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What to to when your brain is an ”excuses” machine

Leadership is also about being aware of your own limitations and biases, and taking steps to overcome them. One common challenge that many leaders face is the tendency to make excuses when things don't go as planned. Fortunately, recent neuroscience findings have shed light on why our brains are wired to make excuses, and what we can do to overcome this tendency.

The human brain is wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. This is known as the pleasure-pain principle, and it is deeply ingrained in our biology. When we encounter a difficult or uncomfortable situation, our brains will automatically search for excuses to avoid it. This can lead to a cycle of procrastination and avoidance that can hinder our productivity and effectiveness as leaders.

So, what can we do to overcome this tendency? One effective strategy is to reframe the situation in a more positive light. For example, instead of viewing a challenging task as something to be avoided, try to see it as an opportunity for growth and learning. By reframing the situation in a positive way, you can shift your mindset and become more motivated to take action.

Another effective strategy is to break the task down into smaller, more manageable steps. Our brains are wired to respond to small wins and rewards, so by breaking a big task into smaller steps, you can create a sense of progress and accomplishment that will help to motivate you to keep going.

Finally, it's important to cultivate a growth mindset. This means embracing the idea that we can always learn and grow, even in the face of challenges and setbacks. By adopting a growth mindset, we can overcome the tendency to make excuses and instead focus on finding solutions and making progress.

As a leader, it's important to be aware of your own tendencies to make excuses and to take steps to overcome them. By reframing the situation in a positive light, breaking the task down into smaller steps, and cultivating a growth mindset, you can overcome your brain's natural tendency to make excuses and become a more effective leader.

So, I challenge you to take action today. Identify a task or project that you've been avoiding, and use these strategies to overcome your excuses and take action. By doing so, you'll not only become a better leader, but you'll also be setting an example for those around you, inspiring them to do the same.

Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so take that first step today and start making progress towards your goals.

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