I have no choice!! I hear this a lot when I talk to people and clients:
“I am in this job because I have no choice”
“I can’t leave this job because I have no other options”
“My circumstances are what they are and I can’t do anything about it
“I can’t do what I want to do because of all my obligations so I am stuck”
Does that sound familiar to you? It should because if it isn’t you who has said it, it is you who has heard it from someone you know. I have said it AND heard it so I am well acquainted with these excuses. Yep, I said it EXCUSES!!
It’s such an ugly word so many of us refrain from saying because we don’t want to offend or turn someone off but the reality is that so many of us rely on excuses to avoid accountability for our choices. When we avoid accountability we can avoid change and when we avoid change we can stay where we are forever. Isn’t that so much easier than pursuing our dreams and being truly happy? Knowing what to expect rather than diving into the unknown that may or may not produce the true happiness we so desperately desire. Yep, excuses work. I know excuses, they have always been there for me and always will be there.
When all else fails….excuse. When I would rather talk about it instead of be about it...excuse. When there is a choice between action and inaction...excuses will do the trick!
Well ladies and gentleman, I am here to call all of us on our bullshit and yes you’re welcome. I’ve thought of them all and have used them all until finally I realized (with much coaching and tough love support), that I DO HAVE A CHOICE. As one of my favorite inspirational warriors Marie Forleo says, “everything is figureoutable”. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, everything in our life; our jobs, our financial circumstances, our relationships, our personal status etc...EVERYTHING is a CHOICE and if we want to shift those circumstances we can choose to do so.
I have heard it all and said it all, “I am totally disrespected at work, I always get passed up for promotions and ignored in meetings. I didn’t choose for my superiors not to like me or not to value my work, that is on them. I can’t help how it makes me feel, who wouldn’t be impacted if they were treated like dirt?” Yes we are all entitled to our emotions and they are often times a mere biological response, not something we can actually control or else we would all be emotionless robots. However, what we can do when we acknowledge that this person or these people are acting in a particular way towards us, is CHOOSE how we are going to respond to those behaviors.
First and foremost, no one can make me feel anything. I CHOOSE to let their behaviors impact me and I CHOOSE to allow that impact to affect my day to day life. So for this not to happen I have to CHOOSE to dismiss their behaviors as “their stuff” and continue on with my head held high for being who I am and for bringing my value to the table. Although I do also have the choice to address the situation head-on.
I can approach the said perpetrators of the disrespectful behavior and ask them if I am doing something to them that is warranting this disrespectful treatment (a little reverse psychology). Or maybe, I can look inward to identify what areas of growth I can work on so that I can be more assertive or effective in dealing with oppositional personalities. Or, perhaps all of these feelings are in my head and I’m only interpreting it as disrespect because I am the one with no faith or confidence in my own abilities? I guess, in this case I could seek out guidance around self-esteem boosting strategies to shift the dynamic of my presence. Lastly, it could just be everything above and more and quite frankly, I don’t care enough about those people, this company or this job to put in even an ounce of effort trying to change it or how I feel about it; to which I can simply CHOOSE to quit. Right? Right.
I know, know…”It’s not that simple Shayna. I can’t just up and quit my job. I have a family, bills and other obligations. I couldn’t possibly abandon my responsibilities in an effort to change my shitty circumstances. There are just too many things to consider before I can make that decision so for now, I am stuck with it.”
Again, BULLSHIT!! You absolutely CAN quit your job like right this second. It is absolutely possible for you to go in there, stand tall on your desk, middle fingers in the air, with some rebel song blasting out of your cell phone speakers and yell out to all who will listen “I’m not gonna take it anymore!!”. Or, ya know you can skip the grand standing and just calmly submit the standard 2 week notice of resignation letter via e-mail. Whatever you’re style, it is absolutely a certainty that this can be done.
The fact of the matter is that you CHOOSE not to do it. Fine, I get it, there are some ducks that should be lined up before you start taking the plunge into the abyss of happiness. You will need to search for other opportunities, apply, to jobs, create possibility, learn more, invest in yourself, whatever you need to do; I am not suggesting that you have to make every choice on some “no holds barred” Jerry Mcguire tip but either way...THE CHOICE IS YOURS !!!
You can choose what barriers pose the greatest challenges for you to changing your circumstances. You can choose to address those barriers and you can choose to take action. Whatever is holding you back in this life is your CHOICE! The sooner you decide to make choices that favor your progress and contribute to your goals of happiness, the sooner your circumstances will change. I can tell you this with certainty because this was me. I was a prisoner of excuses until I finally CHOSE to grab the bull by the horns and take accountability, not only for how my life had turned out, but for how I wanted it to change.
I needed excuses to keep me stuck in my story of unhappiness, that is what I knew how to do very well. Relying on excuses to avoid changing, felt all warm and cozy like wearing a comfy sweater and sipping hot cocoa in front of a fireplace on a cold New England night. But there is only so much time you can sit in front of that fireplace until the heat starts to burn you up and the cabin fever sets in. This is when you start to wonder what your options are. This is when you tell yourself there has got to be something more because this life just ain’t for me anymore. This is when you know that the choice is yours and you start to scream it from the mountain tops…
I AM DONE WITH EXCUSES….I AM READY TO CHANGE MY LIFE...I WILL CHOOSE MY OWN DESTINY!!!
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ShaynaLee is a Career Coach and Strategist with 15 years of experience creating and implementing professional development strategies.