7 Things That Lurk Beneath Excuses

No Excuses1

Most girls love slumber parties. I am not most girls. In fact, when I was in elementary school, I gave some pretty crazy excuses for why I was unable to attend the slumber parties I was invited to!

In spite of my outgoing nature, I prefer solitude, quiet, and small groups – all the things that a slumber party is not.

I remember being invited to one friend’s slumber party to celebrate her birthday and rather than decline the invitation, I gave my friend an excuse: I needed to wash my hair that night. Now, I can’t explain why I offered that excuse, but it was the excuse I shared.

Now it was true that my mother did perform a complicated nightly ritual that turned my fine hair into a fluffy mass of ringlets. It involved twisting little bits of hair and securing them with crisscrossed bobby pins. A damp head covered in a hundred crisscrossed bobby pins made sleeping an adventure!

The truth: she never performed this ritual on Friday nights, and the slumber party was on Friday night.

Long story short, my friend’s mom called my mom to see if the hair washing could be done on another night only to discover my mom knew nothing about the slumber party invitation or my hair washing excuse.

If I’m honest with myself, my excuse was really a lie. I just didn’t want to go!

I’m sharing my silly excuse of my yester-years as an example of how there is much more lurking beneath excuses. Excuses are a sign that I am unwilling to be honest with myself or with others.

Excuses come in a variety of forms. Which of these excuses do you relate to?

  • I am too young/old to….
  • It is not the right time to…
  • I can’t do…
  • I am too overwhelmed
  • I have kids/I don’t have kids…
  • I am too busy to…
  • I have not yet completed my plans for…
  • It might not succeed so…
  • I am under qualified to…
  • I don’t have the money to…
  • I am still in the process of exploring…
  • I don’t know enough about “X” to pursue…
  • Everyone/no one is doing…
  • I don’t know anyone who can help me…
  • I have no idea where to start…
  • I have never done “X” before…
  • There are others who are better at…
  • It is hard for a man/woman to do…
  • I have tried before and it failed…
  • I don’t have what it takes to…
  • Better to not to try than to fail at…
  • I already have too many things on my plate to…
  • I need to figure out all the steps before I…
  • I don’t have the right credentials to…
  • I am not that creative to…
  • There are just too many obstacles to…
  • I don’t want to do “X” because I might not finish…
  • I will start “X” once I finish…
  • Everyone will think I am crazy if…
  • I can’t do “X” because I lack technical skills…

Had I been more confident back in elementary school I would have just told my friend the truth: that I would not be at the slumber party. No excuse was needed.

Excuses have a way of holding me back and keeping me from embracing my full potential and calling when I make that about more important matters.

Excuses hide things like…

1. Fear

We all have a fear that repeatedly pops up and causes us to avoid certain situations or behave in funky ways that limit us personally and professionally! I call that kind of fear my Fear Monster. Too often he’s at work and you don’t even know it! The first step to stopping him in his tracks is becoming more aware of what he’s up to. Then leaning into who God created you to be BE. That changes everything!

There are also fears like the fear of failing, that I won’t have what it takes, or fear of what others will think. Fear of the unknown can be paralyzing or fear that it could be painful. The possibilities are endless. Some of these connect back to my Fear Monster, others are separate, but no less limiting.

In order to overcome fear, I must face it head on. That’s hard! The good news: it’s worth it! And the more I face my fears the easier it gets and the more my confidence grows.

2. Self-Doubt

Stepping out int the unknown and doing something new is scary! That triggers all sorts of self-doubt. However, If I avoid venturing out, I will never know if I have what it takes and I will miss out on growing and developing myself in life-changing ways! Ultimately, it isn’t about me having what it takes, it’s about depending on God for help – He’s everything I need!

3. I Don’t Want It Bad Enough

Anything I want, really want, I will fight for and do what it takes to get it. The best things take hard work, perseverance, and determination. It costs something to fully commit.

4. I’m Not Taking Responsibility

Excuses are a way of shifting the blame onto someone else or something else rather than taking responsibility and being proactive. Ultimately, what I am in charge of me and what I do with my life.

5. I’m Feeling Unworthy

Nothing will sabotage success like feeling of unworthy! Until that belief is explored and dismantled, I will continue to make excuses and keep myself stuck.

6. I’m Procrastinating

Procrastination is the silent excuse that allows me to keep putting off what needs to be done so that I am able to accomplish my goals, realize my dreams, or fully step into my purpose. In essence, I am working against myself and thwarting the opportunity to grow and step into all that God’s created me to BE!

7. Disobedience

God has BIG things in mind for me and you to do for Him. Much more than I am able to do on my own! It requires my complete dependence on Him. It means stepping outside my comfort zone, which feels uncertain, scary, and hard, so I make excuses. And as long as I am making excuses and not embracing what He wants me to do or be, I’m walking in disobedience.

Making an excuse to avoid a slumber party was a silly. I really just didn’t want to be there. As an adult, the excuses I make have a much greater impact.

Excuses limit me personally and professionally! They keep my life small. The keep me from getting where I want to be. And excuses prevent me from living in a way that brings God glory. I want my life to make a difference and to be filled with meaning.

How about you? What’s lurking underneath your excuses?

Take the No Excuses 7 Day Challenge! Sign up here.

Originally posted on 7/28/14 – this post has been revised just for YOU!

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her clients beat stress, fear, and floundering so that they can lead with courage, get results & THRIVE! Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.

6 Comments

  1. Avatar Mike Good on July 28, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    I find that the longer I think about something, the more excuses develop. I never end up with more reasons why I should do something, only reasons why I shouldn’t. If I have an initial feeling of dread, I try to take immediate action to avoid this rush of negativity. I also try very hard not to make excuses when telling someone I don’t want to do something. Someone close to me always uses an excuse to “soften the blow”, and this generally leads to me having to cover for them – something, I’m not comfortable with but do anyway.

    • Marvae Marvae on July 28, 2014 at 9:47 pm

      Thanks for sharing Mike. Putting things off, or procrastinating, does have a way of magnifying the reasons NOT to do something. In my experience excuses rarely soften the blow. What would happen if you chose not to cover for the person you mentioned?

  2. Avatar Angela Edwards on July 28, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Awesome article! I can think of a time or two (or three, or….) when I have used an invalid excuse. I oftentimes kick myself afterwards for not being 100% honest. What’s the worst that could happen if I choose to be HONEST? Not get asked again? Hmm… Okay. I truly appreciate your words, “As an adult, the excuses I make have greater consequences.” There is SO much truth in that! As an adult, I have learned that my ‘YES’ means yes and my ‘NO’ means no. As you said: No excuse is necessary!

    • Marvae Marvae on July 28, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Angela! They are much appreciated.
      Letting your YES be yes and your NO be no is wise. And when I am tempted to say otherwise it is time for me to explore what’s underneath that. 🙂

  3. Avatar April on February 5, 2020 at 8:37 am

    You may have posted a version of this 6 years ago, but the message is timeless. Honesty with myself and others in the smallest point. I’m forever tempted to rationalize avoidance for something I don’t want to undertake, and this is a good reminder to be straightforward and honest with both the process and the outcome. Thanks for re-posting a truth that never goes out of date.

    • Marvae Eikanas Marvae Eikanas on February 5, 2020 at 9:05 am

      Thanks April! Honesty is a timeless truth!

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