“Why do we often make excuses whenever we encounter a difficult challenge or obstacle?”
The answer to this depends on both your personal situation and the challenge that you’re currently facing. You may come up with excuses in your head in order to maintain your own comfort or an excuse to tell someone else because you simply can’t say “no”. Here are eight common reasons why people make excuses throughout their lives
You are experiencing fear
The feeling of fear keeps us inside of our comfort zone and prevents us from venturing out into the unknown. However, fear is largely misunderstood. People are often afraid of things because they don’t understand them or they are lacking all of the information they need.
The good news is that the more you educate yourself about a challenge or process, the easier it will be to overcome fear. It doesn’t matter what obstacle you’re dealing with — somebody, somewhere has probably gone through it. All you have to do is find out how they overcame it and your fears/anxieties will be eliminated.
You don’t have a specific goal
If you don’t have specific and measurable goals, it is easy to make excuses to avoid doing something that you don’t want to do. For example, can you see the difference between I want to make money this year and I am going to make money in the next 5 months?
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With that specific goal in mind, you are less likely to come up with an excuse every day to skip the gym or to eat junk food. Vague goals will not get you very far.If you don’t have a clear destination in mind, it is easy to make excuses to avoid doing something that you don’t want to do.
You are scared of making a mistake
You may make excuses because you are scared to make a mistake. Mistakes might seem like the end of the world to you. However, mistakes are actually valuable.
Think about the mistakes you have made in your life and consider the ways that they have actually added strength to your character. Think about all of the skills your mistakes have taught you and how they have shaped your body of knowledge and personal development.
It is important to see mistakes as being a beneficial and critical part of your life and embrace them. If you make excuses to avoid mistakes, you may miss out on some of your biggest mistakes that could have ended up being your best learning experiences.
If you want to feel more comfortable doing something and reduce your chances of making an initial mistake, you can proactively learn about the task first. From taking classes to learning from an expert to even become self-taught through books and online resources–you can learn how to do anything that you really want to do.
You don’t want to fail
Failure is unavoidable. It is inevitable that at some point during your life…You. Will. Fail.
So whenever you’re trying something new or taking some risks, there is always a chance that you’ll fail
However, it is also important to remember that you don’t lose everything when you fail. Failure just means that things are not going the way you expected them to go and you need to remain flexible to get back on track. So, if you make excuses to reduce your risk of failing, it means you are never trying anything new.
One way to help you overcome your fear of failure is to embrace the idea that making mistakes and failing is actually a good thing
You don’t know what to expect
The fear of uncertainty means that you are worried about unknown future events or circumstances that could come your way. Uncertainty makes people uncomfortable because they don’t have enough experience to give them confidence.
Without experience and perspective, people often make assumptions or jump to conclusions about possible outcomes that could negatively impact them. You can overcome the fear of uncertainty by using the “if-then” planning concept. The idea here is to think of every possible obstacle or challenge that you’ll probably encounter, then create a strategy for how you’ll handle them. And if you do this throughout all aspects of your life, it’ll be hard to make excuses about why you can’t follow up with a project and/or task.
You are protecting your identity
It is common to want to protect yourself from harm in any way. Whether it is physical, emotional, or mental, you are likely always at least a little bit aware of your surroundings in order to keep yourself safe.
For this reason, you may come up with excuses to not do things. You want to protect yourself and not put yourself in harm’s way. While sometimes this is a very smart thing to do, other times it may hold you back.
You are not motivated
Sure, you don’t want to write that paper, you don’t want to make a healthy dinner at home, and you don’t want to go to the gym. Without motivation, you can come up with any excuse in the book to stay complacent.
You are set in your ways
You may be so stubborn and set in the ways that you tell yourself you’re unable to change. But when you think about it, is it that you can’t change or you don’t want to change? Yes, making changes takes effort and commitment and it can be very difficult.
If you just become defeated about an aspect of your personality without even attempting to change it, then you are just making excuses to stay complacent.
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