No really, before you answer with the obvious, "My parents won't let me go skydiving." or "I don't have any money." or even the classic "I'm grounded." Think of the bigger picture... what is holding you back from getting everything you want out of life? Lets take a look at four things that are pretty popular...
Yep, those examples I gave up top... excuses. All of them. An excuse is something you can use to take the responsibility off of you and put it on to someone or something else. It makes it sound like you have no control of things, when honestly, you do. When you decide to give up making excuses and start getting things done, you'll be amazed at how much you can accomplish!
Excuses are notorious tools that do nothing but hold you back from the things you want and you are giving them permission! Every time you hear yourself make an excuse, take a step back and think, "How can I get my power back over this situation?" Or at the very least, "How is this my responsibility and how can I take care of it. Let's take the example from above.
"My parents won't let me go skydiving." Have you stopped to ask WHY they won't let you? Why you are living under their roof, you are obliged to live by their rules. Maybe they think it is to dangerous. (You could show them proof otherwise). Maybe they feel it's too expensive. (You could show them that you are willing to pay for all or half and then prove it to them.) Maybe they just don't want you to go. (This is when you save your money and when you move out on your own, you can go skydiving.)
"I don't have any money." Ah... this is a popular one. It comes with a simple answer, and you're not going to like it... Get some. Wait, wait... I hear more excuses coming... let me cut you off at the pass with, get a job, or figure out other clever ways to earn money. (Start your own business, ask if you can do extra chores, sell some stuff you don't use- with permission of course)
"I'm grounded." Another easy one. Stop doing things that you know will get you grounded!! The rules of your house are no secret, I'm sure. So do your best to obey them. You are only in that house for a small portion of your life and your parents (or guardians) put those rules in place for a reason. Respect them. If you do the crime, expect to do the time... hint: it carries over to adulthood too.... just sayin...
No more excuses. Take responsibility for your life, your actions and your decisions.
I am a firm believer in "You CAN do anything if you put your mind to it." The answers might not be obvious right away, but if you want something, I mean REALLY want something and you're not afraid to work for it... it can be yours. BUT... you have to stay out of your own way!!
There was a passion put inside you for a reason! Sadly, it takes more than passion to make your dreams come true. It will take hard work, time and energy and maybe some investment on your part, but don't let negative thoughts enter your mind to try and convince you that this dream is too big, too unreachable, not for you, or you are too "small".
Life is not easy and if things came too easily, we wouldn't appreciate them. I speak from experience. And I'm sure you have and example in your life... Like, a video game that your dad got you isn't as precious as the one you bought and paid for with the money you earned, am I right? When you put forth your effort and add in some blood, sweat and tears to make your dreams come true, no one can take that away from you. There will be set backs and the world of negativity will come at you full force, but you have to believe in your dreams and YOURSELF, more than anyone else. Because some days, you are all that you have.
Keep mementos around you that will encourage you and keep you on your path. Positive quotes. Pictures you have drawn or cut out of magazines will give you a visual direction and help keep you focused. Get others around you to support and encourage you and hold you accountable. (This is where coaches are invaluable!! They have YOUR goals as a priority and they will work with you to get you to them! This is where I come in! Find out how to get ME as your coach!!)
YOU can do this!! Don't let go!!
Focusing on the Negative.
Whatever things you think on will magnify. If you look for the bad, you will surely find it.
We have all had set backs, made mistakes, had bad experiences, and painful events happen in our lives. The object is to learn from them and keep moving forward. If we focus on those negative things and not let them be, they will constantly haunt our futures and eventually hold us back. Yes, absolutely learn from your mistakes and take what good you can from them, but then, let the hurt, the feelings of defeat or failure go and move on. Life is too short to live under the blanket of regret. Let go of the "woulda, coulda, shouda..." That was yesterday. Today is a brand new day and even if you only take ONE step toward you present goal, that's one step closer that you were yesterday.
No one can achieve your dreams for you. This is YOUR road. YOUR destiny. Look forward. When you falter, and expect that you will, because that's just life, but take what you can from it. When something you were working on fails, what can you learn from it? What things will you do differently next time? How can you avoid the same mistake again? What can you do to make things even better? Then... let everything else go.
Look for the good in people, places, events and definitely in yourself. We can't stop negative things from getting in our way, but how we respond to them, makes all the difference in the world. And when you DO look back at the road you've been traveling, you'll be able to see how far you've come. You'll be proud of the challenges you've faced and conquered.
So don't let the set-backs, bumps in the road, or nasty people hold you back from your dreams. Kill 'em with kindness, learn to build a bridge and always find the positive in every negative.
Other People's Opinions.
You only get one life and you should be allowed to choose how to live it. (Don't put words on my paper, I'm not talking about disobeying parents or being rebellious. I'm referring to the direction you take your life on your road to adulthood. Nice try...)
You cannot allow other people tell you WHO you are and WHAT you should be doing with your life. Not even your parents. (I clarify again, that you SHOULD comply with the rules of the house and do your portion with a thankful heart, but when it's your time to fly, and leave the nest, YOU need to choose what you're going to do with your life.) For example: Just because your father is in heating and cooling, doesn't mean you need to be. Just because your mother graduated from Fairfield University, doesn't mean you need to. Just because your best friend in the whole wide world is joining the army or getting married or backpacking across Europe, doesn't mean you have to.
Decide for yourself what is right for you and where you want to belong. Don't let others make you feel guilty or strong arm you into their way of thinking. You are welcome and encouraged to listen to their opinions and ideas, but in no way does that commit you to them. You know what is in your gut and if you've thought it out, mapped it out, worked it out- then, it's your life. Go for it!
Please make sure you have a plan. DO NOT depend on ANYONE else to get you where you're going. It's YOUR life, remember? Why should your dreams be anyone else's responsibility? So if your parent's tell you that you ARE going to XYZ College or they are not going to help you, you have to decide if you can get some benefit from XYZ College OR how you're going to come up with the money to go and do what you want to do. Make a plan. That way when you have to politely tell others "Thank you for your insight, but I think THIS is the right path for me." you will be able to tell them and show the with your logical, well thought out plan that tells them that you didn't just wake up one morning and decide to join the circus because you've always wanted to work with elephants.
If elephants are your thing- GREAT- but those who love you will be much happier when you can tell them that you have X amount of money to live on, that you plan on volunteering at the zoo for a summer and that you're taking elephant anatomy classes on-line this fall.... you've got the idea....
Bottom line is this. If you go through your life- your one and only life- living our the dreams of someone else, how will that ultimately make you feel? I say again, life is too short to live with regret. Discover what you want to do and then map out your plan. (Need help? Just ask!) And YES! Get other's opinions and ideas on how to best get you where you want to go, but remember that its YOU that has to live it. It's YOU that has to decide.
It's YOUR life- GO get it!!