistakes you’re able to learn from them so that next time you can do a little better.
However, when you’re taking responsibility for your mistakes you shouldn’t make excuses. For example:
- I made this mistake because I’m too old to learn this technology.
- I made this mistake because I’m not smart enough to do this.
- I made this mistake because I’m too young.
- I can’t do this because I don’t have enough money.
- I can’t do this because I’m too busy.
Do you see the difference between these excuses and the examples we talked about in the last lesson? In both cases, it looks like the person is taking responsibility. However, in the above examples the person is giving excuses as to why he or she can’t succeed. In other words, these aren’t lessons to learn from. Instead, they’re road blocks that the person is putting in front of himself.
As discussed in a previous lesson, you may have some of these negative thoughts yourself. The next time you make a mistake, listen to yourself. Do you take responsibility and give yourself an opportunity to learn from your mistake? Or do you offer an excuse that makes it harder to achieve your goal (e.g., “I’m too old”)?
If you offer excuses, then it’s time for you to really think about those excuses. You need to prove to yourself that these are just excuses, not actual blocks to your success. And that once you set aside these excuses, you can do anything you set out to achieve. For example:
- “I’m too old.” Just look at people who started achieving their dreams late in life, such as the artist Grandma Moses. Better yet, look for role models in your own field who’re older but doing what you want to do.
TIP: Same goes for the excuse “I’m too young.” There are plenty of people who achieved great things at a very young age – why not you?
- “I don’t have enough money.” Again, this is just an excuse. Look around your field and you’ll soon find people who started with nothing and went on to achieve great things. You can do the same.
And the list goes on. For every excuse you have, you can find several examples of people with the same “handicap” who overcame it and went on to be very successful.
One last tip: If you find that a particular excuse keeps popping up again and again in your mind, then you’ll need to do positive affirmations in order to “de-program” this sort of negative thinking. For example, let’s suppose your excuse is, “I’m too old.” You’ll need to make up a positive affirmation that counters that negative thinking, such as, “My life experience will give me and edge and help me succeed.”
That’s it for this time. Next time you’ll discover how your overall happiness affects your motivation, so stay tuned!