I want to talk about excuses. Yesterday my good friend from college Laura was in town for a few hours during a layover so we met up at our friend Jason’s restaurant for brunch. I was a little late because I had a race in Central Park and by the time I got there we had quite the collection of hilarious people. We were all having a ball, getting to know each other, and enjoying the bottomless mimosas when towards the end of Brunch my friend Jason’s co-worker who came over to hang out with us says to me:
“Well I’m 31, divorced, and fat so I have that going for me.”
I placed my mimosa gently onto the table and said to him, “Don’t EVER say that to anyone ever again.” He started to laugh nervously and I said to him, “What I just heard was I don’t like myself and I think I am a failure.” He laughed again and said, “Well if the shoe fits.” And all of my friends started to laugh telling him that he didn’t know what he just got himself into and I went into Oprah mode. I said to him, “None of this! Do you HONESTLY believe that? You are not even the slightest bit overweight, you are absolutely adorable, you can clearly dress yourself, 31 is not old at all, and I think you are lying through your teeth. YOU CAN’T BULLSHIT A BULLSHITTER!” He laughed again and this time just said, “Maybe you’re right.” “MAYBE I’M RIGHT! No way Jose! Please tell me you don’t believe those things about yourself! A divorce is not a death sentence, being 31 is a wonderful blessing, you clearly are doing well for yourself! Tell me you don’t believe any of the things you just said about yourself!” And he agreed and we all sipped out mimosas and that was that.
Raise your hand if you’ve said any of the following to yourself:
“I’m not good enough.”
“I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes.”
“I don’t have any time.”
“It will never happen.”
“The timing is off.”
“I’m too shy.”
“I’m afraid I’ll fail.”
“I can’t compete with X.”
“What would my friends and family say?”
“I can’t afford to take a risk right now.”
“It’s too hard.”
“I don’t know where to start.”
“They will never choose me.”
“I’m not (blank) enough.”
“Better safe than sorry.”
“I don’t know what the future would look like.”
“It’s always been this way.”
Excuses are holding you back. And the more you repeat an excuse, the easier it is to believe it. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that voice in the back of my head tell me, “I’m not good enough or I’m not (insert self conscious thought here) enough.” There’s always going to be someone out there who is better looking, smarter, has more connections and experience, luckier, braver, etc. etc than you. So there you go! Isn't that nice? That’s no longer an excuse. Feel that weight lift off your shoulder! EMBRACE IT! I mean we can’t all be Beyonce, there’s only one Beyonce. Now that we all can agree that that person is out there, we can all stop worrying about it! If you want something, go get it. You can't continue letting your "shortcomings" hold you back. They are nothing more than a figment of your imagination. You have to want to fight for yourself. And keep pushing yourself. Don't stop because something feels safe and familiar. Seek out the things that scare the crap out of you.
Stop lowering your expectations. It drives me crazy when I hear my friends make excuses for themselves or hold themselves back. It drives me even crazier when I let excuses stop me from taking risks. I do it all the time! I know, it’s hard to drink the Kool-aide! You don't even know where to start? EVEN BETTER! The unknown is scary! Staying where everything makes sense and is comfortable makes sense! I get that. But if it’s not helping you move forward and challenging you then really it's holding you back. We all have heard the saying, "If it ain't broke don't fix it." But it doesn't make sense to wait for something to break to seek an alternative.
Whether you want a raise at work, want to apply for a new position, want to try something new, ask someone out, ask someone to marry you, break up with someone, get a divorce, get active, take up a new hobby, or run a marathon, it all starts with you. It all starts with silencing that little voice in the back of your head telling you that you aren’t good enough. Because it’s bullshit. And you can’t bullshit a bullshitter.
Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.