Excuses don't really excuse anyone from anything other than to g4t out of learning, advancing and reaching goals, as in having an excuse to miss class. You miss it. That's what I'm talking about.
Some people use excuses for everything. That's not to say there aren't reasons why some things are harder than others, or why sometimes things can't be done. But to make excuses, constantly talking about why things can't be done even before they've been tried, well, this is not going to help anyone in reaching their goals.
I tried to explain this to someone the other day, and perhaps I didn't explain myself in the right way, because this person thought I was being judgmental towards them when that was not my intent. My intent was to point out that if you always look for what's wrong, you're never going to see what is right. If you focus on that which you lack, you will not fully see what you have. You have to start where you are if you want to move on and accept the challenge of life on life's terms, not looking for ways to get out of it all. To turn our focus in a positive direction is to steer our ship in that way.
There are challenges. Yes. Maybe you don't have any money or no car. Maybe your health is poor. Maybe you don't have a babysitter, or your dog ate your homework or maybe you never got the message informing you of what you needed to know. Maybe you forgot or you got caught in traffic or you could not find your keys. Maybe you don't have any family, friends, help or support. Maybe you're sick. That's an excuse that's too often used.
But wait! What if it's actually true? Well, what if it is? It may very well be, but are you really going to let whatever it is keep you down? There are always alternative ways to meet goals, if you're looking for what you can do instead of only seeing what it is you don't have.
Maybe the goals need to change. That's a possibility, too.
Notice if you're making excuses for not meeting your goals. Maybe you're sabotaging your own efforts for one reason or another. Maybe you don't really want to do what it is that you've committed to do. Maybe you don't think you can or you have a fear you will fail. Sometimes people are even afraid they'll succeed. Are you perhaps making excuses for a reason other than what you say? You will have to examine your motives deep down and be honest with yourself if you want to succeed. Otherwise you may just be running yourself in circles, getting hung up in negativity rather than ever moving ahead.
Perhaps the problem is simply that we over-commit. Sometimes we really aren't up to all that we're wishing to do. That's something we need to be honest with ourselves about, too. This is all about self-honesty. Being honest is not the same as making excuses. Being honest with oneself includes looking also at what is right, because truthfully, nothing is ever all wrong.
But about over-committing, there may be numerous reasons why a person might over-commit. It may be an unrealistic expectation of ourselves that we're able to do more than we really can, or it may be that we are trying to please or impress someone else. Again, the first step to overcoming the problem is to be honest with ourselves about having a problem in the first place, and about what the nature of it really is.
Who says there is a problem? Well, if you're making excuses on a regular basis, there is a problem indeed. Either you're not being realistic in what it is that you're able to do and you need to rethink your commitments and goals, or you're committing to things you really don't want to do, or there's an ulterior motive of some sort going on. Something's not right when excuses start to occur regularly.
One of the problems with developing a pattern of making excuses is that people get more and more desparate in their attempts at making their excuses believable to others and also themselves. The subconscious mind gets in on the act, and circumstances start to occur to fulfill our inner desire to be excused from that which we don't want to do. Self-defeating behavior becomes the norm, and before we know it we risk becoming ineffectual in other areas of life, as well. It begins to get out of control.
Often this involves physical well-being and health. People actually develop illnesses due to deep rooted desires to stay home or not do what they said they would do. This can become chronic and even disabling. Usually the person is not even aware there is a link. That's why we have to be rigorously honest with ourselves and examine our motives. It's hard to believe when it comes to illness, but illness usually has a pay off of some kind to us. It meets an emotional need. Wouldn't it be better to be honest with ourselves regarding our inner needs and find better ways of satisfying them than to sabotage our own health?
Ohhhhh....Okay. I've lost some of you, I think. Just stay with me a minute more, please. I'n not judging. I'm just asking you to please be honest with yourself and look at what you really want and then look at ways to achieve it instead of looking for reasons why you cannot. There may be obstacles, yes. There usually are. But if it's something you really want then you will find a way if it's the right thing for you to do.
Maybe health is a problem. I'm not saying that it never is something with which we have to deal. Perhaps it does keep us from meeting our goals. Sometimes our goals have to change, and sometimes they just have to wait. Sometimes when physical challenges seemingly keep us from meeting our goals it's not the physical challenge that's doing it but rather our attitude. Maybe we need the down time to reflect or make a new plan. If it's something we really want, oftentimes there's still a way if we don't give up.
Self-pity's a trap. Self-pity is often involved when too many excuses are made. We feel sorry for ourselves because "we can't help it." We can cling to this idea or we can dig deep inside ourselves and find our Source of Strength and find a way despite what our challenges are. Self-pity tells us we are weak, whereas a good healthy sense of self-esteem knows we are incredibly strong. And we are! We are created in the image of God!
When our challenges seem too great to bear, we really do need to look to our strengths. Again, what is right? Stop focusing on what doesn't seem right and what isn't working for us and turn your full attention to finding what it is that will help, determined that a solution exists. Solutions to every problem exist! Stay strong in that resolve and you'll find your solutions and reach your goals. Then excuses are needed no more.
The more we repeat our excuses to others and to ourselves, the more deeply ingrained they become and we not only believe them ourselves but they become more and more real, and more and more able to keep us down. Break free from the trap of excuses and of self-pity. Break free and take control of your own destiny. Don't get caught up in a self-fulfilling prophesy of something you really don't want. You're more powerful than you realize, and what you focus on is what you become. Instead of developing excuses, develop determination. That's what it's going to take.
It doesn't matter if you're excuse is good enough or not. Is an excuse really what it is that you want?
Excuses only make you miss out.
We're all in the Big School of Life! See ya in class!
Rev. Dr. Jody Evans, ND, CTN, CNHP, D.D.
Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center
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