It’s time to ask yourself a really simple question… are you happy with yourself? Consider this for a moment. We’re not talking about yesterday or tomorrow, we’re asking if you’re happy with yourself…RIGHT NOW! That’s right, in this present moment.
We’re not talking about those goals you have made with yourself, you know the ones.
• I’ll be happy with myself when I lose 5 pounds.
• I’ll be happy with myself when I earn 6 figures, not 5.
• I’ll be happier with myself when I find a boyfriend or girlfriend.
• I’ll be happier with myself when all the debts are paid off.
• Life will be perfect with a house and 2 kids.
Nope, we’re not talking those things that you have planned for the future. We’re talking about if you’re happy with yourself right now. This includes all the imperfect and not so ideal situations that you’re in right now.
Many people forget that happiness is a choice, just as success is a choice too. Where you are currently in your life is because of the results of your past choices and decisions. It’s these past choices and decisions that have led you to this point in time.
It’s a lot like driving. You’ve chosen your route and you’ve driven yourself to here. It may be difficult to drive yourself out, so you must find ways to feel better about yourself, and push past all those obstacles, so you can drive yourself to a better place.
After you’ve read this post it’s important to take a long and hard look at your life. “What’s next?” you may ask yourself. The first step after examining your life is to commit to getting to the heart of the things that are holding you back from your happiness.
Some of the major blockages to your path are excuses and stories in your mind. These are what holds you back from achieving your dreams.
• I have no money to start my own business.
• I have to feed my family first.
• I’m too tired after my day job to do more than crash and watch TV.
• I don’t have the knowledge to do it.
These are all excuses that hold you back. Always remember: Happiness and success are located on the OTHER side of your excuses and all those little “can’t do it” stories in your mind!
How do you break past this barrier? Don’t worry, you’re not in it alone. We’ll provide some tips and advice on how to achieve happiness and success…which is only located on the other side of those excuses and stories in your mind.
Let’s get started.
1. Identify Your Excuses.
First, you must figure out the excuses that are holding you back. These are also excuses that are keeping you from being happy. You can always look back on your past, but don’t dare focus on that! The past has little to do with today, as with today, there are new choices and experiences to make. While you can use the past as a motivator, you should not use it to say, “Oh poor me, this is why I don’t succeed.”
Are you looking for excuses? Because we have them!
• Are there reasons why you’re not advancing in your company?
• Why aren’t you making any time for date nights?
• Is there a reason why you’re still in the same spot financially as you were last year?
What excuses are holding you back from achieving your goals? Make sure you write them down onto paper.
If you can only think of a few, that’s fine. Try to write down at least 3 to 5.
2. What Are Your Feelings?
Sit down and examine your feelings. Think about all the excuses you’ve been making with yourself, then examine the feelings surrounding your excuses. Chances are that your feelings surrounding all the excuses and stories are going to make you feel bad and unpleasant.
PERFECT! You’re on the right track. Because in order to grow, you must feel uncomfortable. It all involves that first step. Imagine how people who hate their jobs reach that point in life where they suddenly stop and smell the roses. Hey, I could look for another job while I still work here! And suddenly, you feel 100% better, like you’re taking action instead of moping around all week.
This can also pertain to the past, where you’re carrying around all this baggage. Some of it makes you feel like crap, and is holding you back from doing things. It’s time to purposefully “lose” that baggage. Now you have a bit of extra energy, you can grow.
As part of your exercise in writing it all down, consider some of these questions.
• Do you spend your life complaining more than being grateful about things?
• Do you feel stressed out every hour of the day?
• Are you lashing out at others for things that are your fault?
Are there reasons why are you acting this way? Then get those feelings written down onto paper.
3. Switch Things Up
Read over all the excuses you have written down onto paper. Then, take your pen and cross them out. It’s time to make a big decision today. It will be the LAST day that you ever allow yourself to tell yourself these excuses, in your head or out loud.
Now that you’ve done that, you can now create brand new outcomes for your life.
You’ll want to remind yourself that for each of the problems that you have, or think you had, you can switch them out for positive feelings and experiences.
4. Time to Turn Excuses Into Execution.
Read over the excuses in your notebook. Now, you want to replace each one with a “positive action item” that will aid you in crushing down those limited beliefs now.
If you need help, let’s take one of the excuses listed above, for example, you have no time to do what you really want to do. Instead, think of solutions. For example, how can you fit in an extra hour of your day to work on your new business? Perhaps you can get up an hour earlier in the morning, or go to bed an hour late. Or, maybe you’re vegging in front of the TV. Well, after the kids have gone to bed, turn off that TV. Now you have a whole extra hour!
If you can’t donate an hour, then grab 15 minutes. Remember 15 minutes x 30 days in a month can add up to a lot of time!
5. You Need to Reaffirm a Positive Outcome
Now you should have a list where all your excuses have been scratched out, leaving an actionable goal list. Now it’s time to own it! What will be your positive outcome for the next month, two months, and three months?
What types of goals would you write down on paper if you knew that you’d have a positive outcome? Be very specific about the new outcome. Be sure to write down every detail that pops into your mind. You may think about bringing in more money, but you could also pay off your debt or even go on a vacation!
The clearer you are about your goals, the faster you’ll know that you’re on the right path to them. Remember you don’t want any detours to Excuseville.
6. Let’s Step it Up.
By now you’ll have a list of brand new goals, rather than excuses. Now step it up! Let’s go even bigger!
We’ll bet that you played it safe with the last step, right? Likely you wrote down things that you could actually do, still keeping within your comfort zone. Once again, your mind monkeys have played it safe and kept you from achieving your goals.
Now this time it’s different. Let’s think BIG! Go for it!
What big goals can you write down on your sheet of paper that you can accomplish within the next 30 minutes?
7. You Can Prepare for Speed Bumps
If you’re an adult, you can understand how no matter how hard you plan, things may not always go the way you had intended. This is what we call life. Instead, let’s prepare for the speed bumps that we call life.
It’s important to do this so that you don’t get into a bad tailspin when adversity attacks.
Grab pen and paper once again. What are you going to do when your spouse says you’re not bringing in enough cash and you need to get out and get a real job? What will you do when the car or the fridge breaks and you need to buy a new one?
Even though you don’t want to dwell on the “what-ifs”, if you do prepare, then you have a back up plan in place to cover these emergencies.
Remember that film Bad Boys with Will Smith? You must find your “woosah” so that you can laugh at any adversity as you move forward.
8. You Must Give to Receive.
You have to find something to give up so that you can pursue your dreams. That means, missing parties, not buying expensive concert or theater tickets, carving out that extra time, or even spending weekends alone. Ignore that outcome and be aware that you’re going to need to make a massive effort to get past your limited beliefs to succeed.
You must give up to move up!
9. Change of Environment.
If you’re surrounding yourself with non-motivated friends, it’s time to find people who can motivate you to achieve your goals. That means being around positive people.
It also helps to never participate in gossip. Remember that environment is everything, and you have the ability to make changes within it.
10. Act the Part.
It can be scary trying new things, but you should play the part first. Act like you are already the person that you want to become. Do you think you’ll be successful if you sit and watch TV every night and scream at your children?
Remember that the new you doesn’t have to be scared, and the new version can be amazing and awesome!
11. Honor Your Commitments.
You made a pact with yourself, so be sure to honor your commitments. It can be challenging when you’re alone at night, as there is no one to hold you accountable. “I can slack off,” you might say.
But remember that if these excuses for not working towards your goals come up, remember this quote from C.S. Lewis:
“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”
So, get out there and do your thing!
12. Keep on Failing Forward.
Have you ever been on the road to something big and then experienced a setback? It’s important to fail forward. Take this lesson and use it as a learning experience.
How can you use failures to ultimately succeed? Can you share your lessons with others? Write down a testimony for every test, or thing that goes wrong for you.
13. Schedule That Time.
By now, you should know that working towards your goals is always fun, but it can also burn you out too. Besides scheduling in time for your special projects and goals, schedule in some me time.
Each day there should be time just for you. It could be 5 minutes to close the eyes and meditate. It could be an hour before bedtime to read that trashy novel. Or, spend 20 minutes walking around the block after dinner with your loved ones. It has to be something that makes you sigh and say ahhh, I needed that!
14. Show Up.
Not just physically, but mentally. Be in the moment. Be sure you are experiencing things in the present. Focus on the right now! And now. And now. Don’t worry about what happened in the past, besides that learning experience.
And don’t forget to keep that daily journal, so you can either put it into the past, or refer to positive experiences in the future.
15. Be Grateful and Have Fun With It
By now you have a complete advice list on how to kick those stories in your head to the curb. But there’s just one more step: be grateful and have fun!
Be sure to laugh several times a day. Mark it on your calendar if you think you’ll forget. Laugh at yourself!
And always be grateful as you unlock new achievements and make it towards your goals… remember, those big huge goals you wrote out earlier in this exercise?
Now it’s time to take action and do it! Let’s get to work!