My family and I went to visit the historic Long Barn, at P Ranch, outside of Frenchglen, Oregon during the early summer. May I just say, never visit the Long Barn in early summer. Ever. It was a beautiful day. Gorgeous in fact. Not too cold. Not too hot. But the mosquitoes! Undoubtedly, you have heard the phrase, "being eaten alive"? I'm not even remotely kidding here. We ran! And ran! And ran! But those hungry blood suckers couldn't be outran. They followed us like fighter jets, the entire acre sized cloud of them! They followed us into our pickup even, all the way home. Yikes, is putting that experience mildly. I'll even say it again. Yikes!
The point of this - true, but censored - story is that excuses are a lot like those vicious mosquitoes. (I'm not talking about how hungry they were either.) I'm talking about a) their numbers, the astronomical quantity of them, b) their overpowering ability to steal the moment, the power of our joy, even our long lasting memories, and c) their venom that started with a painful sting and left us with fat swollen itchy blotches to remind us to never ever overestimate the boundaries they are capable of setting.
Whatever our interests, whatever our dreams or goals, we all have this in common. Excuses. (Worries in disguise really.) They come to us easily and naturally, because in many ways, they seek to protect us, our investments, or in some cases, our sanity. However, excuses more often than not, are the negative, even cruel, assumptions we willing feed ourselves. We offer to ourselves, and others, a hypothesis - one that isn't even requiring any further investigation - as a reason as to why we shouldn't, or can't, have success in the venture we'd like to embark on.
The good news? I have an excuse repellent recipe that I'd like to share.
1) Make your Pros and Cons List
Thinking a venture through, problem solving, and planning is a good thing to do. But that's just the thing. If it’s really something you want to do, don't allow it to become a list of excuses. Stick to the facts. Write down the problems you can see that could possibly arise.
2) Problem Solve
For every Pro, go ahead and give yourself a high five, for combating natural negative tendencies.
For every Con, come up with a way you can solve the problem. Did you know that the word "solve" in Latin means "to loosen, or dissolve"? It's time to loosen the vice grip negativity can have on us and dissolve that cruel voice in the back of our head that is constantly causing us to question our authenticity. Note: I didn't say "making us question our authenticity". We aren't made. It’s a choice. Start choosing to spray away those worries!
3) Make an Action List
What are the things you need to do in order to embark on your path to success? Remember, it’s not just the big things. Its more commonly the little things, that add up to be big things later, like a snowball becoming a snowman's butt. Also like a snowman's butt, success takes time, and careful management, to continue its growth, and to keep it from becoming lopsided.
Your action list is for acting upon. As you move down and along your list, you will begin to experience sensations of success in even the little things you accomplish. Those will inevitably lead you to the next success, and the next, and the next. You will begin to recognize and develop a flourishing belief that you can do it! And you will be correct. It won't always feel like it, so stay true to your Action List, revamping it when necessary, allowing for positive changes and expansion.
I realize these concepts are not new to anyone. If we stop and think about it, we've heard them put a hundred different ways. But if thinking about my family's unfortunate tromp through the land of ravenous mosquitoes helps you to remember to bring your repellent to the excuse battle, well then, I would do it again. With repellent this time - of course.