Almost every excuse that you make in your life is likely valid. However, they only become a thing if you give them life. What do I mean by “giving life to an excuse”? Hold on, and let me explain that.
There are many times in our lives when we have made a resolution to consistently do a particular thing or avoid something. We keep doing it until one particular day when we feel all the odds are against us and, for that matter, it isn’t going to be possible for us to do that thing or avoid that which we have been avoiding all this while.
You have the perfect reason (excuse) as to why you need to make this occasion an exception. You think about it and convince yourself that it is only for this one time that you are making that exception.
You, therefore, allow yourself to go without doing it or you give into it. You are most likely able to get back on track until another time when you think that you have to make another exception.
The interesting thing is that the rate at which you make this exception is way faster than that for the first one. If this continues for a while, you will see that your brain now starts making more excuses for you, and every one of them seems to be a genuine excuse. By the time you realize, you would have totally given up on that thing that you were doing.
Let me give a practical example that will drive this home. A couple of months ago, I started going to the gym on a daily basis. I decided to go with a colleague since that would force me to go regularly. We went for the first time, very excited, and came back home so inspired to keep going every day.
The following day, when the time was up, I called my friend, and he said he was so tired from the previous day’s exercise and therefore he wasn’t going to be able to go for today’s. I started convincing him, given what I know about what excuses can do the moment you give them life. Mind you, he had a valid reason not to go to the gym that day.
He eventually gave in and went with me to the gym. We had the same experience; we felt so good and started discussing how we were going to be doing it almost every day. The next day, my colleague says there was no way he was going to go because he was too tired.
I, on the other hand, not wanting to give life to these excuses, decided to go. I went to the gym only to find out that it had been closed at that time of the day because it was the weekend. Not wanting to break the streak and also ensuring that my body doesn’t give up on going to the gym, I decided to take a long walk to make up for the exercise I would have done in the gym.
I ended up going to play football for like 2 hours, and I was super excited about it. The following day, I was so tired that I could barely wake up from bed. By the close of the day, I had yielded to the pain and didn’t go to the gym or go out to exercise. From that very day, it became easier for me to make an excuse not to go to the gym, and as I write this piece now, it’s been about a month since I last entered the gym.
This illustration right here shows you how we usually give life to our excuses. The one excuse that I made for myself gave me the audacity to make more excuses. These excuses are valid, I know, but I have come to learn the hard way that the moment you yield to one of them, you are soon going to be at their mercy.
Your brain will start playing tricks on you and suggesting excuses which seem valid. To avoid this, you have to make sure you don’t give life to any of the excuses you have or come up with.
I value consistency so much that now, if I make a resolution to do something on a regular basis, I want to ensure that I do it irrespective of what valid excuse I have not to do it. I don’t mind however small the effort is or time spent in doing the task is; for as long as I get to stay consistent and not give life to my excuse, I will go for that.
So, remember that your excuses are valid, but they can ruin you or whatever you are doing when you give them life. Therefore, don’t bring your excuses to life.
Ehoneah Obed: Pharmacist, Software Engineer, Health Informatics Student.
Inspiring tech enthusiasts and future healthcare innovators. Sharing insights on software engineering, health informatics, and motivating young minds in technology and healthcare.