I’m great at making up excuses. In fact, if you ask me about almost any scenario I probably already have some written; please refer to page 3928 of my imaginary #BookOfExcuses. I think it sneaks into my back pocket most days and I find myself reading it before I realize I’ve opened the book. It’s almost like a reflex; one I would rather not have. But unfortunately I was born into a long line of over-thinkers and worriers. And so here I am, #BookOfExcuses and all. [And yes, I do realize I’m now giving you excuses for why I have excuses.]
Once I become aware of what I’m doing I quickly get frustrated. I can argue with myself for hours; reasons the excuses are valid and necessary and reasons the excuses are just in the way. [I’m beginning to learn that both of these things can be true at the same time. And neither one means you turn around and walk out of the story.] If I look backwards I can see the countless times the excuses were nothing more than fear or doubt. Not monsters and dragons standing in the doorway. Just roadblocks – some more real than others – trying to derail the story. And sure, some of them become part of the story. Some of them thicken the plot – but others are simply creatures I dream up to serve no purpose other than staying small; staying safe.
I’ve been working on it; trying to be aware of the excuses like red flags, sending up flares that something in my story needs attention. Some days I find myself surrounded by warning signs from the moment my feet hit the floor. And I’m swallowed by a tornado of frustration and fear and exhaustion without opening my eyes. But, as with all progress – there are also some great days. The days I shrink the fear monsters and self doubt dragons with some fairy dust and I’m on my way. Ready to tell my story; courage over comfort. I even manage to leave my #BookofExcuses at home; traveling lighter with more space to say yes.
Oddly enough, the great days are when I find myself frustrated with the people around me. Those days, instead of calling with my list of all the excuses for why I can’t or won’t or don’t want to fight my battles, I am on the phone tumbling into a whirlwind of reasons to push past the excuses – wade through the bullshit – own your story. With no time or space for any hurdles. In these moments I can feel myself wanting to slay the dragons for whoever is on the other side. Wanting them to feel the magic that comes from simply saying yes; walking past the excuses and opening to opportunity. But, as Brené Brown taught us – “hope is a function of struggle”. And so instead I sit on my soap box rambling on about being bigger and louder than excuses and chasing dreams and filling space and all sorts of other random things. Which I’m sure is confusing – but most of my tribe members seem to be good at adjusting.
My goal for this month? When the excuses sneak back into the story; when I’m reciting them on autopilot?
Stop. Drown them out. Be louder. Be braver. Say Yes.
Over And Out,
Side note: New adventures are always waiting; you just gotta be open and ready. No excuses necessary. (#NoQuitterFritters optional.)