Last week I was super lucky! I listened to a talk by business coach, Amanda Moxley. One of my big takeaways from her hour-long webinar was this:
We have to take 100% responsibility for our lives. For what we do AND what we don’t do.
I remember that word, responsibility.
It was the agreement I made with myself when I left my spiritual teacher in 2004, when I agreed that I would be in charge of my life – good and bad. That whatever happened, I would own it.
Had I forgotten or was I now at a new level?
Yesterday I learned that Dr. Wayne Dyer had passed away. I knew he’d been diagnosed with Leukemia years ago but he’d continued to travel, speak and write. In fact, I’d just seen him in Ft Lauderdale, last May where he’d been energetic, peppy and full of inspiring stories.
I pulled one of his books off my shelf. It was his autobiography, I Can See Clearly. I opened it to this: take full responsibility of your life and shed all the excuses.
He wrote, “I have compiled a list of the most common excuses that I have heard over the years as a therapist, lecturer, media personality, and parent of eight children. In addition, I have created an Excuses Begone! paradigm that consists of seven questions I’ve used with clients to help them see that all of these excuses that are so frequently employed are really a way to avoid responsibility and shift to a blame mentality.” (p. 318)
I read this and thought: What am I not taking responsibility for?
What aspect of my life am I not 100% owning?
My query had something to do with success and value. About honoring who I am, what I do and putting an economic value to it.
Then I had to ask myself, what’s my excuse? Why am I not doing it?
Is it fear of not knowing how? Is it because it’s scary? Too hard? Other people will feel bad? I won’t be spiritual? I have to be more accountable?
And then it hit me – the excuse underneath all of it – it’s too much work.
I knew immediately that was it!
Why? Because when I’d transitioned into my new venture, I knew I didn’t want to be a slave to work. I’d already done that, created a business while having young kids and the experience had left me exhausted and drained. I wanted more balance in my life. I didn’t want to be crazed and turn back into a workaholic.
So I was actively resisting anything that felt like it was pulling me toward working too hard.
Now that I’d identified my excuse, it was time to utilize Wayne Dyer’s seven Excuses Begone! questions. (pp. 322-3)
1. Is the fear of working too hard excuse true?
No. Success doesn’t have to equal working too hard. It can be about working smarter or more strategically.
2. Where did the excuse come from?
Good question! I think it comes in part from my parents. I grew up learning that we have to work hard for what we want. We also live in a workaholic society. Americans are rewarded for working longer and more hours and take less vacation time than ever. Most Americans don’t even use the vacation time they earn.
I have never wanted to live like that and yet the messages from society are really loud.
3. What’s the payoff for using the excuse?
It justifies my not working too hard or too long. It’s an excuse for procrastinating or putting off tasks that I don’t know how to do.
4. What would my life look like if I couldn’t use this excuse?
I would feel more effective and fulfilled and I’d have the online presence I visualize for myself. I would also step fully into a thriving and balanced life.
5. Can I create a rational reason to change?
Yes, because I do believe that I don’t really have to work harder, I just have to work smarter and I know I can do that if I choose.
6. Can I access Universal cooperation in shedding this excuse?
I can meditate and ask.
When I did, the answer I got was this: Don’t try just ask.
Wow! That was huge. This was the biggest a-ha for me.
Because somewhere my belief has always been that I have to do everything myself. If I can let go of this false belief, my life will change. Instead, I simply have to ask and I will get the help I need.
Talk about not having to work harder!
7. How do I continually reinforce this new way of being?
Remind myself to ask for help. Remember that I already am smart and successful and know exactly what I need to do. Open up to the love that surrounds me and know that I am being guided.
Thank you Amanda Moxley for the reminder to take 100% responsibility for my life and thank you Dr. Wayne Dyer for this terrific tool to unpack the excuses that prevent us from living more truly who we are meant to be. You were a guiding light in the world and bravely helped move psychology towards spirituality. Thank you for all your books, insights and wonderful humor. Your light will be sorely missed.
What excuse is holding YOU back from doing what you want and being more successful, happy, healthy, and prosperous?
See if you can dig out that reason and when you do, walk it through these seven steps of Wayne Dyer’s.