We hear excuses all the time. I got caught in traffic. The dog ate my homework. I didn’t have time.
Excuses are used to protect ourselves by placing blame on someone or something appearing to be outside of our control. When facing an adverse situation, our natural inclination is to look for reasons, other than ourselves, for the cause of the problem. This is our sub-conscious mind working to find a way to protect our ego. If we can blame something or someone, we appear to be okay. In the end it is easier to blame than to take responsibility.
Excuses have real life consequences but are not based in reality. Brian Tracy says that, “Excuses are an illusion that keep us from our dreams and goals.” An illusion is something that appears different from what it actually is. The same can be said for excuses.
Mary Lore in her book, Managing Thought, indicates our thoughts are not often an accurate representation of reality. Instead, our thoughts are tainted and distorted by our own bias and experiences. When we make an excuse, we judge a set of circumstances and then place blame someone or something. When we find ourselves judging and blaming others, we are in a very vulnerable position. When we make an excuse, we are hiding your own weakness, acting strong to not appear weak. This incongruence makes us highly vulnerable.
An excuse is like a tapeworm. Once it takes hold, it immediately goes about the mission of destroying its host. Welcoming excuses into your life will soon take its toll.
At a minimum, excuses not only keep you from your dreams and goals. Face it, you cannot reach your true potential until you take full responsibility for yourself, the others you have placed around you, and the circumstances you are in.
Keep in mind, what you think is the cause of an adverse outcome may not be the case. Try to change your perspective and consciously choose to not make an excuse. Pause before judging or blaming. Before pointing a finger, ask if someone could be pointing at you.
As hard as it seems, when you face reality and are brave enough to take full responsibility, you find this to be liberating and empowering!
After blaming his situation on the past, the former Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner got help, faced reality and took control of his life. He stopped making excuses, showed extreme bravery, and told his story to inspire others.
INSPIRATIONAL ARTICLE – Robin Lehner confession
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