“I could have done that, if…”
“Yes, but you don’t understand…”
“I didn’t have enough time…”
How many ways do you rationalize your actions throughout the day?
Rationalization is a tricky subject. A lot of times this behavior is so ingrained within us that we don’t even know we’re doing it. However, if you take the time to really monitor what you say and think throughout this day, I bet you will find that you rationalize quite a bit more than you realize.
Rationalization comes in many forms. Usually it stems from our ego not wanting to own up to the fact that we are responsible for something. It’s just so much easier to blame another person, situation, or any other myriad of excuses. For myself, I often find I rationalize commitments I’ve broken to myself: I didn’t workout today, but that’s cause I was tired; I didn’t make all the calls I wanted to make today, but that’s because I was busy with other things; I didn’t… Do any of these sound familiar to you? When I’ve asked my coaching students and my team, I’ve found that we are usually really unreliable people to ourselves. And when you can’t count on yourself, who can you count on?
The definition of “Rationalize” is: to attempt to explain or justify (one’s own or another’s behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate.
Basically, then, when we rationalize our actions, not only are we making excuses for ourselves, but we are also lying to ourselves. Neither of these are very helpful things for us, especially if we are trying to grow and become better versions of ourselves each day. When we make excuses for ourselves, we let ourselves off the hook and the more often we do that, the easier that behavior becomes. And if we’re able to not come through to ourselves, it will be even harder to come through for other people.
It’s time for each of us to make a commitment to ourselves. Stop rationalizing your actions and decisions. If you don’t accomplish something, realize why and own up to the responsibility. Learn from it. The only way to keep growing is to put yourself in your own driver’s seat.
Let’s start holding ourselves to a higher standard. If you give your word to someone or something, including yourself, come through. Make your word count.