“I can’t exercise because I don’t have time.” “I would exercise regularly if I didn’t have all these kids.” “I meant to T-Tapp, but I couldn’t because ‘this’ happened.” “I couldn’t do my T-Tapp workout because ________” (you fill in the blank). Excuses, excuses. We all make them. Sometimes we make them so convincing we even believe them.
[break][/break]Now I’m not talking about “excuses” that are actually BIG reasons for something: “I couldn’t do my workout this morning because I broke my leg in two places last night.” “I can’t come to the party because my son is getting married at that time.”
[break][/break]If our first reaction and defense about making excuses is to search for the exceptions, that’s a clue to the health of our thinking.
[break][/break]Kathy Ireland recently said, “Excuses are undignified and they don’t absolve you anyway.” We had a little family discussion about this statement in the van today. We came to the conclusion that when we give excuses for something it doesn’t often make other people see us in a better light. It might help them understand us or the situation, but it doesn’t absolve us of responsibility.
[break][/break]Someone said “an excuse is a well-planned lie.” Ouch.
[break][/break]So if we shouldn’t make excuses, what can we do? Take personal responsibility for our CHOICES. This actually relieves guilt in many cases. Instead of thinking “I was ‘too busy’ to do my workout this morning,” tell yourself the truth: “I chose not to work out this morning. I am responsible for the consequences of my choice.” Instead of “I couldn’t go to work this morning because my daughter was sick,” realize that “I chose to stay home from work today to care for my daughter.”
[break][/break]Removing the blame and helplessness is empowering. Remember that negative emotions are usually caused by blaming someone else for something. You made a choice. You are responsible for the outcome. And you can certainly make a decision to make a different choice now.
[break][/break]If you automatically default to an excuse to explain why you haven’t done something you know you should do, you’re setting the stage for guilt, blame and other toxic emotions. When you take responsibility for your choices, you clear the way for peace and better choices.
[break][/break]Try this today: Be aware of how often you make excuses, and determine to change that reaction to taking responsibility. You might be surprised at how free and strong you feel!