At the dawn of my 44th year, I’ve realized something pretty embarrassing:
I’ve used damn near every excuse in the book. I’ve even conjured up new ones when the existing level of excuse bullshittery wasn’t enough.
I’ve been so busy.
I didn’t have enough time.
I’m not good enough.
I have no idea why they’re even asking to see me. I’m not what they’re looking for so I’m never going to get this.
I don’t have enough money to ______.
I don’t know the right people to _______.
I’m too old.
I’m a woman.
I have to many tattoos for people to think that I can be ________.
Every. Fucking. Excuse. Possible.
And that is a super shitty thing for me to admit — considering I’m someone a lot of people look to for her no excuses/give-no-fucks/quit fucking around and get it done.
Excuses are a super fantastic way to fuck around and get nothing done.
I mean, excuses are superb at accomplishing so many things. Like:
- Staying right where you are.
- Not taking a chance.
- Remaining the victim.
- Giving your true potential the royal middle finger.
- Living a mediocre life.
- Reminding the world — and yourself — that you’re less than.
- Fueling the illusion that chances are things that everyone but you gets.
- Actually move backwards when you were finally at a place to take a leap.
Nice list, huh?
Fuck that list.
Excuses are the only tool we willingly and knowingly use for evil when faced with opportunity. They’re coated in politeness and good intentions. We whip them from the scabbards hanging by our sides and brandish them with brute force, ready to drive back the threatening forces of possibility and opportunity when they dare show their faces in our unwelcoming land.
Imagine yourself in a Westworld or Game of Thrones-type world. Star Wars, even.
Some alternate planet, city, or galaxy far, far away. Another place and time.
You’re dusty. You haven’t bathed in…you’ve lost count. You are down to your last skin of water and you’re super tired of making do on meals of tiny lizards and leaves you hope aren’t poisonous.
As you emerge over the horizon, you see it. WHAT YOU WANT.
It’s coming at you at a full gallop, and you simply can’t believe your eyes.
HOLY SHIT IT IS COMING.
You think of how a full drink of water would taste and feel as it slides down the back of your throat. You imagine the table filled with savory, warm feast-ables — where bowls overflow with plenty and make you feel just a wee bit guilty for all you’ve consumed. You’re clean. You’re alive.
You’ve arrived at this place — the one you’ve waited for. Sought. Put everything on the line to get to.
And then you get scared.
The bullshit starts to flow.
I don’t deserve this.
What will happen to me if I get this and it’s no longer the reason I fight? What will I fight for?
What will I become?
What if I don’t have to worry about money anymore?
What if I actually do quit this J-O-B?
What will people think?
What will people think of ME?
And then, in a flash, you whip out an excuse, sharpened on both sides to a deadly measure and cut through the opportunity coming at you full gallop.
It falls with a whimper, a whinny, hope pouring forth from its wounds and soaking into the ground instead of your veins.
This is what excuses do.
They kill dreams. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve worked way too fucking hard on my dreams to lay waste to them like I have, using these excuses to protect myself from the threat of something I’ve never had.
And never will, if I keep this shit up.
So today, here is what I will do as opportunities shine from the horizon and I’m lured into the bullshittery of excuses:
I will ask: IS THIS TRUE?
And then I will ask: WHY DO I THINK THIS TRUE?
And then I then I will ask: IS THIS REALLY TRUE?
Like, the next time my agent sends me for an audition where the breakdown (the description of the role their casting) says something to the effect of, “30s, super fit, feel free to submit model/actors,” this is what I’ll do.
Me: I’m not a model. Jesus. And I get to the gym a few times a week.
IS THIS TRUE?
Well, no. It’s not. Because these casting directors have seen me before and they specifically asked to see me for this role. They know what I look like — age and body.
WHY DO I THINK THIS IS TRUE?
Mostly because of every ad I see in a magazine and roles I see on TV where women are photoshopped to oblivion or rail-thin. But I’m ignoring the amazingly talented women out there who get cast in things who look like me. Y’know, like a normal person who enjoys a slice of key lime pie on occasion. Because I don’t just see these real women being cast. I know them. They’re my friends.
SO, IS THIS REALLY TRUE?
No. And I’m making an excuse and bringing bullshit into the room with me at this audition that I don’t need to bring in the room.
And I’m not saying it’s going to be easy because we have however many years of perfected bullshittery behind us when it comes to making excuses.
But if we don’t believe in ourselves, who will?
If we don’t stop making excuses for ourselves, who will?
Because there’s one thing I know for damn sure — and that there’s no one who’s going to walk what I want up to my doorstep and hand it to me risk-free, wrapped in pretty paper with a beautiful hand-tied bow on top.
So that means when I see what I want, it’s up to me to say, yeah. This. Let’s do this. Let’s give it one of my fucks and see what happens. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen?
It doesn’t work out?
I don’t get the gig?
I get to try again?
Something else comes along tomorrow and makes me glad this thing I gave my all didn’t pan out?
I save some more money and finally make that move?
Ugh. THE WORST, right?
Excuses are the only tool we willingly use to sabotage ourselves when what we want actually has the nerve to show up.
It’s time to clean out our toolboxes. Because the only way to break the cycle of excuses is to know that we’re doing it and being willing to do something differently THIS TIME.
Oh, and if you need a little inspiration this morning to clean those excuses out of your toolbox, here’s what inspired me to check MY excuses this morning. I’d saved this video on Facebook earlier in the week and it made me weep when I finally sat down to watch it.
Seriously. I have no more fucking excuses. AT. ALL.
If you’re reading this via email, click here to watch the video.