Ed in Lawrenceville is doing 12 things including…

stop making excuses

1 cheer


Ed has written 3 entries about this goal

Excuses no more

I really feel I’ve done this. This was primarily a work goal, and I think this component of my performance issues, I’ve appropriately addressed. I’ve feel I’ve made progress regaining the respect I once had. There are other things I still need to work on. Primarily numbers 1 and 2, “Get Motivated,” and “Be Good.”

I think I'm doing it

I feel like I’m making progress with this, but I’m not sure how to call it done. I know that when some people say they want to stop making excuses, they mean they want to stop making excuses for things they aren’t doing. That was never my problem. I want to stop making excuses for things that go wrong. I want to take ownership and responsibility for my own actions. I don’t want to run from accountability. That’s really what this goal is about. Maybe I should change it…

My issues with this goal...

When I set a goal to stop making excuses, I meant it in the most literal, active sense. The minute something goes wrong, the minute I make any sort of mistake, the string of excuses just flows out of me. I became really conscious of this about a year ago, and in that time I realize that I really have made progress. Just the other day, I was on a teleconference and my boss mentioned something along the lines of “Ed, I was expecting a report from you on thus and such….”

A year or so ago, the excuses would have flowed forth instantly. In the space of a few sentences, I would have concocted no fewer than three legitimate-sounding reasons why I didn’t have that report. Instead, I just said, “I’m very sorry. I completely forgot I agreed to do that. I’ll have it to you tomorrow.”

I suppose this was out of character, because later that same day, that same boss came by and told me she was worried about me, and that I should take a day off, the very next day, in fact. This may have been unrelated, because I have been working long hours the past few weeks. Perhaps she just sensed that I needed a break. But I read it as “You’ve got three days to get your s* together and quit screwing up. The next step’s out the door.”

My concern is, because I didn’t have an excuse, I look like I’m just “flaking out.” I’ve resolved myself recently to a more honest and straight-forward existance, and this goal plays into those values perfectly. But, I don’t want to lose my job over it.

I suppose if that happens, it isn’t the end of the world. I’ll remain resolute in my newfound dedication to honesty and integrity. I just never would have suspected that fear and paranoia were at the root of making excuses. I did it because I was scared the truth would somehow damage people’s perception of me.

If you’re still reading this, I both thank and commend you. It’s very long, but I think I’ve finally worked it out in my head and gotten to the take-home point:

I make excuses for myself out of fear. Fear that others will know I’ve made a mistake. But people have instinctive, innate “BS meters.” If I make an excuse for a mistake I’ve made, there’s a good chance they aren’t going to believe it, making them lose confidence in my abilities anyway. But more than that, they will know I am lying to their face, diminishing their respect and trust. Alternatively, If I opt for the truth in those moments of choice, they may still lose confidence in my abilities, but their respect and trust will actually increase.

So, ultimately, I suppose this post was simply a very long way of saying, “Honesty is the best policy.”

Ed has gotten 1 cheer on this goal.

  • spikywires cheered this 7 years ago


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