After watching the video on Paul Smith and his typewriter I felt put to shame. Shame on me for making excuses on why I can’t do something. Shame on me for feeling sorry for myself! If Paul Smith, with cerebral palsy can make art on a typewriter, I sure don’t have any excuses when it comes to doing something I want to do and neither do you.
By nature I struggle with negative feelings. I have to immerse myself in positivity like books, podcasts, and compliments from others to dig myself out of the negative pit. On the other hand, I am stubborn. I am a dreamer. If someone tells me I can’t do something I like to prove them wrong. You see, there is a little ongoing battle inside me. My negativity likes to try to drag me down. There was a point in my life that I let it. I succumbed to my fears and doubts and stayed in my pit. But by counseling and the grace of God I was able to overcome it. I still struggle on a daily basis, but it is manageable and the second part of me makes drives me on.
I tell you this to say I get it. I get feeling like I can’t do something. I get feeling like someone is so awesome and I could never do what they do. I get that facing your fears is hard. I get wanting to make excuses. I get not wanting to do something because I believe I can’t. I get it, I am right there with you in the same boat.
To face these negative’s , I have had to teach myself to make hard choices. To do the hard work for the reward. Because I am learning that I can do what I set my mind on. I believe anything is possible if we work hard enough and long enough at it. So why is it so easy to veg out on Netflix and so hard to do that thing you want to do?
It’s so hard because today’s society seems to scream fast, busy, fast. I believe our society today is a microwave society. We want instant gratification. Instant results. Fast food, drive throughs, ready made items, pre-packaged food, 4g internet, on demand tv. Everything is made convenient and we are left with little effort on our part if we don’t want to. We have all the options in the world to make something easy. While all this stuff is really good, is it driving us to give up the really rewarding stuff? The conveniences and fast gratification leads us to pack more into our day. We drown in our busy life and over packed schedules. I think life speeds up when we feel the need to do it all. We begin spinning out of control and by the end of the day we just want to plop down and veg out.
The craziness of life drains us. But I do believe there are things we wish we could do but we put off. They don’t seem important because our life is so full we don’t know how to pack another thing in. We say things “like I couldn’t do that, I don’t have time, that’s too hard, I wish I could ____ “. We throw our dreams out because of excuses we make.
When people say “I wish I could sew.” I skirt around the subject because I don’t want to pressure anyone or make anyone feel guilty. After watching the video on Paul Smith I told my husband we don’t have any excuses. We can make them and believe them, but they aren’t true. I know I have many dreams and goals burning in my heart. I fully plan to execute them. Maybe they take a long time, but atleast I am working toward them. I want to share with you a few tips on how to stop making excuses and start doing the work.
- Set Goals– Actually sit down and write them out. They need to have a time limit and they need to be achievable. Just saying I want to do this one day isn’t enough. There is power in writing them down and viewing them often.
- Find Time– It may seem like there is no time left in the day to go after the thing you want to do. I am sure there is. Even if you only spend 15 minuets a day doing that thing, it is more than you did yesterday. Try cutting out some things like back off time on Facebook. Or maybe try getting up earlier.
- Prepare to “cook crockpot style”. Going after something you want to do doesn’t happen overnight. Maybe you want to learn to sew, or start a blog, or learn a different language, or go back to college, or lose weight. Whatever you wish you could do, it takes time. A lot of time. Be prepared to hang in there and keep plugging away. I think we easily give up on things because it takes more time and effort than we want to do. It goes back to wanting instant gratification. I believe the best things in life don’t happen instantly.
- Give yourself grace, not excuses. There is a fine line between grace and excuses. Excuses are unconscious ways of telling yourself you won’t ever be able to do it. They come disguised in sheep clothing but are actually wolves. They let you believe the lie that you can’t do something bearing the image of grace. They are the easy way out that leave you feeling like you are giving yourself grace. Grace is the ability to let yourself make mistakes while giving you the kick in the butt to get back up and try again. Grace gives you the freedom to mess up and not beat yourself up because you know you will try harder next time.
- Say no. This is always my favorite. We can’t do it all, but we should go after the things we want to. No we can’t do them all at once. I have a million things I want to do in the future. I have to say yes to one and no to all the rest at this stage of my life. I have a little girl depending on my care and that comes first. But even with a little girl I still find the time to do the next right thing. Find the balance you need in your life without being extreme either way.