How can you get rid of unhelpful excuses?
As I begin writing this blog, I realize that I run the risk of being called out on my own excuses. The fact is, we all have excuses for doing or not doing things. Some might call these “reasons,” but when you look at them closely, many of these “reasons” are not very reasonable. In fact, many of these “reasons” are actually lies that you tell yourself and choose to believe.
To help me make my argument, I’ll regularly call on Wayne Dyer from his book “Excuses Begone!” as well as on other philosophers and thinkers.
“Every self-limiting thought that you employ to explain why you’re not living life to the absolute fullest — so you’re feeling purposeful, content and fully alive — is something you can challenge and reverse, regardless of how long you’ve held that belief and no matter how rooted in tradition, science, or life experience it may be.”
~ Wayne Dyer
Even if you believe that some things CAN’T be changed, such as biology, this is still a belief. No, we can’t change the genes we were given from our parents, but we can change the way we think about what our bodies are capable of. In fact, there’s no limit to your imagination!
What is the alternative? To believe the limiting thought and then be tied to the restrictions that come as a result? There are many examples of people who have had limbs amputated, are paralyzed and have other physical or mental restrictions. Yet they are running, swimming, skydiving and more! If those people had accepted the belief: “I’m handicapped and therefore can’t do what non-handicapped people can do,” they would not have done these amazing things.
You have thousands of thoughts that keep you small:
- I’ll always be poor
- I’ll always be unlucky
- I’ll always be overweight
- I’ll always be underweight
- I’ll never attract a soul mate
- I’ll always have angry outbursts
- I’ll always lack musical, artistic, or athletic talents
- I’ll always be shy
- I'll always be sick, unhealthy
And on and on…
Do you really want to hold on to these habitual thoughts that are keeping your life small, or that make you unhappy, and too insecure or scared to try something new?
Or would you rather be energized and fulfilled? Would you rather enhance your life? Would you rather be a role model for a new and better way to live for people who are still stuck in their excuses?
Marcus Aurelius reportedly said: “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”
In other words, your life, how you live it, how you see it, your behaviors, etc. are supported by your thinking patterns.
People who say “I can’t help it, I’ve always been this way,” or “It’s not my fault,” or “I don’t know how to be any different,” are living below a conscious level of awareness. As a result, they feel empty, not in control, depressed, unhappy. They have resigned themselves to beliefs that they’ve never questioned.
Or people stay safe within their victim role, which has its roots in fear: “People won’t love me,” “People will think I’m stupid,” “They will laugh at me,” “What will they say?” These people stay scared, not trying on new ideas, or breaking out of what they know, to move into the unknown territory of courage.
“A man is what he wills himself to be.”
~ Jean-Paul Sartre.
How would you feel, if instead of “excusing,” you began choosing? You decide if you will reprogram and direct your life toward the level of happiness, success and health that you prefer.
We are all spiritual beings
Someone once said (usually attributed to the Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin):
What does this mean?
It means that the true essence of being human is spirit, or thinking energy. This thinking energy, or God, or universal truth, or whatever you want to call it, is at a higher consciousness than your brain and knows the Truth. Your brain is just the physical matter through which you get your thoughts. But thoughts are fleeting. “I am smart.” “I am dumb.” Those are thoughts.
Which one is true? If I have the thought: “I am dumb,” does that make me dumb? If I have another thought two seconds later: “No, I am smart,” does this thought make me smart? If they both do, then I just changed from dumb to smart within 2 seconds. Amazing! If they don’t, then that means neither of those thoughts are true. They’re just thoughts. What is true is “I am.” I think, therefor I am. But I am not my thoughts. My thoughts are just messages that I can choose to believe and act on, or not.
What else does that quote mean? It means we are not striving to “become” spiritual. We already are spiritual beings. In this small amount of time that you have a physical form on this planet, you are a spiritual being having a human experience.
Our spirit, or soul, comes from the same place as all living things: unconditional love, unending forgiveness, compassion, harmony, peace and joy. This is our natural state. Look at animals, look at babies. This is who they are. And they are happy in this state because they are true to their nature.
It's not so much about being spiritual (since you already are), it's about being honest. It's the lies that hurt us. Honesty releases us.
what is truth?
As spiritual beings, we are capable of observing our own thoughts. No other being (that we know of) can do this. In the same way, your body is not the real you, either. Your body is merely a projection of what you believe yourself to be.
“With your new ability to perceive ego [or the projected “me” that you believe you are], you become a wizard who easily dethrones the dictator of your false self…”
~ Wayne Dyer
What if our physical form was actually a projector, a thing through which our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, etc are being passed through? What we see or experience in life is the projection, the picture displayed on the wall. If we weren’t conscious, if we didn’t question the picture, we would believe what is being displayed on that wall. We would accept it as truth. As if, when we watch a movie in a theater, we were to believe that the characters and story were real life.
But what if we changed our thoughts and beliefs and values, then what would the projector display on the wall? What if instead of a reel that has “hate” written on it, we put in a reel that had “love” written on it? Wouldn’t the wall then display images of love rather than hate?
We can either believe or not believe our own projections, just as we can change and replace the reels that are displaying those projections. And if billions of people are projecting their beliefs too, isn’t it also true that you can change what’s displayed on the walls of the world by allowing yourself to display something different, by changing your reel? You don't have to accept or copy what others are projecting. You do have free will.
The coach and writer Michael Neill explained it in these terms: Imagine you're in a room with painters who are all looking at a podium in the center of the room and painting what they see. When you look at the paintings, you notice that all of them are different. Then you look into the center of the room and see that nothing is there. What they are painting are projections or interpretations of their thoughts.
The same thing happens when we review an event and ask the witnesses what happened. Each one will have a different version of the event. But each one was there. And they swear it is the truth. How can they then vary so differently? It's all interpretation. What happened is never the truth. What is the truth is that each person has interpreted the event differently.
“As you get comfortable with this new way of seeing yourself, ask yourself the following questions: ‘If I told no one who I was, who would I be?’ Quietly meditate on this by spending some time in the spaciousness of not knowing. Imagine that your subconscious mind is nonexistent and there is no storage receptacle for excuses during your life. There’s just an open and inviting clear space inside of you — a tabula rasa, or blank slate, with a magical surface that nothing adheres to. You might imagine that your everyday conscious mind simply doesn’t absorb the opinions of the folks you grew up with. In this little fantasy, there’s never been anyone telling you who you are, not even you. So, who are you?”
~ Wayne Dyer
so How do you remove excuses?
If truth is what you make it, and you don't want to suffer, would it not make sense that you would accept a version of the truth that lifted you up, released you from doubts and fear, or gave you the space to be who you really are?
To start, you have to begin examining your thoughts, as described above. By examining an excuse, for example: “I’m too scared,” you can pull it apart and begin to dis-believe yourself.
What if you really do feel fear when you are thinking about doing something new? What is that voice of fear really telling you? That you can’t do it? That you will fail? That you will get hurt?
Question it. Is it true? Can you know that it is true, that you will get hurt? What good reason do you have for believing the thought that if you try something, you will get hurt? If it’s keeping you from being happy, from living a better life, how is that thought helping you? Isn’t this thought keeping you back and restricting you?
Secondly, see yourself through a new lens.
What is the opposite of fear, unhappiness, stuck-ness? Isn’t it courage, happiness, freedom? Aren’t those feelings preferable to the hurtful ones? If that’s so, what is the real answer to this thought? Isn’t it love? When you love unconditionally, you give yourself freedom, you free yourself from pain, you put yourself in a place of happiness. Would someone who loves you deliberately cause you fear and unhappiness and keep you stuck in place?
“Remember, you are constantly in the act of creating yourself. You are in every moment deciding who and what you are.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch.
Third, live in the now.
Rather than fearing the hurt that you might experience in the future by trying something new, aren’t you already, in the now, hurting yourself by keeping yourself in feelings of fear, unhappiness and being stuck?
If you let go of that belief: “I will hurt myself if I do this” and change it to: “Since I don’t do this, I am hurting myself now,” what happens? How does that change your perspective? Because you know that’s the truth. It's already the case that you are feeling hurt. Whatever the future brings, we don’t know. We only truly know what is happening right now.
Lastly, be open and willing to accept that you are a spiritual being and can live in alignment with spirit (and truth, compassion, love) whenever you choose.
Once you make this step, your further thinking could be: “I deserve to be happy, to be unafraid, to be closer to my dreams, because that is what ALL human beings deserve, and I am one of them. I am no different from anyone else.” Believe you are worthy.
“Hold a vision that asserts: ‘I am entitled to be respected, loved and happy; to feel fulfilled and prosperous; to exercise; and to enjoy all the moments of my life! This is my vision, and I’m more than willing—I’m absolutely determined that this is what will come my way.’ When anything crops up that’s inconsistent with this vision, take the advice of Lao-tzu: ‘In order to eliminate the negative influences, simply ignore them.’ Such words are so simple, yet so profound.”
~ Wayne Dyer
With these assertions, comes passion. Passion is the thing that tells you: This is the right thing to do. Nothing can stand in my way. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says. This feeling is so good that it can’t be ignored. I’m going to follow my bliss and act upon this glorious sensation of joy.
What do we call miracles? We call something a miracle when something happens that we never imagined was possible. What if there were no limits to possibilities? If everything is possible, then we would not have a word for it, such as “miracle.” We’d just call it what is. Just like we call the ability to hear a person’s live voice through a wireless computerized machine “making a phone call with a cell phone.” A hundred years ago, this might be called a “miracle.” Today it’s reality. Therefore, miracles happen all the time. Or, if we are open to all possibilities, then miracles don’t happen at all. Only reality happens.
If you are ready to live in possibility, to give up limiting excuses, to re-examine what is true for you, I offer free introductory coaching sessions. There is no obligation to enroll. All you have to do is show up.