When I was a teacher, we taught the scholars (our students) a mantra. “No Excuses” was ingrained in them. We expected them to operate by it at all times. They weren’t allowed to make excuses for not doing their homework, being absent repeatedly, running in the hallways or talking out of turn, among other things. That motto proved to be very effective, for the most part.
Well, I need to follow my own advice. I have to abide by that rule for myself. I seem to have fallen into the bad habit of making excuses for almost everything.
Why don’t I exercise as much as I should? Because I’m tired, sore or because I went last week. Surely sweating it out four days one week ‘lasts’ for about two weeks, right? Why don’t I eat as healthfully as I should? Because I had a hard day & I deserve just a wittle piece of chocolate (which turns into the whole jumbo sized bar) or one glass of wine (which turns into the whole bottle; in my defense, there are only like 2-3 glasses in a bottle). Why don’t I write as often as I should? Because I have a FT job & am comatose by the end of the day. Yet, I can sit through hours of TV on the weekend though. But, I earned the right to relax, right? Why do I keep a wall up when it comes to love? Because I’ve been hurt and playing the victim (or worse, having a bad attitude) is so much easier than being vulnerable. But all of that is ok, right?
NO. Unless I want to keep working hard every year to lose weight that I regained over the holidays. Or if I want to keep working for someone else and building their dreams, instead of focusing on mine. Or if I want to chase away everyone that wants to love me and end up bitter and alone (with 7 cats). Then by all means. I can keep doing what I’ve been doing and just surviving each year. Or I can shake things up, put my big girl panties on and try something new. I can start thriving.
I haven’t done most of the things I have wanted to because of lame excuses. I was waiting for the perfect time, more money, or the right connections. I was also distracted by the constant drama in some areas of my life. Yet, the main excuse has simply been that I was afraid. The cowardly lion in The Wiz had nothing on me. I was definitely in need of some courage from the powerful “Oz” too. Then I read a devotional from Joyce Meyer that spoke to me. Apparently I had been going about it all wrong. Instead of waiting for courage, I should just take a leap of faith.
I thought about it and it makes sense to me. There are so many people out there taking big steps and accomplishing the seemingly impossible everyday. Had they waited to not be afraid, they may still be waiting today. A lot of the athletes, performing artists, and writers that I admire may have never reached the heights that they have had they waited. My friends and family that inspire me may have never achieved their success had they waited. My parents might not have ever immigrated from Haiti (and the Bahamas) to America if they waited. They created a better life for themselves and their children because they weren’t paralyzed by fear.
There is never a perfect time to get started. I might not have enough money (not winning the Powerball this month confirmed that). I may not have any VIP contacts on speed dial (yet). But I have way too much talent, desire and downright stubbornness to just keep waiting. NOW is the perfect time. I have to just do it…and do it afraid.