We know what we need to do, yet we don't do it.
Or sometimes we don't know what to do, and we use that as an excuse, instead of figuring out what to do.
I just read an article by Ramit Sethi talking about how we are always looking for tips - tips on how to lose weight, tips on how to make more money, tips tips tips! But we have more than enough tips. The strategy is rarely the problem. It's more about the underlying fears and deeper psychology.
Think about it. How do we lose weight? We eat good food and exercise every day. Super simple, and no one can really argue with that. But how many people actually do it? You might say, plenty.
Here's a better question. How many people actually do it long enough to see results they're happy with? Far fewer.
Taking it even a step further - how many people do it enough to maintain their solid results for a lifetime? The answer is a tiny fraction of the people who originally "knew what to do."
You see, it's not about knowing what to do! I know how to sing (sort of), but I don't do it in front of people, because I'm scared of making a fool out of myself, and I know I don't sound that great, even if other people would get a kick out of it. Knowing how to sing isn't the problem. It's the fear underneath. The excuses.
By the way, fear and excuses are completely normal, and I have plenty of them.
The problem isn't that we have fears, it's that we mask them.
Fear is human, and it can be a great motivator. However, we need to decide what it motivates us to do. Does it motivate us to sit on the couch, or to get up and take action?
The problem is that we deny the fears and lie to ourselves, making excuse after excuse along the way, hurting ourselves more and more. Every time I decide not to keep a promise to myself because of a deeper fear, I'm not doing myself a favor, even if it feels okay in the moment. I'm filling my style bucket, not my substance bucket.
This pattern is reversible though. We just need to call bullshit when we catch ourselves making an excuse. Because then, maybe you can be okay with being scared. There's no need to judge ourselves! You're scared! I'm scared! Who cares! Admitting it and not judging ourselves is the first step to actually getting past something.
The next time we tell ourselves we don't have time for something we've been wanting to do, pause, and realize that a lack of time is not the issue. The reality is, that thing is not a priority for you. And that's okay. That's not a bad thing, so don't judge yourself. Because maybe it'll prompt you to explore WHY it's not a priority.
When you find yourself saying that you don't have time for something, try exploring why (without any judgement)... why don't I have time for this? Is that true? Or do I just not consider this a top priority in my life right now? If it's not a priority, that's okay, but what are my priorities?
If we ask ourselves these questions (not judging ourselves, just being curious), then we can begin to realize, hey, maybe I am scared of doing something because I'm scared of what people think. Once we're aware of that, we might realize it's not that big of a deal.
Or, at the very least, we can be honest with ourselves, which is something to be proud of.
Live with substance!