It’s so easy to have an excuse. Nowadays everything has become a reason to skip out on things you are expected to do. We all may have busy lives, exceptional circumstances or unforeseen problems, but have you ever stopped to analyze your excuses? How valid would they have been to your parents’ generation? I am not trying to be insensitive at all, but could you be missing out on life due to your own self-justification? You can end up abusing your future through excessive excuses.

I’ve lived with many excuses in my life. Here are a few that have allowed me to feel sorry for myself and have robbed me of great opportunity.

I’m tired

For any single millennial – all you have to do is say that to a new parent to feel how foolish the statement is. If you are struggling with energy levels, what are the reasons? Before pulling out of your responsibility, maybe just ask that question. Did you get enough sleep? If not, why not? Caffeine too late at night? Watching movies? Texting friends or bae? Not eating properly? Not washing your bedding? Absence of a routine? Residual stress and anger due to days’ events?

In all of our excuses, we have to take some form of responsibility. It is easier to play the ‘victim card’ and abdicate from life than it is to own up to your role in why things are harder to do.

It’s too ‘out of the way’

This one cost me missing one of my good friends’ engagement celebrations. I didn’t have money for petrol – and that was due to some careless financial decisions. But if I had known that it was going down, I would have definitely made a way to get there.

You never know what opportunity may arise out of you simply saying “yes” and committing to it. I don’t even want to think about the possibilities that lay on the other side of my excuses. My life could be completely different. I pray that we are not a generation that will miss out on the God-ordained encounters and ‘coincidences’ due to our weak excuses.

It’s not my scene

I get social anxiety. It may sound weird to some people who know me, but it is a factor in everything I do. I have improved immensely with the help of the environment of church and some great friendships, but there are times when I still find every fiber of my being wanting to retreat into a quiet ‘hole’ somewhere.

The times I have overcome that urge, however, are the times that I have found some of my greatest friends and mentors. They are the times I realized people valued my presence and my opinion. They are the times I have realized that my own story is unique and interesting – valid and even powerful. Using this specific excuse stems from identity issues, but also reinforces insecurity. It’s a lethal cycle you don’t want to give power to in your life, trust me.

I don’t have time

This is one that I face with students especially. I get to work with a whole range of young adults as part of my ministry in local church and I believe unequivocally in the powerful potential university students have. But the stress of a degree and the demands of living independently can be overwhelming. Many struggle with time management as a result. Here are a few questions that have helped me and many others to not use this as an excuse:

How many series have you watched in the last 24 hours?

How much time have you spend on social media in the last 24 hours?

Have you asked someone to help you learn how to study?

What time did you go to sleep?

How long did you sleep for? (You’d be surprised how many people sleep over 10 hours)

I am never discrediting the fact that things are challenging when asking these questions. But from personal experience I know that using ‘I don’t have time’ as an excuse diminishes your worldview and places strain on your mental ability. Engaging with people and situations outside of your immediate world will help reset your perspective and encourage you to work and live better.

In conclusion, I just want to give credit to the people who – despite valid excuses – choose to be responsible and carry their weight. There are some who have not allowed poverty to be an excuse and have become incredibly successful. There are some who, despite debilitating health complications, consistently work and raise families. There are some who – despite traumatic abuse – have chosen to fight back and talk about their struggles so that others can also find hope. There are some who – despite being rejected and beaten down by society – choose to be persistent and keep showing up – keep trying.

I want to thank those ‘some’ for changing the world. I hope to be counted with you one day as well.

If you are struggling to overcome the realities of your situation or your past, there are people who would love to pray with you and encourage you. Leave a comment down below or click on the link below to find out more about how God can transform your perspective of life.

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