Are Excuses Holding You Back?

It is a rare person who never offers an excuse, and most of the reasoning blames the lack of time available. But there are always at least two sides to a problem, making it worthy of reviewing what we dismiss and why and whether regret was to follow. It is possible that on occasions, more than we care to admit, the answer is Yes! to the question, ‘Are excuses holding you back?’

The typical answer is, ‘I would like to, but sadly, I don’t have the time.’ The question is, what can we do to improve our response?

My Story

Two recent experiences raise the question, are excuses holding you back? My answer is more so in the early days, but experience and time management, working together, improve my willingness to do more. As time progresses, my responses have a wide meter read, from, quietly believing, ‘this is ridiculous’ to graciously accepting an opportunity.

Losing Opportunities

We can improve further when we admit that we dismissed an idea assuming it will never work or is ridiculous. For years, it baffled me why recruiters would ask seemingly ‘ridiculous questions.’ Long ago, I turned down a potential job, thinking, ‘I don’t have time for this nonsense.’ Today, I realized I too quickly moved away from a job interview as the article revealed the answer to why the strange questions.

But a few years later, I thought I’d have fun when asked what animal I would like to be and why. My answer was that I would like to be a giraffe on sales calls! To my complete surprise, the offer came almost immediately. Demonstrating the value, I then turned that answer into an article appearing in US News Magazine, ‘What to Say If an interviewer asks which animal you would be and why:’

Finally, today, the long-awaited answer came to me via an article that reveals why recruiters ask these mind-boggling or annoying questions. The author refers to the questioning style as ‘situational.’ She then states that the answers applicants provide tell a great deal about their thinking and behaviors to determine whether they will be a good fit for the employer.

The Gift of An Athletic Cap

Upon receiving an athletic cap, a big smile came over me upon seeing the slogan, ‘365.’ As an avid goal-setter always striving to improve, it brought about the thought of 365 days per year and what it means to me. Suddenly, the realization that a lack of time is not necessarily the reason for an excuse but our preference to dismiss.

‘I don’t have the time’ is a weak excuse, most often.

Let’s do some calculations:

There are 365 days per year, and we have 24 hours each day to do as we see fit. The total number of hours in a year is 8,760, and 525,600 is the number of minutes we have to spend any way we like each year. Surely, we can do more than we allow ourselves with proper goal-setting and an increase in motivation to accomplish more.

As efficiencies take over, I realize specific strategies work well, allowing me to accomplish more in less time. Taking a calculated risk to test the reality of a new idea working well proves better than expected. And the occasion it does not, I realize what needs to improve to advance. Doing so includes ‘finding time’ for requests and offers that, in the past, I would decline.

The overall benefit of utilizing more of our yearly minutes is:

  • Being able to build a broader collaborative effort
  • Branding and marketing will become more robust than ever
  • Offers that we desire unexpectedly come our way

The lyrics to Jim Croce’s song, Time In A Bottle, come to mind:

‘But there never seems to be enough time

 To do the things you want to do once you find them…’

Your Story: Are Excuses Holding You Back?

Truthfulness begins with each of us. It is best to admit to opportunities you may have dismissed, not bothering to learn the facts before deciding. But it is never too late to realize a habit or two is ready for updates. An excellent place to begin is to ask why they are asking and how the person sees the outcome. Ask for the benefits of participating and the downside, should there be one. It will help you come to a better conclusion and final decision.

On occasion, people propose the opposite of what you may believe. There are almost always two sides to every story or opinion. It’s best to stop and consider the perspective on the other side to see if there is room for compromise. And should time be a real issue, consider how you may increase efficiencies for productivity in the future. With 525,600 minutes available to us yearly, there is little doubt that we can save time in the real world to do the things we want to do.

Most of all, by taking better control of habits and accepting possibilities, advancements of all types will occur more frequently. And should a setback unexpectedly appear, taking the time to learn the lessons will help with progress, too. Either way, you can turn the scenario into a win-win for your success!

In Conclusion: Are Excuses Holding You Back?

It is best to review past offers and how we reacted to them in our quiet time to discover if a better approach awaits. Should you desire to minimize excuses holding you back, seek out commonalities of the missed opportunities to improve upon moving forward.


Elinor Stutz
Elinor Stutz
Elinor Stutz broke through barriers long before doing so was popular. Against all odds she defied the theme, “women can’t sell” to become the top producer at every company she ever worked all the while ignoring attempts to get her to quit. Faced with an irreparably broken neck, Stutz paid attention to two visions as they appeared before her while on the stretcher. In the moment, she negotiated a full recovery with the promise to be of service to communities at large. As the CEO of Smooth Sale, Stutz adapted the motto, “Believe, Become, Empower.” Stutz is a motivational/inspirational speaker, author, and sales trainer. Stutz’ first book, Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building that Gets Results is an International Best-Seller. Her second book, HIRED! has helped many secure their desired jobs. The Wish: A 360… mentors readers on how to build influence. 2019 Global Business Insights Award. Marketing-Communication 2019 Top Salesperson Listing. The Smooth Sale blog is rated as a Top Sales Blog. Kred declared Elinor to be A Top 1% Influencer. @RiseBoarders ranks Stutz as a Top Sales Guru. Tenfold lists “Top 65 women Business Influencers”. CEO Magazine Declares “One of the brightest sales minds to follow on Twitter”.

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