Making Excuses

How often do you do something “wrong”–either by your own perception or by someone else’s–and immediately try to find ways that it wasn’t your fault?

Today I almost hit a car in the parking lot backing out and my very first reaction (after “oh my God”) was “well the idiot shouldn’t have been backing out at the same time as me!”

He honked at me, so I’m willing to bet that’s exactly what he was saying about me.

Is this a natural human reaction? A reflex we learn in active addiction? Certainly it’s a narcissistic trait. No one wants to be wrong, or in the wrong.

But it’s what happens next that really matters.

A true sign of growth for me is the ability to follow up that initial “it’s not my fault” reaction with a genuine and thorough, “searching and fearless inventory.” of what exactly I did do wrong.

I had a blind spot. He wasn’t there when I started backing out. I wasn’t really that close to hitting him.

But I didn’t check thoroughly before I started backing out. And if he hadn’t have honked at me, I might have hit him.

I had a teacher who used to say “excuses are nails used to build a house of failure.” A bit harsh for a nunch of 10 year olds, but it’s something I’ve only just started to understand.

Excuses keep us from growing. From moving forward. Excuses hinder our progress.

What if I had allowed myself to follow that thought process to the very end? It wasn’t my fault. He shouldn’t have been backing out. Never mind that he had every right that I had to do so. He should have looked for ME first.

Where does that get me? Likely into an accident the very next day.

When we admit our faults and our mistakes, we’re able to leard from them.

I learned I have a blind spot.

I learned to take another second to get a better look before backing out.

In a bigger way I learned that life is full of tiny, seemingly insignificant choices. But making the wrong one can completely derail our lives.

It’s all about choices.

Choose to admit your mistakes. Learn from them. Grow as a person. Don’t crash your car and derail your life because you refuse to be wrong.

Hold yourselves accountable, friends. One small decision at a time.

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