Two and a half years ago, I made a promise to myself. It was a very simple promise. It went a little bit like this: no more excuses.
I was at home for the holidays and my dad did or said something that pissed me off. I felt horrible. Then I realized that a) my dad loves me b) my dad tries to do and say things differently because he knows his ways sometimes upset me. So even if he still does and says things that upset me, I know he cares. He loves me.
Now, I was having PMS. So my emotions were going haywire. But I still realized that I can’t sit and mope about whatever shit my dad did in my childhood that fucked me up, or whatever he does today to piss me off. It’s my life. I’m responsible for my emotions. And my father loves me, so why do I get upset? Why do I blame him for MY emotions? And MY life?
We were all wounded as children. If it wasn’t our own family, it was society, some other adults, or some kids that did a number on our heads. But when we become adults it’s our responsibility to become who we want to be. No matter what baggage we were left with as children.
Do you have excuses?
I can’t have a good life, because I’m not earning enough money. I can’t find a partner, because I’m not good looking enough. I can’t meet deadlines, because I’m bad with estimating time. I can’t be on time, because that’s just the way I am. I can’t have a functional social life, because I’m constantly traveling (don’t ask me how many times I’ve used that one). I can’t exercise, because I’m lazy. I can’t make friends, because I’m shy. I can’t eat well, because I was raised on fast foods (or better yet: because I don’t have the time).
Some excuses are sneakier. I did well today, I deserve a cookie. I had a bad day, I deserve a shopping spree. I am tired, I deserve to leave work early today. I feel like shit, I deserve a night in bed instead of exercising. Do you deserve those things? Or do you deserve something that will ACTUALLY make you feel better in the long run? Such as being happy, healthy, fit and financially free?
Established neurological routes make us prefer to do what we’re used to, even if it’s not the thing that will make us feel better in the end. That’s why we have to constantly make ourselves aware of where we want to go and what we want to establish. I want to be fit, healthy, happy, financially secure, a good mother, etc. will drive you to make the right decisions. Focus on what’s working already, what is currently making you happy and where you want to go — your end result. Such as being fit, being happy, being a good mother etc. and let that inform you as to how you spend your time/make your choices. I also recently read a lot about using psychedelics to change your habits and I FINALLY listened to the abridged version of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, but I’ll write more about that tomorrow.
When I made that decision about no more excuses, I was pretty far down a hole I’d dug myself into, running around like a mad chicken trying to get a visa to raise the twins and launch a business, to get the visa, and make a living doing something I wasn’t enjoying, because I couldn’t get a job in South Africa, because I didn’t have a visa. My list of excuses were endless but they all came back to the visa. Couldn’t have a job, couldn’t have stable finances, couldn’t have the kids, couldn’t have a stable social life, couldn’t have a relationship because of the visa. I felt helpless to my own life. I couldn’t see a way out. I kept going, but didn’t know how to get through. I was miserable. I was happier as a person than I had been as I’d worked on myself, but I was miserable with circumstance.
I decided to embrace what I had. I had two kids I helped raising. Adoption rights be damned, stable visa be damned: I was going to do what I could with the resources I had. So I started doing what I could with them without money and a visa — started coming up with things we could do without finances. And when I was on the other side of the world, I vowed to do my best to focus on what I could do: work and visa, instead of fretting about the children. I also made a decision that if I didn’t get my visa, didn’t get the kids, I still needed to find happiness. And I was in a space where part of me felt like I could just die if it didn’t go through. But that’s not the mother I wanted to be; not the rolemodel I wanted to be.
That decision changed my life. But when I ran into more visa problems just as I thought things were working out, I hit a dark space again. The nightmares about the kids came back. My paranoia that I wasn’t far enough along with my finances, my career, my social life, my love life…everything fell on my head. That’s when I got a coach. Because I realized I needed to do something differently. If what I’d done up till then hadn’t been working, someone needed to bring me new ideas to work with. And that totally changed my life.
I started spending time making new friends, even if I was just passing by (mainly because my best friend called me on my BS around that one — told me to suck it up and get out there even if I was just passing by as I happened to be in Athens with her). I started dating again, even if I was just passing by. I started working on getting better freelance work, even if it wasn’t my dream work. I started exercising again, even if it wasn’t my dream way to exercise because that was too pricey and would take up too much of my time. I started doing everything I could within my means to change my life around. Not surprisingly, I started feeling a lot better.
That’s not to say I didn’t have difficulties along the way. I did. A lot. Because I was pretty far down that hole and I was in a very difficult situation with the kids and the visa. I know all too well what it feels like waking up in the middle of the night shaking from worry and fear. But did I want to feel that way for the rest of my life? No. So I started to fight for change.
My coach says there’s only one creative structure: taking action to get from where you are to where you need to be and stop at nothing to get there. Engage your will. If one thing doesn’t work, you try another, until you get there. If you engage your intuition, instead of acting out learned behavior, chances are you’ll get there sooner. As our subconscious tends to dictate our behavior. Which is why getting someone else to give you some pointers as to what thoughts are really in control of your life, is rather useful.
I still have excuses in my life. I’m human. Oops, that’s an excuse. But I see the excuses now. And I tackle one after the other.
If you only have the energy/time for five minutes of exercise a day, then exercise for five minutes. If you don’t have time to change your eating habits around, then at least drink a green juice a day, or eat a raw apple and carrot a day. If you’re petrified of people but want a social life, then find a way of socializing where you aren’t petrified. If you don’t have time to work on your relationship but want to improve it, then spend five minutes a day doing something for your partner/connecting with your partner. If you want to start saving money, but don’t have money to save, then save a penny a day, or spend five minutes a day on building an extra income. If you would like to start a business/change your career, then spend five minutes a day on it. And if you don’t know how to do something, it’s not an excuse. Just Google it. Incredible invention.
There are usually a way to find a way around your own lousy excuses for why your life stinks. The first one is deciding there are no excuses. The second deciding you have the power to change your life. You are a powerful creator. After all, look at what you’ve created so far. Even if it wasn’t great, you created it. Now you can create something else. And once you start doing something small, you realize you have the power to do something big. Also, start thinking about what you HAVE accomplished that are good, the things that are currently working in your life and what you’re grateful for.
Start calling yourself on your own bullshit. There are no excuses. Even if you can’t do what you want, do what you can. Even if it’s the tiniest thing ever. Do something. Anything. To move your life forward. One step at a time.
And if you don’t have time for sex, I’d recommend you’d get really good at giving people orgasms in five minutes, or less.
Yours truly, over and out.