If you’ve been on the cusp of change and wanting to feel like you’re moving forward in the direction of your desires, you’ve likely felt like you just want to know how to do it. How do I finally get my love life back on track? How do I change my career? How do I become more confident? How do I have less anxiety? How do I decide what to do next? How how how? While there are specific strategies for each one, today I’m going to share one overarching pattern of behavior that will help you radically change your life.
What is a Radical Change?
Radical changes can feel overwhelming and scary. They feel like you’re moving into a place where you are no longer safe. A place where you don’t have the systems and structures that have been supporting you your entire life. Whether that system is a drink, a boss, gossiping, eating, ruminating, friends, burning yourself out or engaging in unhealthy relationship behaviors – we all have systems. These systems may have been picked up from our experiences or taught to us by society. They may be the way that “everyone else” behaves and they may also be the way that you’ve connected to others in the past. Either way, they are there for a reason.
These patterns served a purpose. They were supporting our existence and radical changes often require that we break these patterns. Radical changes require that you do something different. They require a change. Why do we get into a place though, where we desire radical change, yet it doesn’t happen? Whether you want to become a thought leader, industry leader, self-leader or just not feel so overwhelmed by life and all the decisions you need to make, it can seem impossible. It can seem like it’s not for you and that it will never happen. It can seem like this life of ease, vitality, purpose, passion and joy are out of reach right now.
I remember when I was looking to change careers, the people that seemed like they were doing the work in the world that was similar to what I wanted to do, didn’t look like me or have my set of circumstances. They didn’t have families, they hated corporate jobs, they had different desires, and they were “insert anything that wasn’t me at the time”. What I realized though was that these were all excuses. If we want to radically change our lives, we have to stop making excuses.
What’s An Excuse?
An excuse is the reason that you won’t take the first step. It’s the reason you take the first step, but don’t take the second step. Excuses are what come up every single day. Thousands of times throughout the day, excuses will show up. There are so many moments in a single day that we can make excuses. These excuses are the decisions that shape our lives and create what we call our fate. “I’m just not that type of person.” “I don’t have time.” “I’m too old.” “I’m too young.” “I have a family.” “I don’t have a family.” “I don’t have money.”
The Thing Most People Don’t Realize
The thing most people don’t realize though is this one nuance. An excuse isn’t inherently good or bad. They come up as thoughts and that’s what they are. You decide whether or not this excuse is good or bad. Some people may think that the family situation is the best thing in the world. Others may think it’s the worst. Who is right? Neither.
When you start to see that your excuses weren’t meant to stop you, but rather to ask you how you want to work with these circumstances, your life begins to change. If you’re too busy to cook a healthy meal, the question becomes, “how can I eat healthy with less time?” It doesn’t mean don’t do it at all. Radically changing our lives means that we work through our excuses. We let them become the way that we make this thing sustainable. Extreme diets don’t work because not because they are extreme, but because you don’t like them. Someone who is a vegetarian could be considered to have an extreme diet to an omnivore. It’s all a matter of language and perspective.
If you think of that one thing in your life you want, what are your excuses for not taking the next steps? Look at each fear, concern and worry with curiosity and patience. Observe them without judgement and begin to think through how you would work through it. Criticism and judgement will stop you in your tracks. It will create a narrative of unworthiness that is self-perpetuating.
Maybe your path ends up looking different as a result. That’s not a failure. You were meant to do the thing you want your way, with your circumstances. Integrate all of you into this life instead of separating it all into a place of good or bad. Let your excuses be the road you walk down to make this thing finally stick this time.
When you drop the excuses by making them work for you and your life, you finally achieve the consistency that you desire and in doing so, your life will begin to look radically different. Maybe you do care about having money to support you. Maybe you care about taking your family with you in the process. Maybe you care about creating space for a personal life of your own. Maybe you don’t have a ton of time.
I created the change I wanted to see by taking steps forward in spite of and with my set of circumstances. They weren’t all perfect steps, but I learned from each one. When I felt burned out I realized that maybe I needed to slow down and create more space in my life. When I was worried about my health, I had to decide what standards I wanted in my life. When I overworked, overate, overexercised or under-did all these things, I had to deal with them. I had to observe them and not ignore them. It’s not a perfect balance of all the things all the time. That is not what moves you forward. Moving forward is dealing with each thing that comes up with gratitude, patience and determination. There’s a way. There’s always a way.
My most beautiful moments came when I integrated those things that I thought were my biggest excuses. My excuses were also desires wrapped in a bow saying “if you work with me, you’ll have everything that you want.” The things I’ve become expert in and best-in-class at are those which I’ve struggled with the most. It’s created a life where I do have all that I desire, even if I am hungry for another level of impact or service or wealth or creation. Your energy, my friends, is best spent on bringing your desire to life by caring about your excuses, not beating yourself up about all the things that look like they are in your way.
Maybe, just maybe – the thing you desire ends up radically different than what you thought it would look like when you originally started. I would challenge you to consider that perhaps that is why all your past attempts never stuck. Let the radical change be radically changed again and again and again and again. In doing so, it might become an even more true and authentic version of you – which may just be why we were in search of the radical change in the first place.
If you resonate with this content and want to know how to apply this to your life, schedule a complimentary 1:1 session with me here at www.mayempson.com/contact. Limited spots available.