Thursday, 17 March 2016

How To Overcome Excuses

Are you a "Yes, But..." kind of person? I used to be this kind of person: making excuses instead of making things happen. I had a lot of excuses for why my life was not working out for me. It was all about other people, society's rules, circumstances, and everything else. I was a victim. There was not much I could do about it. It was all too difficult. Too many obstacles that I did not see any way around.

Not anymore though.

But interestingly, some people (who are not regular readers of the blog but people who randomly encounter my articles on Facebook) comment on my posts by making excuses for themselves. They say things like: for you it is easy because you live in Norway, or because you are a PhD student, etc. And yes, of course I certainly have some advantages in my life, but so do you! You have tons of things working in your favor. You just have to find them and make them work for you, so that you too can reach your goals. The whole universe is conspiring for you to reach your goals (in your own unique way) and to make each of your dreams come true. If only you could see that, then you would get started right away.

Life is about priorities
Of course each person is different, and each situation is different. But there is also always more than one way to reach a goal, so if you really want something and keep your mind and eyes open for your unique opportunities ahead, you will find a way and you will succeed. Your journey may not be the same as mine and you may encounter different challenges along the way, but overcoming these will be the most exciting part of your journey! You will need to put your creative thinking skills at work. Do you think I knew exactly how I was going to do everything when I first started on the Stop Shopping Challenge? No. I didn’t know where the road would take me or how I would overcome certain 'problems'. But I dealt with them as they came and a solution always presented itself. If you trust the process then problems will practically solve themselves. But you have to take that first step. You have to get started. If you wait, then the universe will wait. If you trust and get started, then the universe will respond. It is a law of life.

Now I know that anything is possible. It may take some time, it may take some work, but you can do whatever you put your mind to. You don't need money, you don't need to wait for governments to change things first, and you certainly don't need other people to do it for you. You don't need others' support, permission or approval either. Most brilliant ideas were perceived by others as crazy at first. It's just to be expected. And finally, you also don't need to plan everything in advance and account for all of your what-ifs. In fact, this would be impossible. You can't see all the solutions that are out there before you get started, and the majority of the problems you can imagine will never happen (and some you would never think of, will). But once you start, you will experience that there are so many more solutions out there than 'problems'.

All you need to do is prioritize your goal, which will give you the conviction, courage and determination that is needed to trust your path and let go of anything that holds you back. Let go of the unimportant to make room for the important. And along the way you will find out what really matters to you, because the way to find this out is by doing what matters to you now.

Let go of limitations
We often learn to limit ourselves from an early age. We are told we should be 'realistic'. What does that even mean? I say: Don't be realistic. Or, be realistic and expect you can achieve whatever you want to achieve unless and until you have tried everything. This means that as long as there is still another way, you have no reason to give up. This is how people succeed: they refuse to give up. They make it a sport to find new ways.
You learn to be creative and to test the boundaries of your mind. You learn to stretch your mind and get out of the box. You will make it a habit to question ordinary thinking and let go of limiting perspectives. Before saying something is impossible or unrealistic, you will take the unbiased scientific approach beyond just your assumptions of what works and what doesn't work (based on what you see around you or what you've heard from others). You investigate what works for you. It may be different than for other people. Situations and circumstances are different. People are different, even from moment to moment. 
An outcome can hinge on so many different factors; but one of them is always your level of commitment to making it happen. Commitment to your goals brings clarity to what you have to do. It will create a clear path for you to follow, step-by-step. When you have faith in your goals and enjoy the journey, your mind will filter out all the noise and leave only the necessary information. So follow your bliss and challenge yourself. Experiment. And don't let anyone stop you by telling you it's impossible. It may be impossible for them, but that doesn't mean it is impossible for you.

I love this quote on the subject:
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it" --- A wise person

The best possible outcome can only happen when we get out of our own way. And if we can't do that, then in the meantime life will help us along by bringing us the circumstances and situations that can get us there... until we get it. This is what challenges and obstacles are for. They are not meant to deter us, but to get us ready to go deeper. 

So next time you think it is impossible, ask yourself: Have I really tried everything? Or is there another way?

There is always another way.

“I didn’t have the time, but I made the time.  I didn’t have the knowledge, but I did what I knew.  I didn’t have the support, but I learned to support myself.  I didn’t have the confidence, but the confidence came with results.  I had a lot going against me, but I had enough going for me.  I had plenty of excuses but I chose not to use any of them.” - (Unknown source)

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