Do You Frequently Make Excuses?

Do you feel stuck in your career? Do you want to make a career change, but keep making excuses? Do you say, “yea, but,” to justify why you can’t pursue desired goals?

What does this quiz say about you?
To identify the degree to which you may be stuck and reasons you’re trapped, answer “yes” or “no:”

I. I’m usually tired.
2. I have little time for leisure activities.
3. I’m energetic.
4. I’m optimistic.
5. I’ll do almost anything to avoid embarrassment.
6. I feel good about myself.
7. Before making decisions, I worry whether others will approve.
8. When I buy something, I rarely consider others’ opinions.
9. I listen to and accept my feelings.
10. I’m scared to fail.
11. I worry about what might happen.
12. I fear living up to an image.
13. I accept responsibility for my decisions.
14. I’m achieving my goals.
15. If I want something, I’ll go after it.
16. I’m growing professionally.

Scoring: One point for each “yes” to items 3,4,6,8,9,13,14,15 and 16; and no to 1,2,5,7,10,11 and 12.
12 or higher: You’re achieving your goals. You’re confident, energetic, growth-oriented, inner-directed.
6 to 11: You may be concerned with others’ opinions, fear failure or lack energy.
5 or lower: You’re stuck in “yea-but” excuses.

Address factors that trigger excuses

1. Fatigue. You have little energy and don’t enjoy life if you responded yes to 1 and 2, and no to 3 and 4. You’re probably too tired to change now. Care for yourself.

- Rest. Sleep at least eight hours a day. Pamper yourself. Meditate, enjoy nature, build "quiet time" into your daily schedule.

- Keep body in top working order. Eat healthily, exercise regularly.

- Do something stimulating and enjoyable each day. Make family and leisure time fun. Enjoy small pleasures.

- Seek professional advice. If you can’t manage on your own, seek help from a reputable professional.

2. Need for approval. Yes responses to 5 and 7, and no to 8 and 9, suggest you’re influenced by others. You do what you “should,” not what you need.

- Complete the following sentences.
If I didn’t care what anyone thought, I’d _______________________.
If I could be sure I’d do it right, I’d ___________________________.
Try pursuing one desired activity.

- Share goals and dreams with supportive people. Don’t confide in negative people.

- Accept yourself. Own your successes. They’re the result of hard work and abilities. Believe in your decisions. Avoid negative, self-fulfilling prophecies.

- Confront limiting beliefs. Challenge their validity. For example, state negative predictions. “People will stare if I dine alone.” Test them. Venture alone to a restaurant. Measure the outcome. Observe people’s reactions. Draw a conclusion. “I can dine alone.”

3. Fear. Yes responses to 10, 11 and 12 suggest fear may be holding you back. Identify what’s blocking growth, such as fear of the unknown, making a mistake or losing a secure income.

- Acknowledge fear. Fear signals you’re about to stretch. Some fear is good. It alerts you to protect yourself from loss. However, continuous fear is destructive. Underlying most fear is lack of trust in your ability. We learn to be cautious, fear mistakes.

- Live in the present. Don’t worry about what might happen. Research your goal, develop an action plan, and pursue your goal daily.

- Let go of “attachments.” The more attached you are to something, the greater the fear of losing it. If you’re attached to a high salary, you may fear losing it for work that promises more growth.

- Know yourself. Clarify career goals. When you’re true to yourself, you experience harmony, stability, are willing to risk. When you ignore your spiritual self, you experience disharmony, indecision, doubt. Work at achieving goals that are in harmony with the real you. Believe you’ll attain these.

- See yourself as someone who has choices, takes action and operates from a position of inner strength. When you say something that fuels fear, replace it with a more positive statement. Follow your dreams even when scared.

Pope John Paul 11 said: “An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded.” Florence Nightingale shared her secret to success: "I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse."

Work with integrity. Discard self-defeating excuses. Start using your power today!

Numerous tips for building a satisfying, productive life career are offered in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life:

Tag: Dr. Carole Kanchier, registered psychologist, coach, speaker and author of the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Your Life, helps individuals and organizations realize their potential.; Email: