First of all, if you've read the blog you know that I hate excuses. I mean, really what is an excuse anyway. It's usually pretty lame and doesn't even come anywhere near close to explaining why something didn't get done or turn out how it was supposed to or whatever. So I have no excuse for not blogging for the last 8 months. I do have five draft posts that I have started... <EXCUSE! Ha!
Since I am coming clean about my lack of focus with this blog, is there something you'd call your "it's been awhile"? I bet it was that vegetable garden you thought was an awesome idea in February. Is it a weedy mess of overripe tomatoes and hidden squash? I'll give you a pass. Make an excuse! Who has time for all that weeding and watering and picking and eating of the vegetables? Nobody. Seriously. Or maybe your, let's just call it "IBA" is that Etsy shop you opened 6 months ago but haven't listed anything. Or could it be the workshop you want to teach but you haven't even created an outline. I get it. We don't get to everything. And we make excuses. But the excuses just make us feel worse.
Excuses make you feel like a failure. Am I alone here? When I would make an excuse it would just make me feel worse than I already did, so why did I do it. Because it's easier than being honest. I mean, let's be honest here. If I don't answer an email right away or get a quote back to a potential client in like 5 minutes, I might say "Sorry I took so long to respond, but I've been weeding my overgrown vegetable garden all day". What I should say is "I don't care enough about having you as a potential client, so I am going to make an excuse so you feel sorry for me and I can go back to my weeding." What? Yeah, that's what excuses really sound like. What about being honest?
Start first with being honest to yourself. Don't make excuses to yourself. Hungry? Ate a cookie. Don't say to yourself it was only 100 calories. Say, I ate a freaking cookie. End of story. No excuse. Own it. Try it. Go eat a cookie. I'll wait here.
Now incorporate the honesty into everything you do. Here's a personal example. Yes, it involves riding a mountain bike. #SorryNotSorry I was riding with two of my lady friends and couldn't get over an obstacle. I tried three times. It wasn't working. Rather than make an excuse - I'm tired, it's hot, it's hard, I'm weak. I simply said, "I'm not trying hard enough". Not an excuse, but an honest statement. Let me tell you how that made me feel. Fantastic! That's how I felt. I was honest to myself. I was honest to my riding partners. And I have complete control over changing the result when I attempt that obstacle again. It wasn't a defeating statement like "I'm weak" would be.
Next, practice turning an excuse into an honest statement. When you feel yourself starting to make an excuse...STOP...and turn it into an honest statement. It will probably feel really weird and people might think there is something wrong with you, especially if you stop talking mid-sentence, but hear me out. Here's an example. You're late to a meeting. Simple. Happens all the time. To other people. Right? Anyway, this time it happens to you. You know why you are late. You were lollygagging around on Facebook and checking out Instagram when you should have been putting on your pants, so you left the house 15 minutes late. Instead of stating the obvious, "I'm late" or making a lame excuse, "Traffic was backed up to Idaho", be honest and say "I have crappy time management skills and love looking at photos of strangers cats more than I love this wonderful job". Maybe not that honest. But you get the point.
Lastly, take some time to figure out why you are making excuses. If you make a lot of them, this is very important. If you are an occasional excuse maker there is probably something wrong with you and you'll never figure it out. But seriously. Seriously. Look for patterns in your behavior. Analyze why you repeatedly make the same excuses, like tardiness or time management. When you identify the cause you can work on a solution. It can take some time. And it will take some effort, but you can do it if you don't make any excuses.
No excuses. Be honest. Figure out the root cause of the excuse making. That's your assignment, if you choose to accept it. If you don't, then make a good excuse and email it to me at email@example.com. I'll be sure to respond in a week or two with some lame excuse about being too busy riding my bicycle to respond to your email. Or I'm weeding my neighbors vegetable garden. I haven't seen her in a month.
While you're here, pop over to the Success Series page and download the super awesome exercises to get you on track for success in your creative business!
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