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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Nicholas

💪 You're Only as Weak as Your Strongest Excuse 💪

A sign with this message hangs at my gym and the wisdom can be applied to most facets of our lives, including our careers.

Are you disappointed by missed opportunities? Professional stagnation? Unfulfilled potential?

If any of those things resonate, it could be the result of a strong excuse. 

Strong excuses often sound more like reasons. A new government regulation, an external force dramatically shifting the market, a pending merger. 

When you’re honest with yourself, though, you realize it’s nothing more than a strong excuse. 

This was the case for one of my C-suite executive clients recently. He complained his career had reached a plateau and his influence in his organization had diminished. He was dismayed, somewhat angry, and considering leaving. 

Several years of leadership there with many significant successes, something didn’t add up. 

I guided him through a line of inquiry, encouraging him to objectively evaluate the factors that had resulted in a few specific cases where he shared that his performance hadn’t met his CEO and Board’s expectations. We examined the reasons and obstacles he cited. I urged him to imagine he was a particular Board member he knew well and respected and to view his performance through his eyes. He began to replay a particular excuse and stopped in the middle of it.

“This is on me. I need to shore this up.” He admitted that, rather than mitigating the impact of an external threat directly impacting his functional area, he had been using it as a strong excuse. He knew what he had to do.

If your career isn’t advancing in the way you envisioned, ask yourself if excuses are eroding your success. If so, take these three steps:

1️⃣ Excuse Audit: Take an honest look at your excuses. Identify the one that's been holding you back the most. Acknowledging it is the first step to conquer it.

2️⃣ Action Blueprint: Craft a detailed plan to overcome your strongest excuse. Break it down into manageable steps, set deadlines, and hold yourself accountable.

3️⃣ Accountability Circle: Share it with your executive coach and surround yourself with a circle of high achievers who refuse to accept excuses. Share your goals and progress with them. They'll push you to excel.

Commit to 2024 being the year that you are stronger than your excuses!

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