True confessions: I’ve wanted to write a blog for almost twenty years!
Looking back, I’ve always had the perfect excuse.
I should have done it, but I just didn’t develop my writing skills. I don’t know how to write!
I would have done it, but I’ve never been tech-savvy enough. I just don’t have what it takes!
I could have done it, but I never had enough time. I can’t manage my time! I’m so disorganized!
Should have. Would have. Could have.
Excuses are funny beasts. They pose as our friends, protecting us from taking unecessary risks and keeping us from failure, vulnerability and all sorts of seemingly unpleasant feelings we don’t want to have. Excuses keep us nestled in our comfort zone, validating our choice of ease over excellence. Excuses keep us stuck, and wondering if we could have done more with our lives. And excuses are very, very convincing. I sometimes think that “excuse voice” is smarter than we are!
We have to dig a little deeper if we want to move past our excuses and make the kinds of choices that reflect our higher, more courageous selves.
Excuses are limiting beliefs. Period. They are those nasty icebergs under the surface of our behavior. We’ve got our stated goals and our plans, but it turns out we’re actually committed to something else even more. We’re more committed to our limiting beliefs about ourselves that we are to any dreams we have for our lives! And that’s why we sabotage ourselves again and again. There’s something very deep and powerful lurking under our more obvious behavior.
Maybe those limiting beliefs protected us when we were kids. Maybe they were formed from real events that took place in our lives. We certainly developed those beliefs when we were younger, and they may have served us in one way or another. But they’re not serving us now.
Limiting beliefs are a big deal! They’re always rooted in subconscious negative narratives and keep us in a very stuck place, accepting the unacceptable in our careers, lives and relationships.
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m not loveable.”
“I’m not smart enough.”
Every person has limiting beliefs, and my two cents is that everyone needs to do the work to identify them in order to challenge them for the fallacy they are. In order to grow, to love, to live our best lives.
Here’s a question for you. Answer it honestly!
If there is one thing you would regret if you didn’t do throughout the course of your life, what would that be?
Answer that and ask yourself honestly what excuse you’re giving yourself for holding yourself back. You’re on your way to identifying a limiting belief, and that self-knowledge is the foundation for moving forward.
I will regret it if I don’t write. I’ll look back and tell myself, “I should have written. I would have written. I could have written. I have so much to share with the world and I should have shared it!”
So I will!
“[Hillel] used to say: If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” (Avot 1:14)