Why do we make excuses? There are probably more reasons than I can count, but I’ll discuss about the ones that I’ve experienced.
Through our lifestyle and just human instinct, we’ve become a culture of excuses. Excuses make life easier, especially when we know the majority of America will buy into them. It’s like a snowball effect. When one person makes an excuse, another person hears that and realizes that will work for them too. Then they share that excuse and so on. When we do something wrong we usually know it’s wrong and are already making up an excuse in our head. In our minds we want to believe that others don’t think poorly of us. It doesn’t matter if we have to blame others as long as we don’t look bad.
As you may know, I’m a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer. Having this for a job gives me the opportunity to hear excuses all of the time! The only profession that probably hears more excuses are teachers. Sadly, some of my clients are teachers AND tend to make the most excuses. I believe that goes back to the snowball effect I mentioned earlier. They hear excuses from students all day and then use variations of those excuses in their own lives. That doesn’t make them bad people, but it makes them enablers. This is not ALL teachers.
I come from a family of educators. My mother is a retired Elementary School Teacher and my Dad is a retired College Business Professor. They didn’t make excuses that often at all and taught me to not use them in my life. I didn’t take their teachings to heart and became an “excuse maker”. I had excuses for EVERYTHING. It wasn’t my fault that I was almost 500 pounds. It wasn’t my fault that I held jobs that I was overqualified for. It was society’s fault for every bad thing that was happening to me. It was easy to blame everyone else and have that piece of mind that I was doing everything right (I wasn’t). I just had to keep telling myself that until I believed it.
The problem is, when we make excuses for our situations, we give up control of those same situations. We decide we would rather make an excuse instead of make a change. Excuses are much easier than change. I can make an excuse for eating poorly last night, even though I’m in the middle of a 24 Day Challenge. In the past I would have! Not today. I did it, I own up to it, and I won’t do it again today. Notice I said today. That doesn’t mean I will be perfect for the rest of eternity. The difference with me now compared to me 5 years ago is that I won’t make excuses. I will never say I’m sorry for doing something from here on out. Why? Because I know in my own mind that I will never do anything maliciously wrong ever again. It doesn’t mean I won’t make some poor choices, but they will be choices I believe at the time are right. Therefore, if it turns out I’m wrong, I won’t say,”I’m sorry.”, I’ll say,”I’ll fix that and get it done right.” What’s the difference? “I’m sorry” means that you knew you were going to do something wrong to begin with. “I’ll fix that” means that you are admitting to a mistake, but not the intent. It’s owning up to it. “I’m sorry” is making an excuse.
How many times do you say you are sorry in a day? Probably quite a few, if you are the average person. I challenge you to never use those words ever again! Not even if someone loses a loved one! Say something positive instead! Say, you can tell they were loved and you’ll pray for them. Say you will keep good thoughts and memories of them. Say something, anything, uplifting. “Sorry” is a word with a negative connotation. Try to only use words with positive connotations. Maybe you can be the one to start a positive snowball effect in the people’s lives around you!