When things don’t go your way, is your instinct to make an excuse? Are you taking full responsibility for the things that may or may not be going well in your life currently? If you are ready to make changes in your life, it’s time to also begin taking responsibility for your actions and the consequences of your decisions, and to stop making excuses that are holding you back from achieving your dreams.

When you begin to accept responsibility for your life and put an end to any of the excuses you have been making, then you are committed to your goals and ready to make real change in your life.

Excuses help you feel better about unfortunate events, but they also keep you from acknowledging your role in the situation as well as abdicate the power you have in your life to some unknown, outside force. Blaming others or fate or circumstances just shows your own flaws, not those of others.

If you are ready to achieve your goals and fulfill your dreams, it’s time to stop making excuses. Here are three steps to help you get where you want to be.

1. Take responsibility for yourself and your life.

Taking responsibility for yourself means accepting not only your accomplishments but also your flaws. Accept responsibility for everything in your life, which then helps you focus more clearly on those things over which you actually have control. When you accept this responsibility, and things go wrong, as they will, you will find it easier to avoid the excuses and move forward.

Accepting responsibility also means you acknowledge those things you are failing to do that could be contributing to your lack of success. This will help you find ways to improve and achieve a better result in the future. With responsibility, you gain control over your life, and you can claim the personal power you need to achieve your dreams.

2. Focus on your own sense of self-efficacy.

Many times, we make excuses because we do not believe in our ability to accomplish a goal. That belief in your own ability is known as self-efficacy, and when you focus on bolstering this vital aspect of your inner self, you’ll stop making excuses and start believing you can do what you want and need to do. Your self-efficacy comes from your own past experiences, how others treat you when it comes to performing similar tasks, and how well you have seen others accomplish similar goals. Start by focusing on positive self-talk and seek out mentors and guides who can be positive role models for you related to your goals. Remember to focus on what you need to learn or how you can improve rather than just explaining away your ability to do anything to which you set your mind.

3. Be prepared for the unexpected.

Life is full of challenges and surprises, and once you acknowledge that these are going to happen, you can stop using them as an excuse for not reaching your dreams. Challenges are what teach us how to grow and stretch ourselves, and they make us strong and more capable over time. Embracing these learning opportunities, rather than using them as reasons you can’t reach your goals, is a key factor in accomplishing whatever you want to achieve in life.

Avoid Making Excuses

When you want to accomplish something meaningful in life, you have to stop making excuses and start making a plan for how you want to achieve your dreams. Excuses provide you no learning opportunities, they leave you no better off than you were before, and they make you look weak and foolish in the eyes of others. Accept your personal power, boost your self-efficacy, and prepare for the unexpected, and you’ll soon be attaining everything you want in life.