Last Update: Feb 8, 2020
I’m sure you don’t need it, yet here are a couple of general definitions from a Google search relating to the word “excuse” to set the scene.
- seek to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offence); try to justify.
- turn a blind eye to
- turn a deaf ear to
- release (someone) from a duty or requirement.
- Don’t worry about him, he’s not in his right mind.
If we read through a dictionary, we could produce a few pages of words that take away the confidence and power of a group or, particularly an individual. The simple, often heard word, “excuse” being one of them and a major culprit in holding us back and making things difficult. It can be used by us and used by people who seek to protect us from the negative aspects of their perceptions of ourselves and others.
Once we start using excuses to justify our actions, or lack of, we step onto a slippery slope tonowhere good. Allowing others to make excuses for us, gives the process of excuses a powerful helping hand and disempowers our ability to make choices.
What if you were incapable of making excuses for your behavior or actions; how would life look if such a scenario were true? Imagine, just for a moment that the word “excuses” doesn’t exist in any languages and there are no synonyms for it. Would we go looking for a substitute or create a word because making excuses is a natural human trait?
- They enable us to rationalize our behaviors and justify our actions or, lack of.
- Excuses deny responsibility for our behavior.
- Distract ourselves from psychological dissonance. (cognitive dissonance is the experience of psychological stress that occurs when a person holds two or more conflicting beliefs, ideas, values, or participates in an action (excuse making) that goes against one of these three). For example, "I've got other things to think about right now”.
- They change our behavior "I will take the time to address this issue, later". Later doesn’t always arrive.
Years of cultural conditioning that grew from early-childhood reinforcements and thinking limiting thoughts have joined forces and enabled us to create excuses; so engrained are some of these excuses that we use them like valuable currency to justify our actions, or lack of. They have become a reality that we’re not always consciously aware of.
Too Tired, Too Busy
Have you ever used one of these excuses? Wait, before you answer, take a breath, don’t try to justify your answer. Have you, or not?
Here’s a live example. I’m too tired to write this post because I stayed up until 03:00 AM last night to participate in a live event online. The more I think “tired” the more tired I will become. Fatigue will set in and I may not make it as far as dinner this evening. If I quit now, I can always come back later, tomorrow or the next day. I’m too tired for this, people won’t understand what I write today. Allowing the tired excuse will defeat my goal of publishing this post before midday. The more I think tired . . . around and around we go, and the excuse will halt my progress if I allow it. It is entirely my choice.
What Can I Do?
Rather than accept a defeating excuse, I have abandoned the tired thinking and replaced it with a positive vision that, I feel great. The sky is blue, the sun is shining and once I have finished this post, I will deliver my daughter to her kayak club and enjoy a three-hour mountain bike ride while she paddles. This positive thinking habit is fixed, and my plans will come to fruition.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Imagination is a very high sort of seeing”.
Absolutely true indeed. If we can visualize achieving something, excuses lose any hold over us that they may once have had.
I will return to excuses on Monday. Tomorrow is family day and we will be enjoying a day in the outdoors. There are no excuses there, but we do need to be aware of when we are making excuses and when we are not.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend
Excuses and procrastination goes hand in hand and it creeps on us. A little tiredness, some distraction and family, which we use as excuses because it easily creeps on us and we use our imagination to justify it.
It is a challenge everyday because it is part of our DNA. Our reasoning abilities are what we use to make excuses and to procrastinate. It is in our subconscious.
The subconscious has a way of holding our thinking to ransom. Thanks Stanley, some wonderful thoughts in there. Wishing you a wonderful day.
I am a man of many excuses. I wish I didn't make so many but it really is easy to do it for sure. Great post and I will try to not make so many today and in the future.
Hold on to that intention Douglas - work with it, remember it, it's the way to go. Wishing you a successful day.
Yes Steve, excuses are so easy to come by. It's all about a positive mindset and moving forward. Great post - thanks Steve, have a great weekend.
Thanks Alexandra. feeding the positives, deleting the excuses. A BIG HAPPY weekend to you too.
So much to think about here. And yet we do make excuses, knowingly and unknowingly. I will strive to do better, starting now.
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I am all in favour for banning the word, let's do it. That said, I have found that these days, I no longer make excuses but should the need arise to curtail whatever it is, then I have to replace it with something.
This way, there are no gaps and no excuses, just a continued state of 'doing'
Enjoy your ride and thank you for another 'spot on' post.
Excuses are henceforth banned from my language and thoughts....that will be interesting when I write on Monday. Love a challenge. It was a superb ride thanks Twack. Interesting stunts going on due to dodgy terrain brought on by the floods. Fun!
I am too in favor for banning excuses, Twack--maybe tomorrow though, got too many things to do today!🙄🙄
Like your style.
Likewise, my friend!