Yesterday I read a great post by Nashville’s own Allison Fallon entitled “3 Excuses That Keep Smart, Creative People Trapped.” I wanted to share her insights here because it’s so relevant for my readers.
When considering taking on a new coaching client, one of the questions I ask in the paNASH intake form is “Which do you wish you had more of: time, money, or confidence?” The reason I ask this question is because I’m trying to determine what might be an obstacle (whether real or perceived) that’s standing in your way of getting out of your comfort zone and pursuing your passions.
But sometimes obstacles can become excuses. I loved how Fallon addressed the three most common excuses: lack of money, not enough time, and fear.
Lack of Money Excuses
Fallon makes the point that “we allocate money for the things we decide matters.” She then poses the question, “How would it change your money excuse if you were able to believe you matter?”
I see people who have no problems spending money on pet therapy for their dog, but don’t believe they deserve an investment in career coaching. They give their pets things and experiences they know the pet will love, but don’t think they’re worth the money to pursue their own passions.
One of my colleagues always says, “Show me your bank account and I’ll show you what matters to you.”
Not Enough Time Excuses
This same colleague also says, “Show me your calendar and I’ll show you what’s important to you.” Unlike money, we’re all given an equal amount of time, so it’s a little harder to make this excuse fly.
It’s here where I want to insert an excerpt from Fallon’s article to really get to the heart of this particular excuse:
“I don’t have enough time to paint or draw or write or start a business because I am an incredibly busy, productive person and I don’t see how that thing is going to produce measurable results in my life.”
To this excuse, I would say: we live in a culture that is obsessed with productivity. Everything is measured by how much money it can generate, how much progress it can help us make. Thank you industrialization. And while there’s nothing wrong with productivity, the problem I see comes when we begin to worship productivity and forget that some of the most valuable things in life produce results so slowly, they are hard to measure.
In fact, consider some things that might be considered “un-productive”:
- Getting more sleep
- Taking a long walk
- Daily journaling
- Spending time with our children
- Reading books
- Working out
- Saying “no” to an opportunity
- Going to therapy
Are these things un-productive, or are they just slow-producing?
Over time, we will begin to see the fruits of our labor. But if we are desperate to see progress right away, we might feel disappointed. Some of the most valuable progress we can make in our life often happens under the surface, where nobody (including us) can see it.
Fallon says that once you’re able to say you’re afraid, you’re being more honest because the first two excuses are usually based in fear. Fear of what? It could be fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown, fear of loss of control, etc.
It’s important to remember that everyone has fear, and it’s always going to rear its ugly head. It’s knowing how to view fear as Fallon describes in her article. And how to deal with and overcome fear as I explain in my recent post “Overcoming Fear“. This can eliminate the excuses and get you out of your comfort zone!
Are you ready to stop making excuses, and start making yourself worth “it,” whatever “it” means for you? If so, complete the paNASH intake form and we’ll set up a time to chat, no obligation!