At some point, your desire to create something must become greater than the desire to make excuses. This has to become a life-altering, no-going-back, holy shit change in your orientation to your entire life. You have to know how to stop making excuses.
Your desire to create must become bigger than your desire to make excuses.
When you desire making excuses, life is all about short-term gains. Avoiding the hard conversations. Wiggling out on making the tough calls. Not needing to admit to mistakes. Getting the little trinket or the high-thread-count sheets, as a salve for some other disappointment.
When your desire to create something becomes greater than the excuses, those short-term gains start to feel empty in comparison to what’s possible, long-term.
And in-between these two places, there is wide open space and a yawning gap of fear.
There is Never Enough Time or Money
When the desire to make excuses is greater, it seems logical that there’s not enough time or money to [insert desired life experience].
Truth: There’s never enough time. We’d always like more.
Truth: There’s never enough money. More would always be helpful.
You know in your soul, when you truly want something. And if you want it badly enough, you’ll find a way to get it.
There is No Right Time
When the desire to make excuses is greater, the somatic experience of fear in the body can have you thinking that yeah, you want that life, but you’re waiting for the “right time.”
There is no right time. Not really. All the variables could be lined up and then something unforeseen could happen that tips things in the wrong direction. And, just as often, someone decides to do something brazen with her life at just the moment when everyone said that it would fail, and it doesn’t.
The timing isn’t what has to be right. What has to be right is that you will not, under any circumstances, resist the call of what you know you long for.
In Ten Years…You’ll Be Ten Years Older
You’re too old? It’ll take too long to create what you want? Well, you know, maybe it will take ten years for you to get there—but in ten years, you’ll be ten years older.
Do you want to be ten years older, having dedicated a decade to what you really want?
Or do you want to be ten years older, having numbed out with piss-poor substitutes?
Who do YOU want to be?
No, Substitutes are Not Good Enough
So what you’ve got now is basically workable, so you should be happy with that? Um, no.
Nearly a decade ago, I realized that I was in a salaried teaching job that had all sorts of great selling points. Summers off. No cubicle. No boss monitoring my every move. I could choose what books I taught the students and create my own curriculum. Health insurance. A good salary.
It was basically workable.
But the thing is, I’m not here to live a “basically workable” life. I’m here to live my courageous life. I want to wake up in the morning feeling 100% fully-alive, not “basically workable.”
Here’s what I also know about “basically workable:” The things that I didn’t like about that job? They drove me crazy. They drove me so crazy that by Saturday night, I’d feel my mood drop because tomorrow was Sunday, and Sunday was the day before Monday—and Monday, I had to go to the job that was “basically workable.”
Know Your Reasons
If you’re currently not doing something that some small part of you wants to do, yearns to do, always perks up when she thinks about doing it, know why.
Be very clear that the reason why you aren’t taking steps towards that dream have nothing to do with lack of time, or lack of money, or not right timing, or because “basically workable” is such an alluring life proposition.
Know that the reason why you’re choosing the excuses over the desire to create is that you’re afraid.
Let me tell you, I love you for that. I get afraid, too. I catch myself making the same excuses about money and time, too. I coast on “basically workable” sometimes, too.
I have no interest in putting you down or shaming you for being afraid. This is not a “kick in the ass” for you to start going after what you want.
This is the call to get present to what you do, and why you do it. Get present to your choices. Get present to the way you reason things out in your head.
In the same way that I love you enough that I’d never want to shame you for your fear, I love you enough that I’d never want to not speak the truth, all to spare you some discomfort.
This is the truth: your life is important, and your dreams matter, and when you routinely make excuses that keep you from living your courageous life, you sell yourself and the rest of us short.
That’s uncomfortable for all of us to get present to, me included.
My hope is that if you recognize yourself in these words, you’ll get up from the computer or put down the device in your hand. My hope is that you’ll say, “I’m not waiting another minute.” My hope is that you’ll write down, hands shaking, the truth-truth-truth of what you really want. My hope is that you’ll decide that even if all of the odds appear to be against you, you’ll trust that the world—that we—are rooting for you to win.
My hope is that knowing that, you’ll get out there and do something with your courageous life.