Right Commitment 04.22.19 // Michael Canic

Be Honest About Your Excuses

Businessman writing "No excuses" on a virtual board

The results aren’t what you wanted. You had committed to achieving more, but you didn’t. And of course you can tick off a list of reasons why.

But are they valid reasons or are they excuses?

1) Serve-and-Protect

Each of us is subject to what psychologists call “cognitive biases.” How you perceive and evaluate situations is colored by your motives and emotions.

Take the “self-serving bias,” for example. Essentially, when results are good, you tend to attribute them to internal factors – your abilities and actions. Yet when results are poor, you tend to attribute them to external factors – things outside of your control. Why? It helps to protect your ego. What this means is there’s a natural tendency to make excuses.

2) No Stones Left to Turn

Even if you’ve got a secure ego, you could still fall prey to the “no stone left unturned delusion” which arises when explaining poor results. It’s the unspoken assumption that you did everything in your power to produce a better outcome. That you left no stone unturned.

You’re deluding yourself. Because there’s always more you could have done. Again, it’s an excuse.

3) Have You Prioritized Your Priorities?

Let’s be honest. There’s one more reason you didn’t get the results you wanted. Plain and simple, you didn’t make it enough of a priority. Maybe it was a should-do, not a must-do priority. Maybe it got lost in a sea of so-called priorities. But the bottom line is that it wasn’t enough of a priority.

You didn’t get the results you wanted. Do you have valid reasons or excuses? Are you protecting your ego with self-serving interpretations? Are you fooling yourself into thinking you left no stone unturned? Are you pretending you made it more of a priority than you did?

Be honest about your excuses. Be honest about your priorities and your level of commitment to achieving them. It’s not just you, it’s all of us. Let’s be honest.

Make it happen.

Michael

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