“Something’s come up. I need to reschedule….” Have you ever used this statement or something like it before to get out of a promise you’ve made?
I have. I’ve used it to get out of keeping a commitment I made to myself and others.
Here’s how it goes: I begin a project and then hit a challenging point. I become frustrated. I loose hope. I just want to walk away from everything. If only I had a reason. “Something’s come up” sounds good so I use it. It generally works.
I breathe a sigh of relief until I find myself using it again. What is happening? Why am I in this situation again? Earth to Amy… Is there a pattern in my behavior that maybe I need to address?
I look back on the first time that I completed a Bikram Yoga Challenge. It was 2002. I had been practicing about 6 months when the studio promoted a 60 day Challenge. I got caught up in the excitement of this new Challenge and signed up immediately.
The first week, I was eager and excited. My motivation started to decline in week 2. The Challenge took time, planning, and lots of laundry washing. I was at a cross road. Do I complete the Challenge or do I come up with a reason to quit.
My mind got busy with excuses… I am really busy at work…..I have a ton of other personal commitments….I cannot see the results from my efforts…I really don’t know if the Challenge is for me. Fortunately, I had an Instructor who sensed my wavering thoughts and pulled me aside one day after class. As we talked about what I was feeling, she shared with me an observation.
You need to become stronger than your excuses.
Wow, that comment stung and hit me at my core. I got mad. I didn’t want to believe her observation. I pondered our discussion for awhile and then realized she was right. My body was capable and needed Bikram Yoga but my mind was creating excuses of why I should just give up. I thought long and hard. I decided to stay the course and complete my Challenge. It wasn’t easy, but I can still remember my sense of accomplishment on day 60. What a great feeling!
Looking back, I realize that this one decision of not giving up has served me well. It has given me a reason to stay the course when times get tough. Here is what I have learned:
* We are much stronger than we think we are.
* Determination and focus are good substitutes when skills and experience are lacking.
* “Uncomfortable” is a natural part of a new challenge, and a sign that a break-through is just around the corner.
* Giving up excuses is the easy way to keep your commitments.
Have you ever used excuses to get out of challenging situations? Has this thinking served your well or prevented you from growing? What have you learned by staying the course and not giving up? Share your thoughts, experiences and what you have learned with us. We all need pearls of wisdom to help us stay the course and grow in challenging situations.