We hear them constantly.
Whether it’s, “Now is not the right time,” “There’s nothing I can do,” “I got stuck in traffic,” or “I had to work late,” our lives can sometimes seem to be a constant web of excuses.
We’re all aware of excuses that we hear, but what about our own excuses? You know, the ones we use to rationalize the truth, explain a mistake, or handle a work/life situation?
According to Harvard Medical School psychologist Susan David in her book, Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life, “Making excuses is normal.”
David explains how “it’s important that we have narratives that help us make sense of our lives and worlds.” However, she cautions against allowing excuses to become so prominent that they hold you back, and compromise your hearts and values.
When Excuses Overwhelm Reality
Being aware of your excuse-making helps determine whether it’s the thinker or the thought in charge.
If the thinker is in charge, then you’ve retained control over the excuse. When the thought takes charge, then you’re not making personal progress.
How does one discern the difference between the thinker and the thought? Here are two important signals:
When you spot these warning signs you know that you thoughts are in charge. For such situations David details some tips to get back in the driver’s seat.
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