"I've never seen any life transformation that didn't begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit."
I have been guilty in the past of being a little overly judgmental of people who get in the way of their own success. People use excuses for why they fail. It took somebody very close to me to point out that I am doing the exact same thing.
I never viewed these things as excuses, they are reasons. I'd tell myself, well I'm not making excuses, I have reasons why this didn't happen or that didn't work out.
I've wanted to be a novelist for as long as I can remember. When I was around 11 or 12 I started writing. I had spiral notebooks everywhere. Poems, short stories, you name it. I wrote constantly, all through high school. My goal when I was young was to be a best-selling novelist. It's all I've ever wanted to be.
Then I became an adult, and real life hit. I had a child when I was very young, I've had college, work, I became a single mom. I had some health issues along the way. I was tired. I was stressed. I found that I was telling myself, "I don't have time for this. Other things take priority right now."
How many novels have I published? Zero.
I am now 42 years old and no closer to my goal that I was when I was 18. I've spent the past two decades working jobs just to pay the bills, and most of the time I had no passion for what I was doing.
It's so easy to disguise excuses as reasons.
I'm insecure in relationships because of bad choices I made in the past. Those insecurities will ruin a relationship. You can't predict the future, but a guarantee to failure is to bring all that baggage and place it as a burden on someone new.
I worry when I start a new job because I've failed in the past. Not all jobs are a good fit, but you will never find the right one if you go into every job with that fear of repeating past mistakes.
I worry sometimes that friends don't really like me, because I've had "friends" betray me. But you can never develop true friendships without letting go of that fear, because you can't assume that nobody can be trusted. That's a path to a lonely life.
I've faced a lot of rejection in many areas of my life, but instead of learning and growing from the experiences, I've let them stunt me, hold me back, and fill me with fear and insecurity.
With writing, that is a very crippling fear. What if I'm not as good at writing as I think I am? What if that great idea I had isn't as great as I thought? What if I put all my heart and soul into a piece just to have somebody tell me it's terrible?
It's important to look at every situation, especially the bad ones, and say, what can I learn from this? Take the lessons and experience, and let the rest go.
Excuses come from two sources. Fear and laziness. I'm not lazy. I am fearful. Sometimes you let that fear build up inside you so much, you look at every way a situation can go wrong, and you paralyze your mind against even putting out the effort. You expect failure.
I've had a lot of bad luck in my life, a lot of struggle. But everybody struggles. Everybody has things go wrong.
It's time to turn those "reasons" from excuses to motivation.
You can say, I can't do this because of that. Or you can say, what will I gain from trying this? What is the reason I want to do this? How much does it matter to me?
It's time to lead a fearless life. Set those goals and find the path to reach them. Rejection is a fact of life, and excuses are everywhere. But you can't let that stop you from your dreams. Life is a road, and you have to keep going, because if you stand still, you will get run over. I think of how much I could have accomplished in the past 20 years, but I was held back by fear. I don't want to look back 10 years from now and still feel like I've wasted all that time. It's time to live.
I am thankful to have somebody special in my life to point out my own bullshit to me. Sometimes you need that honest reflection from someone else. And if that person believes in your potential, well that's pretty awesome. But in the end, you have to be your own motivator and your own cheerleader.
Now, I'm off to work on that novel!