THE ANATOMY OF AN EXCUSE
What are Excuses?
Have you ever wanted to change your life but could not bring yourself to it? Maybe you experienced a sudden dip in your motivation, or you had a moment of intense self-doubt. Perhaps the fear of the future and all its uncertainties suddenly took hold of you, and it became impossible to make that change you had intended to make. All these are the brewing ingredients of an excuse.
Adam Sicinski, a well-renowned life coach, defines an excuse this way: “Excuses are rationalizations we make about people, events, and circumstances. They are invented reasons we create to defend our behavior, to postpone taking action, or simply as a means of neglecting responsibility.” The words “invented reasons,” “postpone taking action,” and “neglecting responsibility” is important here. Moreover, this tells us that the very message of every excuse we make is that the thing we must do is not worth the trouble. This is why we must come up with statements to justify our inaction.
Let’s say you have decided to start running as exercise. Thinking about how difficult the task is, you begin to make up all sorts of excuses like:
“It might rain today.”
“I need to catch up on some sleep.”
“I’m feeling a little pain in my legs today.”
The excuses we make can take different forms. However, the essence of every reason is this: the cost of this thing that I will do far outweighs the benefits I will get from it.
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