Just before the New Year with winter setting in, it was time to gather the herd and put them on winter pasture and bring the bulls in to winter at my house for the season. Bringing the bulls in I was reflecting over the last year, thinking of the strides I’ve made in certain areas of my life and what direction I am heading in the year ahead. I realized that it was high time to call myself on my own bullshit!
I had several goals, projects and ideas to pursue last year that I didn’t follow through on. Some of them I have lost interest in, which is alright to let go of and move on; yet others were still really important to me and I still really want to do; some I have even started but haven’t finish.
The human mind is miraculous, it is like a bull on the fight when it is up against evidence that it needs to change. Our psyches are equipped with layer after layer of bullshit defense mechanisms designed to shoot down anything that might keep things from staying exactly the way they are — just ask any addict.
I can come up with all sorts of excuses why I didn’t finish what I started but the bottom line is that I alone must make something of myself and my life.
Calling myself on my own bullshit means taking full responsibility for my own life and killing the excuses before they kill me! Each time I betray myself by not following through on something I promised myself I would do I lose integrity and respect for myself, and it takes a tremendous toll on my belief in myself. When I remember the agreements I have made with myself and follow through on these commitments, being true to myself, that is when I have integrity and feel good about who I am.
We all have the greatest intentions in the world about what we are going to do, but fail to follow through. It’s much easier to break a promise to yourself, than it is to a loved one, friend, client or coworker, but the results are much more harmful.
We use the excuse “as soon as” to mean – as soon as I have the time, as soon as I have the money, as soon as the stars are in perfect alignment and all is exactly right in my little world; then I will take action. Unfortunately, the right circumstances never come and we are left with the ” shoulda, woulda, could have’s” and ultimately regret!
Sometimes we forget our own potential. We become so wrapped up in the muck and manure of living day to day, yet this is just another excuse too. Each day brings new opportunities to perceive our own potential. In any situation there is a myriad of ways to see something. We take responsibility for our lives by taking responsibility for how we see our lives. Each challenge is an opportunity for growth and every situation will give back to you, what you give to it, because you give each situation all the meaning that it has for you.
We spend a lot of our time consuming things others have made (TV, music, Facebook, video games) instead of putting our own unique interest, skills and talents out into the world. Most of which is a waste of time and doesn’t contribute to making us better people nor contribute to the world we live in. Doing so is just another form of procrastination and another excuse to not begin living our own lives fully.
We hold ourselves back because the fear of failure is greater than the desire to succeed and it’s much easier to not create anything in our lives rather than feel like a failure when it doesn’t turn out perfectly. In order to succeed we first have to at least try. It may not turn out perfectly but we will have learned something from the experience.
People who don’t try, don’t fail, but they don’t succeed either. As a society we have come to value comfort over effort. Misery is comfortable, which is why so many people prefer it. Happiness takes effort. Happiness is a choice. It isn’t controlled by others or by outward circumstances, but comes from remaining centered and in integrity.
It takes effort, practice, repetition, and discipline to become good at anything. We quit because in our society of instant gratification it takes too long to see results. What we often fail to understand is that, the process is the result.
“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it,
but what they become by it.” John Ruskin.
My projects may never make me any money or go anywhere, but I will certainly feel better about who I am as a person because I honored myself and followed through on what I said I would do.
I personally have held myself back because I have let the heartbreaks of the past cause me to become cynical, yet again another excuse. Emotional pain doesn’t have to devastate us, we can learn from the experience, and learn from our emotions; but this requires us to sit still and fully feel the uncomfortable emotion in order to move through it. Life requires vulnerability for our own growth and development. Real power comes from being strong enough to be vulnerable; to feel hurt and in knowing we can take care of ourselves when we do feel the pain. Real power also comes when we stop holding others responsible for our pain and we take responsibility for all our feelings.
We all fail at times. Sometimes plans don’t work out, but I can no longer waste any more time using this as an excuse and being upset over it. It’s now time to pull myself up by my boot straps and try again, learn from my mistakes and use them to make a better plan.
We also hold ourselves back because we fear success and lack the courage to put our heart and soul into a project only to have others attack it. Welcome constructive criticism, feedback helps us improve and disregard unconstructive criticism. Those who judge your creation are only expressing their own fears and using it as an excuse to do nothing themselves!
Judgment arises when our expectations are not met, but often our expectations are idealized and unattainable and therefore impossible to meet. When I find myself judging others it’s usually because I’m holding myself or others to a set of impossible standards. We can’t expect unrealistic perfection in far from perfect circumstances or from others who are constantly evolving, maturing and changing.
“Don’t mind criticism. If it is untrue, disregard it. If it is unfair, keep from irritation. If it is ignorant, smile. If it is justified, learn from it.” -Anonymous
The choice to be bitter vs. motivated largely determines whether or not you will succeed in life! Attitude is everything it helps you push through to succeed or is the hidden obstacle that stops you from achieving the success you desire.
Be honest with yourself, call yourself on your own bullshit, hold yourself accountable and take responsibility for your own amazing life. Live from the heart without hesitation and grateful to have the opportunity. Trust your inner calling, ignore criticism and judgment and show the world who you are!