Here’s the thing about excuses: they rarely lead to action. Thus, they are pretty much useless to me in my pursuit of success.
It’s perfectly natural to look at someone else’s circumstances and focus on everything that differs from our own. He doesn’t have any kids. She gets health care from her husband’s employer. He has a large following that I don’t have. She lives in a small town with cheaper living expenses. And so on. Noting these differences can actually help us build a realistic plan for our own success.
The problem comes when you take those differences and turn them into excuses for your own inaction. When those differences lead your mind to that’s why she’s successful and I’m not, or that made it easy for him, rather than I’m going to have to find a way to succeed without that or I’m going to have to overcome that issue first.
Of course someone else probably has it easier than you. No matter how privileged you are, no matter what life choices you’ve made, there’s always someone in an even better starting position. We don’t live in a fair world.
But ask yourself: How does dwelling on this help you succeed?
We all do it from time to time. The human mind gravitates toward finding the easier path. Excuses protect us from having to take risks.
But not taking risks also means not reaping rewards.
This is the reason successful businesses are rare. It’s not that they can’t be built, but that it’s easier and safer not to even try.
If what you want is to feel good about not succeeding, go ahead and let your excuses stop you. You’ll find plenty of other unsuccessful people with whom to commiserate. And you can throw your excuses at more successful people to make yourself feel even better as a bonus.
Otherwise, if you want to actually succeed, you have to fight the urge to make excuses when you should be taking action.
By all means, take note of your disadvantages. But then build a plan for overcoming them.
Of course, easier doesn’t mean easy. Don’t assume that someone’s lack of one or two obstacles means there were no obstacles to their success at all. In fact, often other people have different obstacles, not necessarily fewer. ↩
No, you shouldn’t take foolish risks. But you can’t take no risks and expect anything good to happen to your business. ↩
Just kidding. You should stop doing that. Seriously. It makes you look silly. ↩