When Obstacles Become Excuses

We all know excuses are bad. Most of us are taught from a very young age that everyone has excuses. They will always get in your way and stop you from reaching your goals. But, what happens when you come up against a legitimate obstacle, something that you truly can’t change? Those of us that are reaching for big goals will have to make big changes and that naturally brings up big obstacles. We have to be careful not to let those obstacles become excuses.

Most humans have great radars for what might put us on the outskirts of society. Whatever viewpoint you might subscribe to, evolution or creation, I think we can all agree that we want to belong. When we face obstacles on the way to growth, it will require us to change and do something that is outside the norm. Doing something outside the norm might get us kicked out of our group, or cause the group to come rescue us from the trouble we find ourselves in. This causes us to make that obstacle an excuse.

There is nothing wrong with letting an big obstacle stop you from reaching your goal, but we need to understand that this is a CHOICE and not life, or God, or the universe, or whatever getting in our way. Obstacles are put in our path to be overcome. We need to recognize when we are running from what we know is bad for us and when we are running because we are scared of the unknown.

So how do we know if we are making an obstacle and excuse? The answer is if you are letting it stop your from growing and moving forward. There is more than one way to skin a cat right? If the obstacle seems too big or can’t be changed, you need to think creatively and work around it. Maybe you need to work a little harder, maybe you need to wait a little longer, and maybe you just need to approach your strategy in a different way. It would be a very rare case that you would not be able to at least start doing whatever it is that you want to do in order to grow or reach a goal.

I don’t want anyone thinking I’m just over here pointing fingers. I have to fight the same battle as you do. I have to fight the urge to pass it off as “I just can’t right now”. I have worked to train myself to have a mental alarm that goes off when I start to make frivolous excuses. Truth is that I don’t always win the battle. There have been many times that I have given in to the “I’m tired. I’ll do it tomorrow”, “Tomorrow will be better anyway”, or “I’m more of a morning person so I will do it then”. These are all excuses that I personally have used to make myself feel better about being lazy and to help me save face to my wife.

Excuses are most commonly used as a coping mechanism, especially when we have legitimate obstacles in our way, so we need to be very diligent in learning what’s true and what’s not. Everyone has some sort of reservations about venturing in to the unknown; and if they tell you they don’t, they’re lying. We MUST look truthfully at the roadblocks in front of us and figure out a way to get past them and not how fast we can give up without feeling bad about it.


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