Sometimes, things need to break in order for us to demand better for ourselves.
The other day I accidentally knocked over my french press, one that I had recently bought to replace a previous one that had been broken for some time.
What I had actually wanted then was a pour over pot, but when I saw the price difference I decided against that idea. I wanted the pour over one because I thought it would help me to achieve some of my goals around being more conscious with food and eating. I figured that with the process of the pour over I would have no choice but to be present and patient.
When my new french press broke I got upset that now I would have to spend even more money on something I didn’t even want in the first place.
Then it dawned on me that maybe this was a sign that it's time to let myself go for what I truly want.
While this is just a story about a silly coffee pot that doesn’t even matter, it’s exactly how a lot of us approach the bigger, more important things in life. We wait until we get dumped to feel we deserve better in a relationship, or fired before we go for the job that would actually be fulfilling.
We wait in “passive-ville” until something happens to us forcing us to reach for the type of life we truly want.
Now, I’m not saying that waiting is wrong or that nothing happens in that period. It can actually be a beautiful time to plan, strategize, or get clarity. But then when that unexpected thing happens to us, we realize we actually had it in us this whole time to move things forward, and we even did it without having it planned down to every last detail.
Before my house got robbed this past December, I actually had some savings that I could have invested into moving my business forward or moving to a safer, better apartment. But I didn’t take action until my house was broken into and a lot of my savings were stolen. (It's a whole other story why I had savings in my house...that has to do with living in Argentina). Although I told myself, “I still don’t have enough saved,” it wasn’t the money that was keeping me from making these life improvements.
A lot of the time we tell ourselves “I don’t have the luxury of…” or “I don’t have another choice.”
The thing is that when we have to, we realize that we can. We realize that maaaaaybe, just maybe, there always was another choice, or that it was enough.
When I opted for the French press, that was a choice made out of being in the struggle of getting back on my feet after the robbery. Although it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, it brought me relief and improved the quality of my life by a tiny bit. When we’re in an energy of struggle, I believe it’s better to reach for relief rather than the aspirational “the sky's the limit,” as that can sometimes seem even more hopeless.
However, when we’re already in relief, and maybe relatively content, and we know that we want better but we might have to pass through a bit of discomfort to achieve that, that’s when passivity becomes our worst enemy, and brings out its gang full of excuses. The longer we let ourselves be bullied by passivity and excuses, the easier it is to settle or believe that this is the best it can get, and who the hell are we to think we deserve better anyways.
While I believe that it’s important to give ourselves time to plan or strategize, especially if you’re not one for spontaneous decision making, I do think there comes a time when we have to be honest with ourselves and ask questions like, “Am I delaying moving forward because I’m afraid of the uncertainty? Am I avoiding discomfort? Am I telling myself a negative story about what I can do or be?
So, my friend, if you’re craving something better for yourself and you can admit you’ve been settling or you’ve been telling yourself you have no options, I would like to encourage you to take out your journal and write out what you truly want - in your relationship, your job, your health, your life. And then, write out all of the excuses that are currently standing in your way.
Now look at that list of excuses and write down a few small ways you can begin chipping away at them. Once you open that door, I guarantee you will discover a way, even if it’s a piece-by-piece process.
However, it may be that throughout that process you’re still unable to “do what it takes.” Don’t let that discourage you. Sometimes that in and of itself can bring you to greater clarity. Maybe you’re not able to take action because you don’t actually want that, or it’s too high a price to pay, or you’re meant for something even better. Reassess and ask yourself, “is this actually what I want and am I willing to pass through the discomfort of attaining it?” Use all of that experience to refine what you’re truly asking for and open yourself to additional possibilities you haven’t thought of yet. None of that time is wasted if it brings you even closer to the most aligned option for you.
Living a life in alignment with your truth, values and ever-evolving desires is a practice of self-awareness, and I’m not going to lie to you, that is work. It may not be the kind of soul-sucking work of slaving away at a 9-5 that you’re unhappy in, but it does take commitment, persistence, and above all, a willingness to get to know those deeper layers of yourself that you’ve constructed all of your life views on.
Are you ready and willing to make this practice of awareness your path to freedom?
If you’re ready to start chipping away at those excuses, please don’t hesitate to book a free 30-minute discovery call with me or take advantage of my new client special offer of a 90-minute "personal wellness action plan" strategy session. Book your session today.