Hands up if you are a chronic excuse maker like I am. This is the part of self-leadership that I find needs the most work in my own life. I am quick to defend my broken commitments with justifications. Projects get put off as I find reasons why the timing isn’t great. I am quite skilled at creating excuses that paint me in a good light and sound noble. I fool myself too.
This requires some digging. Sometimes there is truth and wisdom contained in the reasons I am giving. It may not be wise to launch three new programs within a week of each other! Plans need to change at times. Goals need to be tweaked. I need to listen to my body when it is ill. However, the majority of the time the digging needs to go further to the underlying fear driving me.
Fears driving the excuses
I see the same two fears underlying many excuses and justifications I come up with- fear of discomfort and fear of failing. Postponing the launch of a program as it ‘isn’t the right time’ or it ‘needs more work’ often comes down to a fear of it failing. It feels easier never to put something out there than to have it flop. Choosing to skip a workout because I ‘can’t do the full 30 minutes’ that morning is more about avoiding discomfort. I could choose to do a shorter workout or move the time I had planned to do it.
I have been wrestling with this again the past few days. My motivation to write this week is low. Initially I was putting this down to tiredness (due to my husband’s coughing at night and my daughter’s waking- spot the victim thinking!) and the competing demands on my time from the different roles I have. Those may be factors that need attention but isn’t the truth of what is underlying my hesitance.
How I am overcoming the excuses today
This week’s post has been set in my planner as the launch of a webinar and a group mentoring program that goes with my book. I have already postponed this plan twice this year. It is so tempting to ‘postpone’ again. The excuses are running full force in my mind. When I take a moment to stop and look deeper, I see the fear of failing.
‘What if no one is interested?’
‘What if this is another flop like I’ve had in the past?’
‘Who am I to be doing this?’
So this morning, I walked my daughter to school and enjoyed the spring sunshine. I spent a short time in the garden caring for the roses and pulling weeds. I listened to the peaceful encouragement and wisdom on ‘The Next Right Thing’ podcast. The kettle boiled for tea. Music started. Diffuser on. And I chose to write anyway. I acknowledged the fear and the excuses as valid and real responses. They do not get to dictate my actions though.
I am ready to leap over the excuses and launch anyway.
What excuses are you noticing in your own life? What fears can you see underlying them? Choose your next action. Look for the truth and wisdom and make changes as necessary. Then do it scared! Don’t forget to nourish your soul along the way.