by Vanessa Petronelli |
Over the years I have discovered that excuses play a major role in why we often don’t make necessary changes in our lives.
These excuses stop us from moving forward, from taking more time for ourself, from investing in our well-being and ultimately the achievement of our dreams. They keep us playing small, and prevent us from becoming the most authentic and fullest version of ourselves.
These excuses keep us stuck in habits, patterns and loops that repeat over and over again. Our life eventually goes on autopilot.
Change isn’t easy. Sometimes it feels easier to stay on autopilot or in a comfort zone.
I know this personally. I also fell into this trap. Excuse after excuse. Story after story. For years, I prolonged the necessary changes in my life. Experiences had to become intense for me before I started to drop my excuses and take the required action steps to change my life for the better.
The funny thing is, my excuses and stories really masked the real reason why I didn’t want to change.
I was scared. I was terrified to change.
To progress. I didn’t know what was on the other side of change. I was accustomed to my life. The way things were. How I operated. And even though I wasn’t happy functioning this way, the risk to change was greater than the reward.
I was in fear and I convinced myself that I wasn’t ready. I actually believed my excuses. I gave my power away to those excuses. It was only until after the fact that I recognized that my excuses were masking my fear and paralyzing me from moving forward.
Looking back I often used only a few excuses to hide my fear. And I often hear those THREE infamous excuses coming out of other people’s mouths over and over again.
What are they?
“I don’t have the time.”
“I don’t have the money.”
“I’m just too busy!”
Any of those ring a bell? Let’s explore those excuses.
Lack Of Time
Lack of time is an excuse I hear often. How many times do you hear yourself saying…
“I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW TIME IS FLYING BY!!!” or “I HAVE NO TIME FOR ANYTHING THESE DAYS!”
I smile when I hear this. Because as much as this might feel real. It is an illusion.
It’s easy to believe that there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish your everyday tasks and responsibilities. Many of us try to squeeze in as much as we can in a day. But if you were to actually take the time to slow down, you might notice that a lack of time is really all in your head! How so?
The more that you reinforce that you “don’t have enough time,” you will continually create that as your reality. You will hold on to this belief for the rest of your life feeling like time is always running out. And all you have time for are your responsibilities. Your kids. Your job. Your “to do” lists.
When you are in this frame of mind, time is running YOU.
What you pay most attention to, you create. You’re a powerful being. You get to design your life. You have free will. Your perception of time has the ability to speed life up or to slow it down. It all comes down to choice. If you want to stop the perpetual cycle of time running YOU, then you need to start reprogramming your attitude and frame of mind around it.
Another important factor to consider is what you DO with your time. You might distract or keep yourself so busy with things that you THINK are important such as perusing your social media feeds. Or playing games on your smart phone. Or vegging out in front of the television for hours. It’s not that there is anything wrong with these activities, but they could be sucking your time and energy away from doing something more productive and beneficial for your wellbeing.
If you still buy into the belief that time isn’t on your side and there aren’t enough hours in your day, try this:
SLOW DOWN. Break your day down into segments. And be sure to BREATHE!
Start asking yourself in each segment of your day:
- What would make me feel most alive right now?
- Can I put something off for tomorrow or the next day?
- If I could create more time in my day what would I enjoy doing?
- Where is my belief about having no time coming from?
Becoming inquisitive and self-explorative always helps you to get a better idea of your motives and choices. You have more time in your schedule then you might think. It requires you to become self-aware. Slow down. Become present. Check in with yourself. And choose powerfully how and what you will spend your time and focus on.
If you put YOU as a priority, then you will always find the time.
Lack Of Money
Lack of money is a very common excuse people buy into (no pun intended). It is easy to believe that there isn’t enough. It is reinforced consistently in our society. Each of us have been conditioned to some extent to believe that there isn’t enough to go around. Only a certain amount of wealth is distributed amongst a small amount of the population. The rest have to work their entire lives to survive.
I am not naive. I know that a lack of money is a REAL issue for a large percentage of the world. It can be extremely challenging to downright impossible to think about investing in yourself when you are in survival mode.
And I am not suggesting to blow all of your savings on self-development courses or one-to-one coaching. I certainly am not encouraging you to go into the red either. Only you know the truth about your financial situation.
For those of you who aren’t facing financial woes this can be a very REAL excuse and story. I know how easy it is to penny pinch with yourself. To invest in everything and everyone else but YOU. Investing in YOU isn’t just about material items either. Investing in YOU means to invest in your whole well-being. Your mind. Your body. Your soul.
You are investing in discovering WHO YOU REALLY ARE from the inside out.
Lack is a mental state. It is a belief system rooted in limitation and fear. In order for you to reap the rewards of the abundant and prosperous Universe, it requires a drastic shift in your awareness and beliefs around money.
Investing in your inner game will give you the best return on investment (ROI).
An expensive dinner out won’t help you to let go of the patterns and habits that have been keeping you stuck. A trip to the mall won’t assist you in developing a deeper understanding of why your relationships aren’t working. That brand new car might get you around in style but it won’t teach you to develop stronger self-worth or live your life on purpose.
I struggled with this concept for many years. This was MY number one excuse for a long time. I couldn’t justify spending the money on therapy, coaching or any sort of healing back in the day. But I was okay spending my money on clothes. Or an expensive evening out.
Temporarily I felt gratified. My outer game was on point. But my inner game was lagging. No matter how great my butt looked in a new pair of jeans my inner world was suffering.
Eventually I learned that the more I invested in my inner game and not just my outer game, Life would actually INCREASE my abundance.
Yes, you read that right.
The more money I invested on my inner self the more money I made in return.
Life supports you in being your fullest and most whole self. Your Spirit desires to live a life in truth. And Love. As well as purpose. Life supports you infinitely. It has your back. And there truly is an unlimited amount of abundance to go around for all. Only the mind looks at the concept of money from a limited point of view.
You don’t always require a lot of money to take care of yourself. There are plenty of things you can do for yourself that don’t require cash at all.
Sitting in silence is free. Self-help books are an inexpensive tool to help you get inspired and informed. You can purchase your books from a second-hand store or borrow them from a library or a friend. Some coaches, therapists and healers offer a “sliding scale” rate to those who are in need. Or from time to time they might have an opening to work with you pro-bono (code word for no charge).
You can partake in work-exchange programs at local yoga studios. You can attend community or karma yoga classes. Gyms offer free trial passes and discounts on memberships during certain times of the month. And look out for complimentary workshops and courses in your area through community magazines or local businesses. I believe that where there is a WILL there is always a way! Ask and you shall receive.
Everyone is busy these days. With jobs and kids. Spouses and households to run. Soccer games and ballet lessons to get to. Dinners to cook and lunches to pack. Blah. Blah. Blah.
I get it. All of life’s demands can get pretty overwhelming!
I have met many adults who have so much going on that they couldn’t even imagine taking a twenty minute power nap in their day. Let alone set aside ninety minutes for a session with me every two weeks.
Well, I hate to burst your busy bubble. But I am going to. Your chronic busyness is seriously RUINING your life! Your health. Your relationships. Your dreams. Your goals.
And it’s especially ruining the present moment. Which in case you didn’t already know, IS ALL YOU REALLY HAVE.
If you continue to use busyness as your excuse to not take care of yourself. To not slow down. Rest your body. Connect with your mind, body and soul. You will ultimately look back at a life that was consumed with doing and not with being.
I get the impression in today’s world that being busy is something to applaud. If you aren’t busy you run the risk of having people think you’re lazy. Or not important.
I felt this way about my busyness. During the first couple years of opening my current small business I had A LOT of time on my hands. Sometimes too much time. And I felt embarrassed by it.
I had a belief that being busy made me appear more successful and in demand.
Well that all changed pretty quickly. I worked tremendously hard to be sure to not appear that way. Or feel embarrassed by my lack of being in demand. By year three I was so busy that busyness not only equated to success but more like frequent burn out.
I was chronically exhausted. I was getting sick often. I gained weight because I barely had the time or the energy to work out regularly or practice yoga. My calendar was so PACKED! I would sometimes work six or seven days a week.
I became a human doing.
I knew it had to change. My belief about busyness needed to blow up ASAP. I had to let go of this idea. Because if I didn’t I would be left with no social life. No health. And a poor quality of life.
So I started slowing down. And slowing down gave me the ability to get to the bottom of why I held on to this belief so strongly. I had to let go of a lot of the things that were contributing to my hectic schedule and my workaholic life. I learned that I was avoiding aspects of myself and fears that I didn’t want to face or deal with.
It was the best choice I had made in years. I got my life back. My health back. And my business ended up going to a whole other level because of it.
The more I took care of myself the fuller my life became.
Again the power of CHOICE comes in to play here. What you choose to take on in life is really a personal choice. If you choose to busy yourself and not find the time to focus on YOU, then life will reflect that back. There will be NO ROOM in your life to do the things your heart desires.
There will never be a perfect time in life to take that vacation. Or get that massage. Or to enroll in that meditation retreat you’ve been eyeing for months online. Unless you create it.
I am not suggesting to abandon your responsibilities. Or the people in your life. I am merely suggesting that you might have to rearrange, reflect and reconsider the things you say YES to.
This means that you have to consciously choose who and what you give your energy to. And choose the things in your life that light you up. Rather than have you running around frantically.
Eventually living a chaotic and over busy life will wear you down. I have seen this happen time and time again to my client’s and with myself. Life will make you slow down. That broken leg, disease or illness is actually Life’s way of getting your attention and making you literally slow down. It’s not a punishment. It’s your WAKE UP CALL.
Your life and your well-being is far more precious than time, money and busying yourself ever could be. So why keep on perpetuating your excuses? You have the power, the choice and the opportunity every single day to create the life that you desire for yourself. Get going NOW!