Excuses vs Reasons

An excuse is defined as – seek to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offence); try to justify.

I am a Queen of Excuses. I have spent my entire life, giving excuses as to why I could not do this and that. When you grow up in a certain environment where excuses abound there really is not much reason to not make excuses. There I go making an excuse again!

What I am trying to say is, when we make a mistake, or we didn’t do something that we said we would, or we broke a promise or we failed an exam, or anytime anything negative happens, our first instinct is to justify ourselves. It’s almost like we are getting attacked and we go into defense mode. The truth though is, when people ask you questions as to why it didn’t happen or went wrong, they are just asking for information’s sake, to understand, they are not pointing long scary fingers accusingly in your face, at least not always; but our own guilt and deep-rooted knowledge that we could have done it better, that we should have done it better lead us to come up with excuses and get defensive.

A reason is defined as – a cause, explanation, or justification for an action or event.

A reason is a completely different thing! Reasons are valid! They are circumstances completely out of your control. They just pop up all at once, leaving you gobsmacked with a ludicrous look on your face. You did your best but you could not make it happen, could not reach that goal!

Reasons are acceptable. Excuses are not. A life filled with excuses is incomplete. It’s a life half-lived.

The problem is most of us know this, but we get lost in the hanging gardens of excuses and reasons. It’s not always easy to tell the fine difference between an excuse and a reason. I think one way to avoid making so man excuses throughout life is to take a minute to ponder, think. Usually excuses are given quickly. When you are faced with a situation where you have fallen short of expectations, don’t rush to justify yourself. Take a moment, think could you have done it better and if the answer to that question is ‘yes’, then say so. That is all. Don’t go to explain the why unless it is a reason.

Let’s be honest we respect people who are honest, who do not make excuses in life. So if we respect that in people, why can’t we try to be more of a person we, ourselves, would respect?


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