If you've read my work or heard me on the radio, you know that I'm crazy about inspiring people to live their dream life. I cringe when people tell me they're doing jobs they hate, or slugging through daily routines that drain their energy and make them miserable. I think you can make any life possible with the right mix of persistence and patience, and I can't wrap my head around even the thought of waking up every morning to a life that's not right for me.
It may be obvious to you that when I ask people who are not living their dream life why they're not living it, they offer up a slew of excuses. It's as though a laundry list of reasons roll off their tongues and out the door. Before I can reply, they've convinced themselves for the umpteenth time that that dream life is unrealistic, impractical, and totally far-fetched. It's the life reserved for their imagination -- not a reality that they have the power to create. Sound familiar?
Excuses are just excuses, though. They're not truths; they're only as real as you make them. They're artificial creations that mask the real fear and doubt lurking underneath your skin.
So to prevent the excuses from holding you back from your dream life for even one more day, I've compiled a list of the top excuses I've heard, and some ways you can bust through each.
When you're done with the list, you'll have nothing left but your dream, and hopefully a lot of refueled inspiration to go for it. You've got the power to make anything happen -- just put one foot in front of the other and take action.
Drumroll, please... the top seven excuses:
Excuse #1: I don't have the money. Consider how much money you actually need and find creative ways to get it. I'm going to guess that you you haven't even spent the time figuring out how much money you need to actualize this dream. Don't compromise down your dream before you even explore it.
Excuse #2: I don't have time. You can make time for the stuff that matters to you. You get to choose whether or not you prioritize your dreams. What are you doing that's a total time-waster? Do you spend three hours a day on Facebook or mindless moments in front of the TV? What can you accomplish more efficiently? What can you outsource to someone else? Rearrange your day and think outside the box. You'll find you have more time than you think.
Excuse #3: I've already started down one path; I can't change direction. Every day you make decisions about how you live your life. Give yourself permission to change direction -- no matter how much time, energy, or money you've already invested in another endeavor, relationship, or job. Life is all about twists and turns -- be open to a new direction.
Excuse #4: I'm too scared. It's natural to be scared of the activities that most excite you. Use fear to move you forward -- follow your fear, don't resist it. Push yourself so you can be proud of yourself.
Excuse #5: People will judge me if I fail. You're giving everybody too much power. Frankly, people care a lot less about what you're doing than you think. You're just a blip on their radar screen. Make the decisions that are right for you. The people who love and care about you will support you; the rest don't matter anyway.
Excuse #6: I'm not _____ enough. Not young enough, smart enough, or good enough? These are just limiting beliefs. Catch yourself when these doubts pop up, and find something positive and encouraging to say about yourself instead.
Excuse #7: I'm not ready yet. If you're waiting to be perfectly ready to pursue your dream, you'll never go for it. We all start one (shaky) step at a time. Don't wait for perfection to move forward, just do it.
Alexis Sclamberg is a personal development writer, speaker, and media personality. Called "the self-help voice of Gen Y," Alexis is at work on her first book, Borrowed Wisdom. She contributes to publications including Forbes.com and Cosmopolitan magazine, blogs for The Huffington Post, and writes an advice column. She makes regular appearances on local and national radio, including NPR. She is an honors graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Connect with Alexis on Twitter and Facebook, and find more inspiration on her website.
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For more on becoming fearless, click here.