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Friday, July 6, 2018

Lean Quote: Don't Make Excuses If You Want to Succeed

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"99% of failures come from people who make excuses." — George Washington

Excuses are rationalizations we make to ourselves about people, events, and circumstances. They are invented reasons we create to defend our behavior, to postpone taking action or simply as a means of neglecting responsibility.

There are many reasons why people make excuses. In fact, everyone has a variety of reasons for making them. However, we mostly only make excuses for the following key reasons:

Fear of Failure
Fear of Embarrassment
Fear of Success
Fear of Change
Fear of Uncertainty
Fear of Responsibility
Fear of Making Mistakes
Perceived lack of confidence or resources

Fear traps and locks us away in the confines of our comfort zone. However, for the most part, fear is very much misunderstood.

Our fears typically emerge due to a lack of understanding, information, resources, experience or perspective.

To overcome your excuses, you must first admit that you’re making them in the first place. This can, of course, be difficult. However, it’s entirely necessary if you want to avoid succumbing to the inevitable consequences. Ask yourself:

What excuses do I tend to make?

        What am I settling for?

        Why am I making these excuses?

Finally, list down the consequences that result from making excuses. Ask yourself:

         How do these excuses prevent me from moving forward?

         How do they cripple my ability to get what I want?

Living a life of excuses can have dire and lasting consequences. Not only will excuses prevent you from reaching your full potential, but they will also hold you back from recognizing opportunities, strengths, and skills you might have that could help you overcome your life’s problems.

If you don’t challenge yourself to reach new heights, you will never really know what you’re truly capable of.

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