In the face of tribulation, an excuse is a convenient way to delay consequences. It allows people to partly own up to their mistakes without direct confrontation or accountability. Excuses are a comfortable means of engaging in risk-taking behaviors without guilt. Their power wears off over time, and the truth inevitably unfolds along with repercussions.
Fortunately, teenagers can identify excuses for inadvisable and even dangerous choices. Practicing self-awareness and critical thinking is essential when navigating daily life. Therefore, identifying troublesome thought patterns is necessary to avoid making poor decisions. Here are common excuses that may result in remorse.
#1. I’ll Get a Chance Later
When bypassing significant opportunities, this excuse gives the illusion that every moment can be replayed. If you don’t feel like pursuing your dreams, why not chase them later? Unfortunately, this mindset causes individuals to stunt progress and procrastinate.
It’s a nasty cycle that starts with a single thought. The chances of receiving the same opportunities you passed on are slim in the real world. If a person doesn’t accept a promotion, another will. Above all, it is never guaranteed that you will receive another chance at an experience you passed by.
#2. I’ll Stop in the Future
People who engage in unhealthy behaviors often use this excuse to quit later. These tendencies can apply to vaping, gluttony, and even underage drinking. These actions can have detrimental consequences in the future, some of which may be permanent.
If you feel tempted to start an unhealthy habit, avoid falling into the pitfall of “quitting later.” Consider seeking support and positive coping mechanisms. A general guideline is: If it’s not good for you now, it probably won’t benefit you in the future. Harmful habits are challenging to break, so it is best to identify and avoid them in the first place.
#3. This Won’t Happen to Me
Many people who died in tragic accidents or formed powerful addictions did not believe potential consequences would impact them. If someone participates in a dangerous activity, there is always a risk of an unfortunate outcome. This excuse is responsible for thousands of regrets, primarily from people who believed they could escape the toll of their actions.
As a teenager, you have your entire life ahead of you. Don’t miss out on success and good health for temporary risks that could become permanent decisions. If you believe a particular action could have negative impacts, refuse temptation and avoid it.
#4. I’ll Just Do It Once
It only takes one try at something before a person is susceptible to continuous attempts. For example, BCC reports that most people who try a single cigarette become daily smokers. This excuse underestimates the potential that a single poor decision can have on a person’s life.
Listen to your gut instincts. If you are unsure if an action will lead to life-changing habits, it is best to avoid it.
If you feel tempted to engage in unhealthy activities, communicate these feelings to people you trust. Sharing your thoughts with supportive people will decrease the likelihood of acting on them. Meditation and journaling can help you analyze situations and the underlying reasons for these temptations.
#5. They Won’t Find Out
Often, teenagers attempt to hide their poor behavior patterns from their parents and friends. Believing that these habits can be concealed is in vain. The consequences, whether physical or situational, will eventually reveal themselves.
This excuse also applies to gossip and backbiting. Just as a circle has no points, the truth cycles back to its recipients.
Before you share information about yourself and others, consider the intentions behind it. Once you say something, you can never truly take it back. Don’t assume people will not realize you have been engaging in unhealthy activities or wronging them. It’s never worth it.
#6. I Have Plenty of Time
While teenagers have their whole lives ahead of them, this excuse can limit their progress. It starts to cause procrastination over the years until the opportunities a person delays pass. Having many years to achieve something doesn’t mean you should begin when the time is almost up. Always aim to improve yourself, and don’t give up on your goals.
This excuse can also apply to people who have poor habits. They don’t find a need to attempt to redefine themselves since there is always the future to break these tendencies. This excuse results in a brutal cycle in which you don’t see the loop until you’re deep into it. The best antidote to this seemingly endless circle is using each day as a new opportunity for self-actualization and personal growth.
#7. It Will Be Fun
When making terrible choices, a perceived benefit often encourages them. Nobody would speed on the roads late at night without the thrill. If only repercussions were tied to an action, then a person would likely avoid it.
If you know an action is wrong, consider its consequences. They often outweigh the previous benefits you thought before. Are the “upsides” worth it, or are they fleeting moments of artificial happiness?
Punishments don’t fade quickly like the joy of temporary decisions. Consider all the factors tied into a choice before making it.
#8. Everyone Else is Doing It
Is everyone engaging in risky behavior? That is probably false. Your mind lies to you when it says everyone is doing something except you.
There are other people out there who make healthy decisions and avoid dangerous trends. Don’t conform to peer pressure if you know a decision has terrible consequences.
You aren’t missing out by practicing healthy habits and fostering personal growth. Passing on the best future you can have is a heavier burden than staying home that Friday night. Always consider the consequences of procrastination and poor decisions before you make them.
If you have a gut instinct or instinctively know an activity is wrong, follow your intuition. After all, self-awareness will never lead you astray.
These common excuses can have detrimental impacts on your mindset and decision-making abilities. Even when excuses are easier to manage than facing mistakes, they are more harmful in the long run. It is best to take accountability for yourself and your actions.
After all, self-improvement starts with honesty and a willingness to improve. Always think critically, practice compassion, and accept accountability before poor decisions have been made.