5 Reasons to Stop Making Excuses and Leave the ‘But’ Word Behind

JT - It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one - George Washington

Need some reasons to stop making excuses? Is it time to stop making excuses and leave the but word behind? Don’t worry, many of us make excuses use the but word without realising and have used sentences like –

  • “I want to get in to shape, but __________.”
  • “I used to be able to do that job, but __________.”
  • “I’m sorry, but it wasn’t my fault, because of _____________.”
  • “Well I would have, but __________.”
  • “I want to get in to shape, but __________.”

However, the challenge with these statements are that they can transfer responsibility to external forces and stop you from accomplishing the things you want in life.

So let’s have a look at why people make excuses.

5 Reasons Why People Make Excuses

There are many reasons why people make excuses. Five common reasons include –

1. Fear –

a number of fears are linked to making excuses. Three of them include – fear of failure, fear of success or that you won’t be able to handle the situation. Remember –

“Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” ~ A Course in Miracles.

~ A Course in Miracles.

2. Limited Self-Worth –

Brené Brown sums it up quite well –

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

3. Self-Doubt

Lack of confidence in your self and your abilities. I love this quote –

“What we must decide is perhaps how we are valuable, rather than how valuable we are.”

~ Edgar Z. Friedenberg

4. Pretending Ignorance is Bliss –

Not looking at life honestly and living in denial (DENIAL – Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying) or thinking the problem will go away in NOT bliss. 

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr.

5. Resignation –

Thinking you don’t deserve what you want or are not enough. Remember –

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

~ Maya Angelou.

Excuses – Do You Have a Favourite?

During my years of mentoring, coaching and teaching, I have heard many excuses. I have also made many excuses due to a range of challenges in my own work/life.

In the book Excuses Begone!, Dr Wayne Dyer discusses 18 top excuses for people not following their dreams. The 18 excuses are –

  1. “It will be difficult”
  2. “It’s going to be risky”
  3. “It will take a long time”
  4. “There will be family drama”
  5. “I don’t deserve it”
  6. “It’s not in my nature”
  7. “I can’t afford it”
  8. “No one will help me”
  9. “It has never happened before”
  10. “I’m not strong enough”
  11. “I’m not smart enough”
  12. “I’m too old (or not old enough)”
  13. “The rules won’t let me”
  14. “It’s too big”
  15. “I don’t have the energy”
  16. “It’s my personal history”
  17. “I’m too busy”, and
  18. “I’m too scared”.

As you read those excuses – what are your top ones for making excuses? And don’t worry you are not alone…

5 Reasons to Stop Making Excuses!

Now really is the time to leave the “but” word behind! Here are 5 reasons why –

1. We Cannot Change What We Refuse to Confront –

By holding on to excuses, change will be a lot more challenging. Yes I know it takes courage to change. Some days I wished change was easier, however I can now see if I didn’t have painful and challenging experiences in my life I may not have learnt what I needed to learn. By showing up, paying attention to what was going on and gently leaning in to the uncomfortableness, I was able to learn to accept my self and the experience (disclaimer: however that doesn’t mean I condone the experiences). Subsequently, I trust myself a lot more than I had done previously!

2. Excuses Give Your Power Away – 

When you use the word “but,” you give your power away. Where do you give the power away to? You give your power away to whatever the excuse is – your age, what other people say, your fears uncertainly or any other the other excuses listed above.

3. Increased Self-Worth – 

By uncovering excuses, you can increase your self-worth. When I started seeing excuses the excuses I was making in my life, I started to question them to see if they were true and feel the emotions around them. Subsequently, I slowly started to increase my own sense of worthiness and realised Worthiness is not about who we should be or who we might be or who we could be. It’s about who we are. Right now. Today. It’s about waking up and believing, “I am enough.”” ~ Dr Brené Brown.

4. There is Enough for Everyone – 

Before I started to investigate my relationship with the different areas of my life (e.g. money), I didn’t think there was enough. Subconsciously, I was running on old programming and seeing money as a competition, just like the game of tennis. What I’ve realised is there is enough for everyone – just like oxygen there is enough money to go around. Allowing ourselves to be all that we are, helps other people step up and shine their own light. “Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.” ~ Ramana Maharshi.

5. The Truth Will Set You Free –  

Occasionally, I used to think that making excuses and living in DENIAL might work, however it didn’t. I had to be honest with myself and wake-up to the DENIAL (Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying). I realised “The truth will set you free.” ~ Unknown. By being honest with yourself, you start to unravel the excuses that are holding you back and feel more empowered to live your dreams.

What other reasons can you come up with to stop making excuses? Feel free to share them below.


Over to You…

I hope this post has given you some insight in to some reasons to stop making excuses. You may also like to take some time to reflect on the following questions –

  1. Do you make excuses? If so, what excuses do you make?
  2. Are you aware of the reasons why you may excuses? If so, what are they?
  3. Are you willing to change and transform your excuses?

Next time you think about making an excuse, you might like to ask yourself whether your excuse or your purpose is more important. We are all capable of transforming our dreams in to reality and share our gifts; it’s a matter of whether or not we are willing to take the time to discover what they are, untangle from excuses (and other unhelpful habits that are no longer supporting us) and take the steps towards them.

Remember – no one can empower you but, YOU and YOU are worth it!

If you are ready to reclaim your courage, untangle from making excuses and take the next step towards freedom by opening your heart and living above the linewhy not join our Toolkit?

Reference –

Dyer, W. (2009). Excuses Begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits. Australia: Hay House Australia Pty Ltd.

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