A suitcase full of excuses
We’ve all got them. some of us have them crammed full up into our suitcases like clothing just bursting at the zip. And every time someone asks us a question we unzip our suitcase for it to throw multiple excuses out for us to use. We then do just that, grab a few of them and use them up for the day. We then wash them that night, hang them up to dry, then put them back in our suitcase again the following morning, ready to pull out and get dirty once more.
These excuses never get tired. They may get dirty each time, but we know the drill already. Use, wash, dry, repeat.
What is considered an excuse? Why do we constantly use excuses? How can we begin to limit these poor traits of character?
What is considered an excuse?
An excuse is the defensive mechanism we use when we are on the back foot or we’ve been caught out. Whether it was a lie we told and we now need to find an answer to defend our initial reason for lying. It could be when we have been asked why we did not complete a task and we know perfectly well that we messed up. So we then pull out something from our suitcase and hope for the best.
But the biggest or most common reason for an excuse lays in the ego of our own pride, or lack of…
We’ll use excuses when we feel threatened, bruised emotionally or inferior towards another. It’s much easier, in fact down right simplistic to say that you’re just not that kind of particular trait or skill set at the expense of somebody else whom has, more often than not, earnt their current life situation. It’s so much easier to downplay someone else’s superior people skills compared to yours, rather than coming to terms with the fact that the other person quite possibly has spent so many years working on their public relations and emotional intelligence just so they could finally connect with people on multiple levels in life.
Our excuses, if we choose to step outside ourselves and observe where they are REALLY coming from, are area’s that we need to begin paying attention to. Can you think of the last excuse you used? Why did you use it? If you think about it from a third person, can you see that it is actually an excuse that can be fixed?
Our envy of the 1%
If we hone in on just one excuse, the last one we made in fact, we can begin to work on ourselves.
Let’s say for the purpose of this blog the excuse goes like this… ‘ I will never look like Peter over there! He is just naturally fit and can eat whatever he wants! I smell a muffin and I put on a kilo of fat. It’s just not fair!’
So much envy in this person no? But how many of us have said things along this line? I certainly have! And in my occupation I certainly should have known better, and I’ve sucked up my past shortfalls and worked on them.
We can’t possibly know if Peter here eats whatever he wants whenever he wants can we? Are we watching him every waking hour of the day to see what he’s feeding himself? That one time we saw him eating a tub of ice cream doesn’t mean he eats what he wants all the time, it most probably means he’s been really diligent with his diet all week and is now finding himself at his treat meal and is absolutely ready to have his favourite food of all time, ice cream! Enjoy it Pete!
We judge others for the 1% we see and not the other 99%, the whole picture. We then use this 1% as our platform to make ourselves feel better about our lack of effort in our own lives. We cannot begin to improve our situations until we look at the bigger picture and take on responsibility.
Paving our new path
Peter exercises everyday in various ways. He listens to his body and knows when he should train throughout the week and how. He also knows all the foods he should be eating to get the best out of himself both physically and mentally. Sure he has some treats throughout the week from time to time, but he knows just how much energy he is expending and therefor how many treats he can have throughout a week without putting on fat.
Now can you think back to your last excuse and see what corner of your ego the jealousy is stemming from? Once you’ve found the source, be totally honest with yourself. You don’t necessarily have to tell anyone else! What is the discipline you are hiding from? What is the discipline you crave to control but don’t have the desire to begin practicing? If you would like to lose this excuse from your suitcase you need to begin improving this area. Small increments of walking more steps on a daily basis, limiting the junk food by 20% each day at first, getting to bed 30 minutes earlier.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time? well, that is today!
Whatever your last excuse was, Let’s begin to actually act on eliminating it from your crammed suitcase. Let’s lighten the load that will undoubtedly bring more calmness to your busy life.
Your character is made up of every single action you take. Each excuse is no exception. Every single one of us has another opportunity to start improving ourselves as long as we are willing to be critical of ourselves.
Be critical, be honest, be adaptable.
99% of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.George Washington Carver
Self awareness is progression