Sunday, July 25, 2010

Getting tired of "I Can't"

A couple of weeks ago while a bunch of us were sitting at lunch, someone asked why we hadn't done some crazy thing.  All of a sudden, excuses and reasons were pouring out of our mouths and the person who asked the question stopped us.  "All I'm hearing from you is, 'I can't,'  why don't you figure out how to just do it!"

That response stuck with me and has haunted the nether regions of my brain ever since.  I hear myself saying those words and I hear people around me constantly coming up with reasons and excuses why they aren't successful or grabbing for their dreams.  There's always something.

Seth Godin calls it our Lizard Brain.  That little part of our brain that tries its best to keep us safe, to keep us from risking anything, just in case everything falls apart.

I've fought with my Lizard Brain a lot this summer.  It seems as if every time I turn around, terror sets in,  memories of past failures arises, and a deep certainty that I'm going to disappoint people if I don't do everything the way they hope and expect sets in.

At this moment, I have scores of reasons for me to not move forward with changes in my life ranging from financial to emotional, friends and family, ahh heck - I can even present you with a perfectly plausible excuse based on my age and the fact that by the time I'm finished, I will have a difficult time finding a job - who's going to hire someone at that point! There are people who need me to stay put or those who have certain expectations and will be disappointed when I move on and make decisions without them. 

Every single reason that you can come up with to NOT make a change in your life is valid.  But, at some point, you (I) have to be honest with (y) ourselves.  If we want to do great things, we have to set the excuses and reasons aside.  If we want to do small things that are going to bring change and are difficult to accomplish, we have to be honest and recognize the difficulties.  Then we have to simply make a decision whether moving forward or staying static is appropriate for our lives.

If it is time to move forward and make changes - whether great or small - then stop making excuses and offering reasons for remaining in stasis.  Recognize that fear will try to stop you (and me) from moving forward and be ready to confront that fear with the final outcome.

Plot out the steps required to attain a goal and then begin to take them - one at a time.  Some days you will leap forward and some days you will be stuck in a single square.  Those days that you're stuck are the most difficult because you have time to think about whether or not this is such a good idea.

Be sure to have announced your goal, your dream to plenty of people who will hold you accountable.  When I was beginning to process on whether or not I wanted to do something drastic with my life, I actually didn't tell anyone.  Until I was ready to commit to it, I didn't want to make a big deal out of something and then disappoint my friends and family with my failure to move on it.  As soon as I began to tell people what my plans were, I knew that not only was I committed to the change, but I was now responsible to them.  That was the point of no return for me.

Is it time for you to look outside yourself to the world?  Is it time for you to encounter something that is bigger than yourself? Maybe it's just time for you to open up your mind and heart to begin listening for a still small voice that offers you that dream.

Whatever it is - stop using the words, "I can't."  When you hear yourself say them - no matter the circumstance - swallow them.

No comments: