What Can I Do? On Having NO Excuses.

I’ve lately taken a new approach to life challenges, and while I haven’t been 100% successful in implementing the strategy, it’s definitely work being done. You know, that deep down, personal, soul baring work that get’s no pay check but has priceless rewards…it’s my favorite kind of work to do but hard to make a living on.

Ask yourself this: “What can I do?” There are so many possible meanings to the question…it could be asking with some attitude when the problem faced is one you don’t want responsibility for. It could be asking with a feeling of hopelessness or helplessness when you might be so overwhelmed by suffering and stress that there seem to be absolutely no options at all. It can be asked out of laziness when it’s so much easier to see no alternatives to whatever is currently requiring your attention.

Or! Asking yourself, “What CAN I do?” can be one of the most empowering first steps you will take to overcome the challenge, no matter what it is, that has presented itself to you. Because truth be told, challenges/obstacles/hurdles/difficulties are ALL opportunities for learning and growth. And the real meaning of the question is “What am I able to do, here and now?”

It’s not about asking what you think you should be able to do or why you can’t do something else, it’s not going down a road of self defeating attitudes about your abilities or even your mistakes. It’s taking a situation, in all its simplicity or complexity, and asking what you are actually capable of doing (or not doing, depending on the situation) that will push you just a bit forward.

I’ve got a bucket full of recent life situations to illustrate the point, but the example I want to use is pretty personal and the challenge is one I face on a DAILY basis. Not even kidding. Most of you know I’m in the process of getting a business off the ground, and I’m sure some of you are even wondering why it’s taking me so long! I wonder that all the time, but then I have moments of clarified awareness when I remember that I’m not everyone else and I’ve got to do things at my own pace, I’ve got stuff to learn about the process. But gee whiz do I get overwhelmed by the details! Honestly, I get anxious about choosing a featured image for a blog post or what to share on Instagram.

This heightened sensitivity to what has to be done (trademark applications, selecting, ordering and packing bottles, preparing a list of stores to visit, finding an office, actually selling the product, and 1,000 other little things) often leads me to an avoidant state of mind, which progresses into anxiety and depression about my LACK of ability and then self inflicted laziness. That gets me to a place of utter paralysis and anger.

For some reason, one day a couple of months ago when I observed myself spiraling into that madness, the little question popped into my head. “What Can I Do?” I really thought about it hard, and then something miraculous happened. The smallest, most un-impressive, inconspicuous actions became the steps I took. Finishing each minute act gave me the same sense of accomplishment as a full day hiking on the Appalachian trail in a thunder storm. I completed the tasks exhausted but determined for the next.

I decided to write about this now because things are chaotic and I feel like I’m at the mercy of unseen forces, having no clue what wild thing is going to show up on my own rainbow blazed trail. Copperheads and poison ivy would be welcome guest alternatives to what I’m experiencing as personal failures and letdowns. I asked myself last night, “What can I do,” when I really wanted to fall back on the excuses of patterns, injury, and circumstances beyond my control. The reality is though, life is ours to create. We have to move beyond the limitations of mistakes made and things that have happened to us, so that we may not only enjoy what we have but fulfill our own unique destinies on Earth. “What can I do” eliminates excuses and rewards us with an inner responsibility and the power to make small but effective changes in our own little, but extremely significant, lives.

Ask yourself again, and see what transformation awaits you!

Much love,

Orange

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