3 Questions To Kill Every Excuse You’ve Ever Had

The next time you’re tempted to give up because you came up with a really  good excuse. Ask yourself:

  1. Would I believe this excuse if anyone else besides myself was saying it? (You wouldn’t).
  2. Does this excuse even make any sense? (It doesn’t).
  3. Am I really going to let this excuse stop me? (You shouldn’t).

Then keep going and don’t quit.

Your excuses are invalid 



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  1. Alex says

    Hi Joel!

    I came to your blog after reading the “Unexpected Ass Kicking” entry, and felt inspired by your impossible achievements, so I decided that I could get my own too. Read a little bit more, found out about your impossible abs and decided “hey, I can do that too!”

    Great timing on this post. Just yesterday I ran into a “bump” that almost demotivated me… and as elaborate as my excuse is, you perfectly nailed it with those questions.

    So far I have 3 days in a row of exercising (hey, I even biked to work today) and I’m slowly adapting a healthier diet. It’s too early to claim victory, but hopefully I’ll have my story to tell one of these days.

    Keep it up Joel!


  2. says

    I think Question #3 can overrule the first two.

    I’ve given myself plenty of excuses for stopping. They were believable, and made sense.

    “I can’t climb that bridge because it’s dangerous and it could kill me if I fell,” I came up against that one a few times.

    When I got to question #3, “Will I LET this excuse stop me?” Sometimes it did, and sometimes it didn’t.

    Bravery often makes less sense to us than our excuses do.

  3. says

    Word, dude. Word.

    I’d like to expand upon #2- what is the fear that is manifesting as this excuse, and is it valid?

    Usually, it won’t be. If it is, weighing the outcomes is a great way to smash through the fear and keep moving forward.

  4. Danilo says

    I am always asking myself:
    “Are you just lazy or you really can’t?”
    “Do you really can’t do it or you just don’t want to do it?”

    Also, I am thinking about the time (1 -2 years ago) when I hesitated to do something. After that I realized that If I had started 2 years ago I would have completely different reallity today.

  5. Jonathan says

    I read this posting today after only being aware of your blog for 7 days. This evening I started running again. I’ve been biking and blading occasionally, but gave up running 15 years ago during my first marriage.

    My excuses were along the lines of “I really don’t need to run anymore” or “I don’t have the time, place,mrunning partner, etc.” The truth is, I love running, and though I thoroughly enjoy my biking and blading when I make time for them, running has always been with me.

    My goal, as impossible and potentially health-threatening as it may be, is to enter, run, and finish the BOA Chicago Marathon in October. I use to be capable of an easy 7 minute mile pace, and only need to be capable of a 15 minute mile pace to qualify. So is it possible for an old runner to whip him or herself back into shape in 45 days or less to meet such a goal? You make me think so, and I LOVE doing the impossible…

    Game on…

  6. says

    Very impactful post, Joel. Short and direct! Particularly liked the question, “Does this excuse even make any sense?” That’s a great one to help dig a little deeper with what’s really going on. :) Cheers, Thea

  7. says

    Joel, it’s my first visit to your blog & I love the get-real, no-bullsh*t message in this post. 

    And it couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’ve been exploring the excuses plaguing me at the moment, and felt inspired to share on my blog one of your questions & some of my own to deal with them.

    Bottom line: Excuses live in our heads. Action lives in reality. It’s a matter of deciding which of the two we’re going to live in.

    Thanks for the reminder.


  1. […] Your excuses suck. You aren’t making excuses, you are making choices. I know that it’s something I need to improve on and continue to do so each day. As Dave Del Dotto said, “No one ever excused his way to success.” So quit making excuses, take responsibility,  and just do it. […]

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