That thing you’ve been talking about doing forever. That thing you used to love and meant to get back to but can’t ever find the time for now. That dream you’ve been hoping to live… someday.
Why aren’t you doing the things you’re inspired and drawn to do? Why do you keep talking about it instead of taking action? What’s in the way?
We each have so many of them! Time, money, age, skill, what other people will think, fear of being seen, fear of being a beginner, you name it.
But your excuses – no matter how real they seem – are not the reason why you avoid doing what you’re inspired to do.
They’re just stand-in’s for whatever’s underneath them.
Most truth lives a layer or two down. 99.9% of the time our go-to, surface story is the easy to digest story. But it’s not the whole story. Not even close.
For example, I was recently talking to client who wants to move her life in a new direction but can’t figure out why she doesn’t take some beginning steps. She’s been pondering this for some time and has felt as if one foot’s on the gas, and the other’s on the break. I asked her to name the excuses she tells herself. The first few came easily: time, the kids, not completely sure what she wants to do, doesn’t want to lose her personal time. Sounds familiar, right?
But these are never the types of excuses that are truly stopping us from taking action in our lives. So I probed deeper. After a long pause she blurted out a story from childhood about feeling embarrassed about her family and how she’s modeled her adult life to be the person she wished her parents would have been. And she’s afraid that if she puts time and energy into her own thing she won’t be able to maintain the life she’s created, she’ll lose her feeling of success, and plummet back into the feelings of failure and not good enough she was plagued by as a kid.
Every single one of us are not doing the things we say we want to do for reasons just like this.
It’s never the first couple of easy answers like being too busy or not knowing how to start.
It’s that doing the thing you’re drawn to do, whatever it is, will threaten the feeling of stability and survival you’ve created in your life. It will shake up old, uncomfortable feelings that you may not realize you’ve designed much of your life to protect yourself from.
Transformation, opening, healing, freedom, etc. sound great on paper. But what I can say from lots of personal experience on this front is that every time I get what’s truly holding me back and make moves to change this, at first I feel like I’m being pulled to the bottom of a lake and am drowning in gnarly emotions like anger, confusion, helplessness, judgment, and grief. This triggers my survival response and I want to run or check out or change the station.
But I’ve been through this enough to know that creativity changes the creator. Every inspiration we’re given is designed to stir up old stuff so we can see it, heal it, be free from it, and become more open vessels for life to pour itself through.
So I stay with it, seek support, attend to it, try to give myself a break, and let it tell me and show me what it’s needing to express. After some period of time – sometimes it’s quick, sometimes it takes a few months or a year – it does move through, the foot that had been on the break lets up, and I can move forward with the initial inspiration that started the whole unfolding process.
If you find yourself in such a holding pattern – continuously thinking and talking about what you want to do but not doing it – find the courage to peel back the first few layers of story and ask yourself what’s really motivating your avoidance. You’ll know when you find it because it will feel visceral and most likely difficult to be with. But be grateful for what you discover because you’ll just have been given a key to truly breaking your holding pattern!
That said, this is perhaps one of the most inspiring videos I’ve seen about the human capacity to create and not let anything get in the way of your desire to truly LIVE your life.