I’ve been falling for my own excuses

The Identity Lis Dingjan Excuses Creative entrepeneurs

That’s a fairly bitter pill to swallow.

I’m the ‘no-exuse’ woman. I hear them all the time and I find them painful to listen to. I can’t do this because of that. I can’t do Y because of Z. It’s too difficult because I can list 10 other things involved. 99% of the time it’s an excuse created in your own mind so you don’t have to try. So you can’t fail. So you don’t have to put the effort in. So you’re not losing because really you just can’t. So it’s not your fault. So it doesn’t sound simple. So it’s easy to blame every other thing first.

I really cannot stand excuses. They are choices and by making an excuse you’re making a choice. It’s a conscious – and sometimes difficult – thing to say that’s not my priority. That’s not what I’m going to do. I’m choosing to not do that, and do this instead. I’m aware of the consequence and choose to do this.

Try it for a month. Every time you make an excuse, or make a choice, consciously state the decision you’re making, aloud.

I also believe in clarity through action. Just start doing whatever it is. One little step in front of the other and you’ll figure it out along the way.

So to know that I’ve been falling for a couple of my own “very well reasoned excuses” lately is tough.

In the past week I’ve written 12,627 words of the course I’ve been creating. That’s a hell of a lot of words for me. I’ve put this off for more than 6 months even though the idea has been there the whole time.

I’ve been busy. I’ve got more client projects than ever before. I’m scheduling well into April next year. I need down time. I’m working too much. I’m doing multiple launches. My charity stuff is lagging behind. I need to do client work non stop all the time to get it done. I’m managing people. I’m starting other businesses with business partners. I’m helping friends with their businesses. I’m travelling to cities and across the world for meetings, conferences and meet ups.

All wonderful excuses.

But you know what? None of that has magically stopped in the past week. In fact, it’s only gotten busier.

The tiny change?

I went out on the deck for 2 hours every single morning immediately when I got to the studios and I wrote. No email. No work. No anything else except 2 hours of writing.

I plonked down and started typing on a fresh Word document because I’d been agonizing over the ‘structure’ of the course for so long that I wasn’t writing until I had that completely done.

I’d been coding up the course in the background because it was easier than actually writing the content (and eek I was “stuck”).

I’d written more than 20 pages in various notebooks of page titles & templates & subjects and scenarios I wanted to include. Sometimes I doubled over on what I’d written down just a week earlier. Much easier to get lost in the ‘must work this all out’ than actually writing.

I’d been doubting myself over writing it because what if nobody wanted it? Would it be the biggest waste of time ever? I’ve spent the last few years deliberately not creating a course because I don’t want to put anything out there that’s been done or said a thousand times. That’s actually given me enormous space to purely create – client work, business creations, side projects, new skills, systems and learn a thousand lessons about those processes. It’s also allowed me to be asked the same questions over and over and help colleagues and other creatives and business owners with tackling similar things. It’s given me a great many lessons but what if I spend 6 months finally creating this baby and it’s just one big flop whilst I could have started another business or expanded this one? All valid questions, but not a valid reason to not write.

They’re all just excuses. For something I actually really want to create. That I believe is useful and important. All that energy could be just directed to doing it. And it takes plenty of energy to make excuses – because you then work to validate them for yourself (whether you’re aware you’re doing it or not) so you’re always ready with an explanation.

Which led me to stare straight into the other excuses I’ve been carefully carving out.

Running. I struggle with it but I know it’s one of the best things I can do for my body at the moment. The excuses? I go to power yoga and already sweat it out 3 to 4 times a week. I’ve got a heap of work. There’s no time to fit it in – there’s only so much I can do. I bought a dumbbell. That will do at night. I will always get stitches. It hurts. I go bright red for an hour after which kind of ruins trying to look half ‘put together’ that day.

Taking a little time for myself. Too busy. Not productive. Selfish. Guilt. Oh the man made feeling of guilt.

And the quick fix to those? Saturday I put on my joggers and went for a 20 minute run in the evening before walking up to enjoy the festivities around the corner. I’ve been recognizing I get a major screen/coding headache at 3.30 most days after a solid 7 – 9 hours of work so I sometimes go home and have a bath before beginning the nights work, enjoy the cafe buzz with friends or flames, or start painting and learning new skills. This morning, just before writing this, I laid in bed thinking about running. Instantly coming up with a thousand reasons to settle in the snugness of the sheets. 5 minutes later I was dressed and a 30 minute run (with plenty of walk breaks) was addressed. Before jumping in a cool shower with a cold blast at the end and laying down in the gentle breeze for 10 minutes. Breakfast and I’m back at the studio working. That’s all it took.

Nothing has gone crazy because of it. My world hasn’t collapsed. Nothing bad happened. Client work is still being constantly focused on. I’ve just gotten more productive & see the need for continuously tweaking systems to improve efficiency. And you know, my body has worked out, I feel more peaceful and half the course is done.

You have exactly the same amount of time in the day as those you admire.

That’s it. That’s how truly simple it is. And so it goes with every area of your life.

It might not be easy, but it is simple.

Everything is easier said then done. So don’t give yourself that excuse.

We’re all making choices. Somewhere & everywhere.

So which ones are you going to change?

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“You can either hold onto your dream by letting go of your excuses or hold onto your excuses by letting go of your dream.”

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