I edited and re-edited my article. I had to make sure it was just so. Then I procrastinated on writing the query letter to get my article published. The house needed cleaning, I ran out of stamps, the letter wasn't quite right. Delivering the query letter to the mailbox took another week what with family, meetings and such. I had good excuses why I wasn't actively trying to get published. But, the real reason was that I was afraid I wasn't going to be good enough.
So many times our excuses are just a cover-up for being afraid. Unfortunately since the fear is being covered up we have no way against it. We just go merrily along making more excuses and wondering why our life is still the same.
We need to bring our fears out into the open. Next time you feel yourself start making an excuse, stop. Look behind that excuse and see if a fear is lurking nearby. Say it like it is. Be honest with yourself with the real reason you are making excuses. Look the fear in the face. Only then can you fight it.
-Examine your fear. Is it rational? Is it true that everyone will laugh at you if you try yoga? Most people will be too busy worrying about embarrassing themselves at yoga class.
-If it is rational, what practical steps can you do to minimize your risk? If you start your own business you may fail and lose money. Is there any way to save up money or stay at your job a little while longer before launching a new business?
-Now go for it! Tell yourself you are scared, but you can do it anyway. Take itty bitty steps if you need to, but keep moving forward. Find someone to be accountable to. Tell them what you are going to do and then check in with them once you accomplish the task. Don't let yourself make excuses.
Start looking at where you are making excuses frequently. Do you always make excuses why you can't exercise or why you will do this project later?
1. I frequently make excuses about:
2. What I am really afraid of is:
3. Is this fear rational?
4. If this is rational, what steps can I take to minimize risk?
5. The next three little actions to take will be:
Now take that first action and say goodbye to your excuses!
About The Author
© Beth Dargis 2004
Beth Dargis works with overwhelmed women to create saner, simpler lives. Are you in need of a break? Take the self-care quiz: http://www.encouragingcoach.com/projects-selfcare-quiz.htm
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