|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
Explanations?... or Excuses?
Which of the following "explanations" have you heard (or used!) in the past few weeks?
* I need to reward myself for being so good.
* The boss hates me.
* It's been too hot (too cold, too rainy) to exercise
* Of course I have problems. I'm a middle child.
* It was the alcohol talking.
It's pretty obvious that the above "explanations" are basically excuses for avoiding responsibility. Your "inner brat" uses such excuses to justify overeating, underachievement and saying hurtful things.
Next look at the following. They almost seem like plausible explanations:
* Sorry I'm late again. There was a lot of traffic.
* I haven't had a chance to call her back. It's been crazy around here.
* I never went to college because my parents didn't encourage me.
* I didn't want to hurt your feelings.
* I can't seem to get things done because of my ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
But these, too, are still excuses, not explanations. If you examine the above statements more closely, you will find that they are not entirely explanatory, and are easily challenged. For example:
* Being chronically late is not caused by traffic; it's caused by not leaving enough time for travel.
* If a phone call is important enough, a person will almost always find the time.
* Lack of parental encouragement may have some influence on one's life, but eventually we all have choices to make about investing our time and energy.
* Most of the time people avoid confrontation not to protect someone else's feelings, but to protect their own.
* People with ADHD need to work harder to stay focused but this does not mean they cannot complete their tasks.
A true explanation shows a cause-and-effect relationship: Situation X caused Consequence Y. Excuses masquerade as explanations, but are really distortions of the truth. Excuses include following elements:
1. They usually blame other people or external circumstances -- e.g., "I hit him because he made me mad," or "You're too sensitive," or "It was just my bad luck."
2. When they blame oneself, they usually invoke a personal trait or limitation -- e.g., "I'm not good at keeping track of bills," or "You KNOW I never remember details," or "I have no self-discipline."
3. They minimize the impact of insults, breaches of trust, and harm to others -- e.g., "Everybody does it." or "Why are you so upset? It's no big deal"
4. They attempt to absolve the excuse-maker of personal responsibility.
5. They seem to make more sense after the fact, than they would have beforehand -- e.g., you might rationalize, "I deserved that pound of Godiva chocolates because I worked hard all day." But would it really make sense to say, "If I work hard today the best reward for my efforts is a pound of Godivas?"
It's very tempting to make excuses. In fact it is one of your inner brat's favorite strategies. Excuses serve to protect you from facing your own shortcomings. They also try to keep other people from noticing your limitations. Excuses are a way of saying, "I'm really a good person, but . . ."
At the same time, however, excuses are only a temporary, quick fix. You may feel better for the moment, but in the long run you are dissatisfied with yourself.
No one has ever felt uplifted by making an excuse. Facing the truth is sometimes difficult, but it gives you the opportunity to take charge, to make positive decisions and to gradually eliminate the need for excuses.
Here are some tips:
1. Face the fact that you screwed up. For minor transgressions, it's not the end of the world. For major problems, your excuse isn't going to reverse the situation anyway. Things are what they are, and you can only move forward from there.
2. Apologize. Acknowledge that it was your own fault. Keep it simple; e.g., "I'm sorry I'm late. I didn't allow enough time for traffic problems." Notice how this example starts with the word "I" in the explanation.
3. Offer to make amends; e.g., "I won't let it happen again," or "Is there some way I can make this up to you?"
4. Learn from the experience. Make a decision about how you will handle this or similar situations in the future.
5. Write down your decision and treat it as a promise to yourself. This is especially useful for excuses you make to yourself, such as when you rationalize procrastination or abandoning your exercise program.
Copyright Pauline Wallin, Ph.D. 2005. All rights reserved
Pauline Wallin, Ph.D. is a psychologist in Camp Hill, PA, and author of "Taming Your Inner Brat: A Guide for Transforming Self-defeating Behavior" (Wildcat Canyon Press, 2004) She is also a life coach.
Visit http://www.innerbrat.com for more information, and subscribe to her free, monthly Inner Brat Newsletter.
Eddy Cue discusses the motivation behind Apple News and what the future holds - 9 to 5 Mac (press release)
Straub attorney questions motivation of police union officer in chief's ouster - The Spokesman Review (registration)
How To Overcome Procrastination Quickly And Easily
Maybe it is time to discover a new way to overcome procrastination and get motivated.When a deadline looms you need a quick and easy way to start making some progress and beat procrastination.
Ignite The Fire In Your Belly - How To Move From Being A Procrastinator To An Activator!
Are you sick and tired of not getting ahead and just can't get yourself out of a rut? Well, there are certain requirements (accountability, responsibility, commitment to yourself, forgiveness, positive think and speak, synchronicity within and outside) to help facilitate a real change.So, you're thinking - "Oh, these requirements are great.
Discover The Spark That Motivates You In Business and Life
Can There Be Any Other Business Like Your Own Business?"Whatever you persistently allow to occupy your thoughts will magnify in your life."-Dennis Kimbro, PhD.
Your Life Just OK? It Doesnt Have To Be That Way! Live the Life You Really Want To Live!
I have some questions for you. Are you ready? How would your rate your life on a scale from one to ten; 10 being fantastic and 1 being the worst it could possibly be? Are you happy with the most important aspects of your life? And note that I didn't say are you content or are you satisfied.
The Top Ten Strategies to Employ When You Feel Like Quitting
Ever feel like quitting? "Are you kidding?" you ask, "A better question would be, 'How many times TODAY have I felt like quitting?' " Sure. We've all felt like "throwing in the towel" at one time or another.
Context-Free Living ... Living Without Boundaries!
I know by now that you've heard the terms Debt-Free Living, Disease-Free Living, or an overabundance of other such coined terms for various marketing ploys to sell products and services. However, I'm not here to sell you anything, as what I'm offering, you already have! You just don't know it yet!Context-FreeA context is a circumstance, point of reference, or a situation by which a particular view is aligned and a unique meaning is derived.
Are You A Visionary
Dreams may seem unimportant in your quest for success. And it's true that ordinary dreams are often a mix of what happened during your day --plus some "wild" random associations.
Are You a Right-Fighter?
Are You a "Right-Fighter"?Do you find yourself struggling to "win" arguments? Do people ask you why you always have to be right? Does conflict you engage in typically end with you having the last word, but no one feels good about the argument? Do arguments you engage in usually escalate to shouting and anger? If you have said yes to any of these questions, you are likely a right-fighter!What is a "Right-Fighter"A right-fighter is someone who struggles to win arguments, even if they doubt their own view. A right-fighter is someone who gets overly emotional or angry when people do not agree with them and their opinions or beliefs.
Five Mores to Enhance Your Performance
When you think about the most successful, happy, fulfilled people you know, you could probably identify some characteristics these people have in common. If we were sitting together, I'm sure we could build a nice list of these characteristics, attributes, habits and attitudes.
How to Use Discouragement to Motivate Yourself
Ever feel like giving up? Do you ever feel so discouraged that even one more day of frustration will be too much too handle?Everyone gets discouraged at times only there are a number of key differences between people who keep on going and those who give up:1 Focus On Your Goal Not On Your ProblemsOne of my mentors is a highly successful property developer and he loves solving problems. All day long he can take on one problem after the next and just keep going.
7 Reasons To Stop Procrastinating Today
Procrastination is a delay tactic that has the ability to choke your dreams and abort the plans and purposes you have for your life.It has to be nipped in the bud.
Beginnings Arent As Complicated As They Seem
Beginnings are seldom as complicated as they seem. You know what I mean by "complicated - the dates and the duties and the things-to-be-remembered, the stuff that piles onto your plate with a new project or obligation.
Motivation - How to Design a Life
"Have you ever felt like you've become the worst possible version of yourself?" - Tom Hanks in "You've Got Mail"Have you ever been relaxing at the movies, enjoying a nice lite movie, only to get blown away by a line said in passing?That's what happened recently as my wife and I watched "You've Got Mail" with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The couple are having an ongoing email courtship, exchanging messages in the wee hours of the night, when this question comes out of nowhere: "have you ever felt like you've become the worst possible version of yourself?"And I thought we were just going to the movies.
How to Make it Big In Spite of Your Challenges
Imagine for a moment it's five years from now and you are still making the same income (or just a little more), living in the same home or apartment. You are in debt.
Dont You Quit!
"A man who has nothing to die for is not fit to live." -Martin LutherYou sat in that secret corner of your room.
Have You Ever Not Done Something Because Someone Said You Couldnt?
"Every truly great accomplishment is at first impossible." It's a beautiful spring day that I am writing this and it's at this time of year that I get motivated about what the rest of the year holds.
Intelligence & Energy
Life and evolution is the dynamics of energy in which there is gradual unfoldment of energy and intelligence. Intelligence opens packets of energy which further opens up the doors of higher perceptions.
How to Make Bite Size Resolutions for 2005
It never fails. Another new year approaches.
I'm back from Hawaii; it was ten days of physical and emotional mastery.We went from learning from twenty of the planets best speakers in their field, to being pushed physically with a fifty foot pole climb, and then,flying fifteen feet like a free bald eagle to a hanging trapeze.
We Are Trying To
How many times have you heard this in your life? Perhaps you have said it yourself. We are trying to accomplish something here.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © BoxingScene.com LLC. All rights reserved.