How To Stop Making Excuses & Start Making A Difference In Your Life
I feel the resistance grow inside me every day that passes where I don’t check into my body and soul. It’s killing me - both mentally and physically - to do this to myself. My mind finds excuses, cop-outs, and reasons to stay stagnant.
I’m tired, it’s hot, do it tomorrow…
None of it matters. For every excuse, I take a step backward in my practice. It’s been ages since I tried to meditate, ages since I sat down and worked with my breath, ages since I moved my body or my fingers across a keyboard. I lost track of my yoga practice and forgot I was a writer. I was too busy stuck in this self-dramatization my mind had created and forgotten what was important.
This resistance to doing feels like the world’s biggest pity party is being thrown in your honor and you can’t even bother to get up and attend. It starts by taking over the mind and spreading itself through the body until you’ve lost track of who you are.
Why We Make Excuses
Excuses will be with us until the end of time and you can bet that they are more than happy to wake up with you every morning and create a wall between you and your true north. What won’t be with us forever is the spark that is dying to be set free. Every time excuses win the spark is dampened and closer to going out for good. Every time you tell yourself no, the ability to say yes shrinks until you’re left with a regretful dream from your youth.
No one wants that.
We’ve all heard a million times that those on their deathbed regret not doing the things they love, yet we still continue to act as cogs in a machine. Why?
Because we’re fearful, lazy, and easily distracted.
How To Deal With Fear
Thanks to evolution, fear has proven to be something that we must be cautionary around. Yes, it is absolutely essential to take caution if you are face-to-face with a mountain lion. That fear is completely legitimate. But, if you’re fear is based on what someone will say because you decide to chase after your ambitions, then you need to hear this:
That fear is only acceptable in your life because it tells you you’re doing the right thing. You’re going in the right direction and something big is yet to come.
That fear is your ego and excuses working together to stop you from doing something you love. You know, so you can play it safe, avoid working hard, and avoid finding passion in your life. Sounds pretty boring, eh?
Stop Being Lazy
Laziness is an ally of fear that is holding you back and doesn't try and convince yourself that because you go to work 40 hours a week and go to the gym Monday-Friday you’re not lazy. You know what I mean when I say lazy.
If you weren’t lazy, you’d be much further along to accomplishing your dream and living a life that is truly fulfilling to you. It wouldn’t matter how many hours you had at work today because you’d find an extra hour to devote towards your passion. Plenty of people have done it, so why can’t you? What’s your excuse?
Call laziness out the second you see it. Are you turning on the TV immediately after you get home? That’s fine, why don’t you spend every commercial break working on your art or take an hour break in between episodes to work? Do you really want to finish the entire series of Girls tonight anyways?
You can find a distraction in everything. Seriously! I dare you to prove me wrong. We all know the biggest distraction is the smartphone in your pocket. They’re little lifesavers, but art destroyers as well. Social media, news, email, apps, it’s enough to keep you busy for hours.
When you find yourself closing out of an application only to open it again (cough, Instagram, cough) that means it is time to put your phone down. Hell, your phone should have been put in the corner long before that, but baby steps. It’s okay to get sucked in sometimes, but if your work is finding its demise because you can’t take your eyes away from the wrong screen - you have to cut it cold turkey. And by cold turkey, I mean put it in another room and don’t check it for another hour.
It’s not that hard. It’s not going anywhere and no one needs to talk to you that urgently. I promise.
Excuses will win sometimes and that’s okay, but take them like sick days. You’ve only got so many before you start going into the negative, or taking a step backward, and only use them when you really need them. Otherwise, it’s onwards and upwards for those shiny dreams of yours.