5th March 2016


Our books are all about the excuses people use to explain why they haven’t yet achieved what they’d really like to achieve. Whether it’s better health, a more fulfilling life, weight loss, more financial stability or a happy work life, excuses are our way of letting ourselves off the hook.

“I’m not up to it”

“I’m too old”

“I’ve never been good with….”

“I tried it once before and it didn’t work”

We’ve blogged before about how, if used regularly, these excuses become what coaches call Limiting Beliefs. Say something often enough to yourself and you’ll believe it. And when you believe it it will limit what you think you can achieve, so you stop trying.

But people also use excuses to abdicate responsibility. Here are a couple of examples:

  • A woman in her fifties says she can’t lose weight because of her age. By saying that she is telling herself that whatever she does, she won’t succeed, so why try?
  • A man is stuck in a dead end job, but says that when he went for an interview for a better one he was rejected, so there’s no point in applying for better jobs as he won’t get them

Both of these people are closing the door on taking action and avoiding taking ownership of their situation.

The fact is, you have to own the responsibility for your own situation. You are not a victim of your circumstances. Yes, there may be some things you can’t change, but what can you change? There is always something.

So for our two examples:

  • Our woman in her fifties might find weight loss harder as she’s got older, but it’s entirely possible for her to reduce her weight if she takes responsibility for changing the way she eats. Accepting responsibility for how and what she eats (and possibly how she exercises), seeking out expert advice and being willing to try something different would give her the best possible chance of success. Whereas eating how she’s always done or embarking on the same old diet which has never produced lasting results before will ensure she stays stuck
  • Our man in the dead end job might not be very good at interviews, but equally he may just have applied for a job for which he wasn’t suited. Accepting responsibility for improving his interview performance, getting advice and doing some research into good interview techniques would transform how he performed in future interviews. Getting some help to understand the type of work to which he’d be best suited, researching roles and maybe even getting some training would improve his chances too.

Now what these two examples show is that change and success takes effort, and sometimes we don’t actually want to make the required effort, hence the excuse and the abdication of responsibility. In that case, for our own mental wellbeing the best thing to do is be honest and admit that for now we don’t feel like making that effort. Make a conscious decision about it and let it go, or park it. It’s OK to do that.

The alternative is to take action. Set that excuse to one side, take ownership of your situation and do what you can to get started. Baby steps are fine, just do something. You are not a victim of circumstances.

For more help on taking ownership of your own success, take a look at our books.

5th March 2016

Are you abdicating responsibility for your own success?

5th March 2016   Our books are all about the excuses people use to explain why they haven’t yet achieved what they’d really like to achieve. […]