One thing I’ve been realizing a lot during this 100 Day Project is the amount of excuses I usually make for not writing.
At the time, they always seem like totally valid excuses. I’m too tired. I’m too busy. I overbooked my schedule. I am having an emotional day. I’m not inspired to write. I’m too distracted. I’m not in my ideal environment for writing. I have literally nothing to say. I’ve been too focused on promoting XYZ, or doing an affiliate launch (aka – other people’s work is taking priority over doing my own). I’m not feeling well. I got carried away with something else. Oops. I’ll try again tomorrow.
These are just a tiny sampling of the excuses I make about why I “just can’t” be a daily writer.
But the truth is, once we fully commit to something, once we make a decision…those excuses? They simply fall away. It’s like a magic trick.
“I don’t have enough time” somehow turns into “I will make the time.”
“I’m not in my ideal environment for writing” somehow turns into “If I have my laptop, a wifi connection, and 30 minutes (which, let’s be real, I almost always do), I can post something.”
“I’m not inspired to write” somehow turns into “What is ONE THING I noticed today that’s worth talking about?”
As Seth Godin says, we don’t get “talker’s block.”
“No one ever gets talker’s block. No one wakes up in the morning, discovers he has nothing to say and sits quietly, for days or weeks, until the muse hits, until the moment is right, until all the craziness in his life has died down.
Write like you talk. Often.”
Kind of a reality check, right?
Pretty much every day that I’ve been participating in this 100 Day Project, Joel keeps saying to me, “Wait…I thought you had to be in the mood to write?!” And he says it with a snicker because I used to use that as an excuse all. the. time.
He likes to challenge my excuses, which sometimes annoys me in the moment, because I’m very attached to them being real. But he’s right.
One time, I told him I could “only write at home, with no distractions” and he challenged that assumption – hard.
With a little bit of nudging from him, I ended up writing a 40-page cleanse e-book from a tiny coffee shop in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In just a few days.
I guess I can write anywhere.
I’ve realized there’s a difference between having an ideal scenario for writing, and setting yourself up with those circumstances when you can (i.e. in the morning, with peace and quiet, at home, feeling adequately caffeinated and full of inspiration) vs. “nope, can’t write AT ALL!” if those exact circumstances aren’t present.
Why do we make excuses in the first place? Excuses not to do things we WANT to do, and we KNOW will make us feel good?
Is it fear of actually being happy and successful?
Fear of not being able to live up to the responsibility that comes with commitment?
Fear of failure?
Fear of not being good enough or smart enough or WHATEVER enough?
Either way, excuses are definitely fear of something.
That, or laziness. Right?
Or something else? (If you guys have your own idea of what excuses really are, please share in the comments).
But every second that ticks by where we’re making excuses out of fear or laziness is delaying our dreams, delaying our potential, delaying us from developing new skills, and depriving other people of what we have to give.
I want to give a huge HIGH FIVE to my sister Lisa, who’s committed to doing a live Periscope broadcast every single day while I’m doing the everyday blogging.
She was scared too, just like me. She had her own excuses for possibly not doing it. But it’s what she loves doing, and just like me, she had a feeling that doing it every day would strengthen something in her own character.
So she’s been showing up day after day after day. And guess what?
She had 32,000 viewers today. 32,000! No freaking joke. We just Googled how many people fit into Madison Square Garden.
Just shows you what happens when you make a commitment to SHOW UP every single day and share something. I’m proud of you Lis.
But we both agreed, the part that’s really changing us isn’t how many people are paying attention. It’s the fact that we keep doing it. And the fact that it’s not even a question, because we made a commitment. And that commitment stands, whether we are sharing to thousands or sharing to a completely empty room.
Because the day after you get 32,000 views on your video, you still wake up the same you. And that little ol’ YOU still has to take action, and do it again. And again. And again the next day. No matter who is or isn’t watching.
So it stops being “do I feel like doing this today?” and it starts becoming a chance for us to step out of our little turtle shells and JUST SAY SOMETHING.
Those excuses creep in like they own the place, and they don’t give us room for questioning. We go along with them, easily and often. But then we wake up the next day realizing that yet again, we didn’t do that thing we wished we did. We didn’t become who we wanted to become. Again.
As Barack Obama said in this speech….
“Excuses are tools of the incompetent, used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness.”
Yikes. Let that one sink in for a second. It makes me feel sick, actually. Because we have so much we can do, so much LOVE we can infuse the world with, and SO MANY EXCUSES holding us back. We are bigger than that. We are better than that.
If we continue to let our BS excuses win, we will build monuments of nothingness. And that sounds unbearable to me.
Listen – I know it’s not easy to show up and be the person you really want to be in the world. I KNOW. It’s HARD and excuses are SO, SO, SO EASY. I fight them every day and believe me, I don’t always win.
But when you make a commitment, those excuses WILL begin to drop away. Try it, for a day, for a week, for a month…I promise you’ll see.
Please, let me know when you do. :)