“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” – George Bernard Shaw
We all make them.
We make them for everything, all the time, without even realizing it. Pointing the finger at someone or something else, anything or anyone but ourselves.
I didn’t think I made excuses. Blaming people? Who me? No way! The truth is, once I started to take a real, hard look at my life I realized that I was FULL of excuses and blame. Excuses for why I couldn’t get up earlier, start eating healthier, be a vegetarian, work out more, do the dishes, go out friday night, make the bed, call someone back, etc. You name it. I had an excuse! Blaming everything and everyone under the sun for why I couldn’t do this or have that, why I felt a certain way, why I wasn’t fulfilled or happy, etc. Nothing was my fault or my responsibility. This was hard to see and even harder to admit.
You may not think you make excuses or pass blame. You even may find yourself getting irritated when you notice other people doing these things…so how could YOU be doing them yourself? Or maybe you’re ticked off that I’m insinuating that you do.
I challenge you to start taking a look at yourself. Pay attention to your choices, your decisions, your reasons for doing (or not doing) certain things. You might be surprised to find just how many excuses you make on a day-to-day basis. Don’t judge yourself. Just notice what comes up. Really pay attention.
When we continue to make excuses and blame others, we are actually giving away our power. We are telling ourselves that we have no control over our behaviors, our decisions, our lives, or feelings. That is just not true. When we blame others for what we’re going through, we dent responsibility and perpetuate the problem. Excuses hold us back from being the best we can be, from being honest with ourselves and from living an authentic life.
I didn’t really start to understand exactly what any of this meant until started practicing taking responsibility for myself. ALL of myself. I practiced owning my thoughts, my actions, my decisions, my emotions, my feelings. I practiced being honest with myself. I still practice these things, everyday.
The key word here is practice. It’s not easy to do this. It’s hard to be that honest with yourself. It’s hard to take the finger you’ve been pointing at everyone else and turn it around to yourself. The more you practice though, as with anything else, the easier it gets. You also have to be compassionate with yourself. This is very important. It’s not easy to start looking at the parts of yourself you aren’t proud of. It’s not easy to admit how often we do these things. It’s hard to take ownership of our mistakes and problems. Love and accept these parts of you. It doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. I really believe that we are always doing the best we can. Once we gain awareness of things we want to change about ourselves, we can’t turn around and be mad at ourselves for how we acted in the past. That’s just not fair! Be nice to yourself. LOVE yourself.
Now comes the fun part:
Stop making excuses. Stop blaming everyone else for your problems. Take full responsibility for yourself and your life. Once you do this I PROMISE that you’ll notice a change.
When I started practicing being honest with myself about my choices, decisions, my life… I realized that I am in control of my own happiness. How awesome is that? This realization changed me. I actually started to really enjoy my life. Taking responsibility for my life forced me to actually start living it.
The only way we can truly be happy with ourselves and our lives is to realize that our thoughts, emotions, feelings, actions, and decisions are our responsibility and no one else’s.
That is a beautiful thing.
No more excuses. No more blame.
I know you can do this.
Take your power back and start living (and LOVING!) your life!