The Metaphorical Crutch: 4 Excuses Millennials Lean On To Avoid Failure

by JY Lim
Paramount Pictures

I believe we all have the intrinsic desire to be larger than life.

We want to have our names etched into hearts, screamed across stadiums or printed into magazines, newspapers and history books.

There is a deep-seated, basic yearning for great things in our lives and for accomplishment.

I believe that makes us all a little bit wannabe-perfectionists.

But, what makes us so entirely different from practicing perfectionists, and even more pressingly, those who are already successful?

We all have that one crutch.

It’s that one excuse we cling onto. It’s our inner mantra for when we start feeling bad about ourselves. It’s the antidote to the bitter pill of truth we swallow when we don’t come up to par.

It’s something we’ve said so many times that it starts to lose its true meaning. It becomes our go-to for all our failings. It's a generalized justification.

We close our eyes when we fall, and we become numb to it all.

Then, from the ground, we prop ourselves up with these words and carry on:

1. I’m too lazy.

Well, sh*t. You’ve just been excused of all responsibility for great expectations.

I've heard this excuse too often, and from what I’ve gathered, it's used too flippantly. It is most likely the truth because you’re too lazy to even come up with a better excuse.

You’re saying all you had to do — all you ever had to do — was work harder, and you could’ve gotten what you wanted? That's an incredible insult to yourself.

The solution is simple: Work, b*tch.

2. I don’t have the same resources as someone else. (Or, I’m never going to be good enough anyway, so why try?)

Comparisons have always been a huge smack in the face for me. Though for the most part, they have been a self-inflicted strike.

We all begin at different starting lines, and our courses differ in length, obstacles and helping hands.

Some people are brighter. Some people are richer. Some people are more outgoing, more charismatic.

Some people are prettier. Some people are more talented.

Is it hopeless to fight the gap? Hopeless is a rather brutal conviction.

My crutch falls under this category. My crutch is I have anxiety.

My crutch provides justification for why I can’t be as vocal, make as many connections or sit in social situations without feeling like I'm a bumbling fool.

The fact it’s my "crutch" doesn’t discount the fact it's a real problem. But, it’s become my be- and end-all of a defense when I stumble. Sometimes, it's one I even feel entitled to.

It's blindingly terrifying to be so afraid of all the things you want. It doesn’t come as easily to me. Eventually, I picked up a habit of taking "mental health days," but maybe that's not the best idea.

Sometimes, our crutches are real difficulties. Yes, crutches are a form of acceptance for our flaws. Yet surely, even then, we can attempt to break the mold we’ve set ourselves in.

How? Ask for help. Learn. Practice, practice, practice.

Be the best self you can be, and f*ck the comparisons. Outgrow yourself and all your ghosts.

3. I missed my chance.

Opportunities may come few and far between. They are fleeting, and most damningly, they are haunting. When you miss an opportunity, it’s so incredibly hard to let go of it.

You tend to beat yourself up about it. But, if you’ve missed it more than twice, then it’s time to shake yourself awake. Obviously, you’re missing them intentionally, or at least subconsciously.

You're self-sabotaging.

If you want something enough, you train yourself to recognize the signs of its coming. It’s impossible not to.

For some reason, you’re not preparing yourself to pounce on it. Maybe you don’t think you can do it, or maybe you falter in your stalk forward.

Your dreams are supposed to scare you. Take a deep breath, and take the plunge.

More often than not, opportunities take work to find. There are breadcrumbs leading up to these doors you want to open.

Your chances are everywhere, every day. Look harder.

 4. I didn’t really want it that bad.

Maybe the aforementioned course has a closer finishing line for you, or the pace at which you run it doesn't matter to you. In that case, I am extremely happy for you.

I’ve always envied the balanced, zen souls of the world, who are eminently content with the things that they have. Good for you.

But if this is a lie, I hope you stop telling it.

We all struggle with the idea of mediocrity. The truth is, we need our crutches.

Before I found my crutch, I was ridden with guilt, which built up my anxiety even further.

A crutch is synonymous to an aid, but we all know it’s often misused for exoneration from the pressure to be great, or from the heaviness of failing.

Its use as an excuse stifles the little spark of potential we have in each of us.

Don’t let it keep you rooted. Know it for what it is, know yourself for who you are and do what you have to do. Go where you want to go.