I don’t believe in excuses. Instead, I believe in growth. There will never come a day when I will look in the mirror and say, “Way to go! You’ve grown as much as you can. There’s nothing more to do or to learn. Great job!” No matter how much we learn and grow there’s always more. And I, personally, don’t believe we can grow or reach our full potential when we mire ourselves in excuses.
There may be limitations that make it more difficult. For example, my sensory-seeking autistic son has a hard time keeping his hands to himself. He experiences the world through touch. His instinct is to touch whoever is close to him, whether he knows them or not, whether he’s gotten their approval or not. His form of autism also makes it difficult to understand social ques or situations like people having a “bubble” of personal space around them. However, I have not let him use this as an excuse. His teachers and I have been working very hard to help him understand that it’s not appropriate to touch people at school or when he’s in line at an amusement park or in the store, etc. It has been a huge challenge because of his autism, yet he’s getting better at it. He’s learning. He’s growing. Just like we all can.
Some people use mental illness as an excuse. I think there are certain behaviors or feelings that can be explained about mental illness, but there’s a difference between an explanation and an excuse, especially if that excuse hurts others. By not allowing myself excuses I have given myself room to grow. That doesn’t mean I grow every day or do better every single day, but I am trying, and I believe it has made a huge difference in how I approach each day and what I’m able to accomplish. Cutting excuses is the beginning of perpetual growth. It may be more difficult with mental illness or other “limitations” we have, but we can do it. I know we can.