How to add spice to your life and throw out the excuses
So we've decided to start something new? We want to add a little something to our life. A new hobby, project or habit? It's decided. A new aspiration. When we imagine carrying this out, it fills our stomach with butterflies or our mind races.
Next thing we know, we see a massive image in our heads, like a perfectly finished painting. In this vision, we see ourselves or our project in a completely perfect and finished way. When we go to start, the hesitation sinks in. These first couple of steps in comparison to what we imagined is completely different. So we drop it.
Unaware of what the core problem is, we tell ourselves excuses: 'I don't have time for this', 'I shouldn't waste money', 'I won't be able to do this properly', 'I don't want to do this anyway, it seems too hard and I can't be bothered'. But really if we had that spark or idea in the first place, wasn't it because it our authentic self was trying to take the stage? If we knew that failure was 0% and our competency 100%, would we still drop it?
Not that every avenue leads to the right destinations, but every time we squash down a new venture that gives us that feeling of excitement, we lose a possible path of finding something special.
I can attest to this, because that is exactly what I did. After spending a lot of time exploring different things, I found some passions I wanted to try. But right at the beginning I was so far from my vision, it was hard to take that step. I was afraid of making a fool of myself. Afraid that I had no affinity for this. I found every excuse under the sun.
It took many baby steps to finally take the courage to try bigger and bigger things. After stepping out with fear over and over, there are some things I realised. This new mindset is what I want to encourage you to try in this post:
1. SELF-CONSTRUCTED BARRIERS
Personally, I realised that idealism and perfectionism ironically takes us further from what we want. This manifests differently in all of us. For some of us it leads to avoidance. Others it's procrastination. It can also be making convincing excuses. There is always something stopping us. Anything but just taking that one little step. Really, most external barriers, lack of experience and knowledge we can overcome with time and persistence. But it is usually our will that is lacking.
We tell ourselves that it is our circumstances, our family, our life that stops us. But I have seen that the people that want to change, and want it enough, make it happen. If we first confront the truth, what exactly we are afraid of, it will be easier to move forward. If we keep walking around in a haze, then those excuses win.
2. CREATIVITY AND THE UNKNOWN IS MESSY
When venturing into a unknown world there will be a lot of stumbling. We won't perfectly execute this move like an Olympic ice-skater. If we think about it, it's actually crazy how much of our time we spend worrying about other people's perception of us. With this same logic, we must understand everyone else is also worrying about themselves. So set yourself free!
It's not easy. But that's why this change in mindset is important. By recognising that creativity and new things are inherently messy, that there are many hurdles, we can move further than we ever have. By allowing this messy side of us, we are changing our reality. With constant venturing and practice we will be able to execute that move, but most importantly enjoy it immensely.
3. THE POWER OF A SERIES OF PERSISTENT STEPS
After finally pushing past those incredibly messy but creative stages, the results are surprising. Every small step that is made, despite numerous doubts, leads somewhere over a long time. With consistency, with effort and with self-discipline. Following through, when we hit a roadblock or the result is so far from what we envisioned, is the right place to be! It means we're doing something right. We're creating. It's easy to have perfection in our head, but trust me, having a messy reality in our hands, working at it, solving problems, developing our skills is one of the best feelings in the world. The picture in our head may be beautiful but it isn't real.
4. GET THE BALL ROLLING: START SMALL
It's contagious. The first time we start a project we have all our worries and doubts and roadblocks with us. When we're persistent and keep exploring different avenues, expanding our mindset and knowledge, suddenly we have more solutions and less problems. When I looked back months later, I suddenly thought: 'I've come so far. I've learnt so much. Imagine if I had let my insecurities stop me. I would never have found this'. After succeeding with these smaller ventures, our courage and self-belief grows and we can try bigger things…
5. BE AFRAID OF NOT TRYING
None of us know what will happen tomorrow. Instead of letting that paralyse us, we need to use that as a fire to light up those excuses. When we're old, we won't be thinking about that time we embarrassed ourselves, were rejected, or failed. On all counts, you can either look back fondly on all the passions and people you found or be filled with regrets, dreaming of what could have been.
I hope this post has helped change your mind about that thing you want to try but keep pushing back…
Remember that the same activities, habits, people leads to the same life! If you want something new in your life, you have to seize it for yourself.
I want to leave you with a song to finish. Hear me out okay! Don't turn your nose up at it because it's Disney. I know you're not a music snob. This song is a good representation of what I'm trying to say here. That siren calling you to try something new, will you ignore it, or heed its call?
Read the lyrics with the song:
INTO THE UNKNOWN
I can hear you but I won't
Some look for trouble while others don't
There's a thousand reasons I should go about my day
And ignore your whispers which I wish would go away.
You're not a voice, you're just a ringing in my ear
And if I heard you, which I don't, I'm spoken for I fear
Everyone I've ever loved is here within these walls
I'm sorry, secret siren, but I'm blocking out your calls
I've had my adventure, I don't need something new
I'm afraid of what I'm risking if I follow you
Into the unknown…