Most of us are great at making excuses, whether it be lack of time, finances, knowledge or the fear that there is too much risk attached to going out and getting what we want.
All these excuses are just getting in the way of you following your dreams and reaching your potential. We whinge and complain that things aren’t going our way but we are creating our own roadblocks. We are basically finding reasons as to why we can’t be happy.
Once you realise that you are the only thing standing in the way of you and your dreams, it will become clear that life is genuinely full of endless opportunities.
I am generally pretty good at identifying my dreams and going after them. If I am yearning for something I do my best to make it happen. But there are still certain things that I put off for no good reason all.
I’m not talking about the ironing or vacuuming – I put these things off because I simply do not want to do them. I procrastinate where the mundane, menial tasks are concerned because I’d prefer to direct my energy towards the things that make me smile or contribute to me achieving my goals. Who doesn’t? What I am talking about are the certain things in life that I really want that require commitment and a little extra effort to achieve.
For instance, I have been talking about travelling to Europe for the past 12 years. In fact it is one of the first goals that I identified when I did my first ever goal planning session with Mardy Penrose, our goal planning strategist. I actually intended to do a three month stint when a girlfriend moved over to London. I’d finished uni, was doing a bit of personal training and freelance PR, so the timing was perfect. Then I got a job that was too good to pass up and decided to stay. So I started planning a holiday, actually a number of holidays to Europe, with my bestie but somehow the trip never eventuated. She managed to get over to Europe multiple times but I always managed to find an excuse – money is too tight, it’s not a good time, I’m busy at work blah blah blah. I have had some of my closest friends living in the UK and I have still not managed to get myself over there.
I have a friend who is a former gymnast who was keen to get back into coaching gymnastics. Now when I say she was keen, I mean she talked about it for a good two years until one day I stopped and said “I’m sorry but if I hear you talk about this once more and you’ve done nothing about actually going out and getting it I am going to scream”. She stopped and said “well I guess I could look into the course.” Two days later she was enrolled in a course and within a month she had a job coaching gymnastics a few hours a week after work.
She had spent two years talking about doing something that would make her happy which simply required her to get off her backside and put in a little extra effort. This got me thinking. I get frustrated when I see my friends making excuses and putting up barriers between themselves and their goals, ambitions and happiness yet I have been doing exactly the same thing.
So after 12 years of pining for my European trip of a life time, I had an epiphany. I was driving along one day a few months ago, thinking about all of this. I was feeling a little lost – not literally, it was more of a state of uncertainty about my life and where I was heading. I started thinking about a friend’s wedding in Tuscany. “It’ll be so beautiful but it’s not as though I will be able to go.” Then BANG! It hit me. “Why not? Of course I can go. You have been making excuses for long enough. Take your own advice. That’s it. I am going to Europe!”
I decided that this is my year to stop talking about what I want and to actually go out and get it. So right now, as we speak I am sitting on a glorious balcony, overlooking the Caldera in the Greek Islands, getting excited about the next month of exploring Rome, France and Munich. Yes the opening weekend of Oktoberfest – I am finally doing it!
Over the past couple of weeks we have talked about the importance of identifying your goals and how to integrate mindfulness into your goal setting. This week I want you sit back and reflect on these goals. It might be that you are yearning for a different job, a new relationship, a qualification, a holiday, or even a change in attitude. Regardless of what it is, think about the reasons that you have not achieved these things. Are you making excuses? If so, are they valid or are you just putting up barriers for no good reason? What do you need to do to make these dreams come to fruition?
If you keep waiting for the right time it’ll never happen. Design your life by choice not chance.
(Feature image sourced from Google)