Eventually, all you’ll have is excuses

A challenge for you to rise above whatever it is that you believe is holding you back.

I’ve never identified with the “just get up and do it” mentality. There are quite a few influencers around the topic of personal finance which adopt a stern, unapologetic tone. “Stop doing stupid behaviors!” That sort of thing.

I imagine the point is to push you out of your complacency through the medium of pressure. Sort of like a drill sergeant.

That works for some people, but not for others. For me, when someone gives me a verbal takedown, especially if it’s around something I’m struggling with, I don’t get energized, I don’t get mad (pushing me into action), or I just kind of shut down.

Everyone struggles here with certain aspects of their financial progress. And we all have reasons for that. As I am always fond of saying: we all know what we need to do, and we’re still not doing it. There’s probably a reason for that.

So I end to err on the side of leaving space for people to sit in the “Precontemplation” stage, to borrow a phrase from psychology. The analogy I’ve always used is that of the burning building.

But sometimes I feel like this approach is a little too hands-off. While I obviously don’t want to shame anyone into making changes (which doesn’t seem like a sensible plan) I do want to make sure I’m challenging you.

Because eventually, all you’re going to have is excuses.

We all have our reasons

We all have reasons we tell ourselves why we can’t make progress. Perhaps it’s because of a setback, one that seems intractable. Perhaps it’s because of what someone told you, either directly, or indirectly.

Perhaps you are a victim of systemic inequality, the short end of the cultural stick for no legitimate reason other than the people who grabbed power and hold on to it keep things that way.

Eventually, all you’re going to have is excuses.

Perhaps perhaps perhaps

Perhaps a piano fell on your head. Perhaps you have medical problems. Perhaps you have had your heart broken. Perhaps you are incapable of love. Perhaps you have never felt loved before. Perhaps you can barely get out of bed. Perhaps you are permanently in bed. Perhaps you feel that there is something horrifically different about you when compared to absolutely everyone in the world which makes you uniquely different and challenged and unable to thrive.

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There is someone else who has thrived in your circumstances. You are not unique. And that’s a good thing.

Eventually, all you’re going to have is excuses.

So what if people have it harder or easier?

Dr. Seuss wrote a book called Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

I love that book, but I think it sends the wrong message.

Yes there are people who have it worse than you. That is not a reason to feel better about yourself!

Your biggest struggles are not going to be between you and other people; they are going to be between you and yourself. The person who says that you can’t do it the most often in your life? it’s you.

If you had spent as much time on reinforcing what you’re not capable of as you did on forward movement toward your dreams, you could have had a completely different life by now.

Did I say it was easy? You’ve been telling yourself why you can’t for so long. You’re good at it. Your chemical makeup, your parents, your culture, whatever it is, there’s a story you’re telling yourself, and it’s a good one.

Your brain will try to stop you. But you control your brain.

Eventually, all you’re going to have is excuses.

My excuses

I am not perfect.

I have believed for so long that nothing I did that mattered to me would ever matter to anyone. That I am invisible. That I can’t rely on others.

I have struggled with these things all my life.

I see evidence of this where I choose to see it. I can, if I wanted, see it everywhere.

But I am not letting it stop me. The fear that I can’t make an impact, will not be the end of the story, just the beginning.

Because in the end, if I let that belief rule me, then all I’m going to have is excuses.

So what’s your excuse?

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