About 7-8 years ago I decided to stop making excuses and start making my dreams happen. This choice changed my life.
I had no idea at the beginning of this journey as I reoriented my attitude that on the other side of my old excuses I would end up becoming an author or a life coach, travelling around the world. In retrospect it's much easier for me to see that in fact I wasn't becoming those things, I actually already was those things at some level inside myself, I just didn't know it yet! It was like getting hit over the head by your life purpose and being entirely shocked!
The same is true for you…
Whatever your passions and gifts are, you don't have to figure out how to BE those, you are those already at some level, you just have to ALLOW yourself to blossom into them (ie. get out of your own way!). Be intent on discovering what it looks and feels like when you start expressing yourself in the way your soul intended (ie. following your passions and intuition).
It sounds obvious to say that you have to drop excuses if you want to make things happen in your life. Yet while it's obvious, I sense that few people truly embrace this and live it. Maybe that's because excuses can be so SNEAKY, they fly under the radar such that you might be living stuck in excuses right now without even realizing it!
On this topic of excuses blocking people from making their goals and dreams real, I want to share something with you. Something that gets me a little “hot under the collar” at times, and something I'm passionate about sharing for one reason… to propel you into making YOUR dreams happen if you are currently preoccupied with making excuses.
You see, when I share my journey with people I get mixed responses.
People are, on the whole, incredibly supportive and loving. However, at times I receive comments (see below) that I know come from someone else's pain, ego or excuses, not from their heart. I know this has nothing to do with me, and I decline to take it on-board. Instead, I've witnessed it and carried on blazing my own trail forward.
Not by design, but by following my instincts and heart, I ended up nomadically moving around the world to places I felt drawn to be and writing my somewhat strange and life changing journey in books as I went…
- I wrote my first book in Koh Samui and Bangkok, Thailand.
- I wrote my second book in Maui, Hawaii.
- I wrote my third book while living in Bali, Indonesia.
There have been moments when I could see that my own journey triggered insights and sparked possibilities within other people, which I guess is the beauty of radical change… it shocks you into life, opens your own eyes and as a side effect it might cause others to stop and reflect for themselves as well.
But, what I've experienced and created has also triggered statements from other people which sound like this…
- “If I didn't have any commitments, I'd take off and write a book somewhere tropical too.”
- “If I had that luxury, I'd love to write a book.”
- “I wish I had three months off to soak up solitude and work full time on my passions, but I can't.“
For those that have read my first two books, you'll already know that I worked out a way to fulfill all my commitments while also doing my projects, and that it involved (literally) blood, sweat and tears! I also made choices which involved me giving up a lot of things in order to follow my passion. These were not sacrifices. I do not view them as such. Instead, I see them as conscious choices I made to allow my dreams to take the space of my excuses.
I had commitments, I didn't have “luxury” of excess money or time, and I didn't (initially) have any “months off” which just eventuated out of thin-air for me to fill with writing. I had to juggle commitments, I had to create time, I had to free up money, and I had negotiate and create months off to achieve my dreams.
When I left New Zealand for Thailand, I went to Koh Samui, then Bangkok, and finished off the draft of my first book while there. It was already partially written before I left New Zealand, because I had tirelessly been writing every night and every weekend for months, while also working my full-time job. I also worked remotely while in Thailand, alongside my writing project, juggling my commitments back home via email, Skype and phone, as well as making my dream happen. This required getting up every day at 5am to be ready to start work at 5:30am.
The Universe, in it's infinitely magical way, supported this dream through a series of synchronicities which resulted in a complete stranger literally giving us his brand new villa to live in for FREE while we were in Koh Samui!! Shocked and stunned, I counted my blessings every moment that life had presented me with every challenge I needed to become a stronger person, along with every gift I needed in order to make my goals a reality.
If you had told me things like this (an amazing free house on a tropical island) would happen to me when I first set off on my journey, I would have told you that you were crazy and that “things like that don't happen to me”. But, as it turns out, things like this do happen to me and to you and to any body else who SHOWS UP IN LIFE as their full self ready to rock whatever dreams they have – baggage, fear and doubt all in tow!
Those weighty things which you just don't need (e.g fear, doubt, old stories, limiting beliefs) do come with you at the beginning. It's not realistic to expect to start any journey of change, walking into unknown territory, without a little fear and doubt. But these things actually start to fall away as you move forward.
Your forward momentum and courage to act despite fear is what edges out all the old nonsense in your mind that doesn't serve you. At the very same time, the natural order of the world we live in (energetically) is that miracles (big and small) occur constantly when you put yourself in the slipstream of your life (following your passion, walking ahead despite fear, listening to your intuition, paying attention to signals/synchronicities, and taking up opportunities when they present themselves).
After busting my ass to make my time in Thailand happen, and giving it everything I had in my mind, body and soul, I then returned home to publish that book. And it took a massive amount of effort and commitment and love and passion to pull through that time. I did all of the editing, design and publishing work while working full-time in my day job. I stayed up until midnight, and at times 2-3am in the morning, to finish the publishing process, while working during the day.
To boot, I had no idea how the heck to do what I was doing, because I knew nothing about publishing, and had to research, reach out for help and hustle my way into making the dream a reality. Again, multiple synchronicities arose which put me directly in the path of people with the right expertise and wisdom to leverage me forward. This was not luck, this is how the Universe works when you fully show up. These things can't get to you if the way is blocked by excuses.
Making Tough Choices
I then quit my job, went to Maui, Hawaii, following my heart and stayed three months where I worked full-time on the early stages of my new business, writing a second book, building my website, blogging and investigating myself as a person in order to let go of all the remaining blocks and fears that I could find within myself.
In order to get myself to Maui, I had to make choices. Like the choice to sell our beloved home, in order to free us up to travel to Hawaii, to pay our way, to allow me time to grow my business and to start our nomadic lifestyle. I didn't particularly want to sell my home, but I was willing to let go of what I didn't really need, in order to have what I knew was most important for my soul journey and the work I am here to do.
Where There is a Will, There is a Way
Now, a very important point… you don't have to let go of anything, I'm not suggesting you do. But I want you to understand that…
Where there is a will there is a way.
You were not put on this earth with the passions and dreams that you have by mistake. Nor were you put here without the courage, the smarts and the means to achieve them. You just have to be open-minded, open-hearted and creative about how you make it happen, AND have complete faith that in doing so the Universe will support your journey.
Then my husband Aaron and I moved to live in Bali for a year. Again, we worked tirelessly to make that a reality. We made choices that meant we had to temporarily let go of much of how we used to live.
Rather than going out to dinner, buying a coffee, getting new clothes or shoes, socializing or shopping… we diligently budgeted every aspect of our resources in order to get ourselves to Bali and to establish that phase of our journey. I even gave up haircuts in order to save for my dream! Any woman will know that this is serious commitment! We sold our car and all our possessions. We lived a simple life in the material sense, and a deeply rewarding and inspiring life in the inner sense and through experiences.
Resist the Temptation to Compare (it's a Dead End Road of Excuses)
I know for a fact that everyone's situation is different. I have a different background to you, and you have a different background to the next person. We all have different skills, different history, different contacts, different sets of resources including time, money and knowledge. I don't have children to care for, perhaps you do. We can never compare paths.
I gave up my full-time job and the only way of making money that I had ever known in order to take a complete leap of faith that I could grow my business. I appreciate that you may not even have a job to give up! I appreciate that while we sold our house to free up our resources, time and locality to create traction with our dreams, you may not own a house that you can sell. I hear all of that. And that does not concern me or limit the possibility I know is available for you. Because you are not meant to live the path I am living. You do not need what I have…
You are here to live your path, and to have what you have, and to find your own unique way forward. That is the perfect design of your own soul journey, so that you can express your unique gifts and make your special contribution to the world just by being who YOU are and doing what YOU love.
Make Things Happen for Yourself by Dropping Excuses
Finding reasons why you can't do what you want, because of your circumstances, or looking at others and comparing yourself and identifying reasons you can't do things others are capable of – just dis-empowers you.
The second we voice a reason why we will not or cannot do something that we are truly passionate about (and feel “called” to do), we give away our power. We give it away in the excuses we make.
Don't get me wrong – some excuses may seem very valid, in fact they may be almost indisputable. That's cool, I get it. But giving circumstances the right-of-way over your dreams, and using it as the reason you will never do what you know is best for you, makes you small and hides your light.
If you looked honestly at your excuses, you may find that they serve a purpose.
- Are they keeping you safe?
- Do they help you to avoid stepping forward and therefore they keep you away from your fears?
- Do they allow you to avoid the potential of failure?
- Do they help you to avoid the effort required to make your dreams a reality?
- Do they function as rationale that help you to feel better about giving away a possibility that is very important to you?
Excuses do not block, hurt, harm or limit anyone else, they only do this to you. Excuses do not help others to understand you or support you, and excuses do not open up other possibilities, paths or opportunities to help you forward through whatever challenges you may face. Instead, excuses simply channel your available energy into a hole, where it cannot be used to your advantage going forward. It does not make any difference to me if you make excuses or not, it does not impact upon me. It makes a difference to you though, and it impacts upon you. And I'm committed to helping you to live this one life without shackles that hold you back.
Even if your circumstances were never to change, and you were to never do anything about your dreams, it's all about your attitude, energy and mindset around that. Rather than speaking words that form excuses, you could instead choose to vocalize your empowered choice to accept and be where you are, doing what you are doing (even if that isn't something you're passionate about) or perhaps planning to create whatever you are passionate about at some future point. Watch what words you use to describe your situation, your decisions and your possibilities in life. Don't lose your passion in your circumstances.
Your life is a series of choices. Imagine what might be possible if you let go of what you no longer need, including excuses, in order to create and receive what you do. What you desire may not happen instantly. Life flows as you co-create with the Universe/a Higher Power, to a divine order and divine timing that is beyond our understanding. But one thing I do know for sure, is that life is waiting for you to stand up and say you're ready… to give away your excuses and to own your power to create even though you may have no idea HOW your dreams can be possible.
When excuses fall away, there is a space left where you can finally hear/see new paths and possibilities. If you're busy making excuses, you drown out the miracles which are trying to get through to you!
Complete the following statements for yourself:
- My goals/dream/aspirations that I'm passionate about creating in the next year are:
- The excuses that hold me back are:
- One action I can take now to move me forward, beyond my excuses, is:
NOTE: If you can't think of an action that you could take now to move you forward, then close your eyes to help quieten your mind and listen to what you inner voice says. You'll hear it. You may not want to listen, but you'll hear it. That is your true self, the real you speaking. The choice then becomes – do you listen to your excuses/mind/ego, or do you listen to the one person you can really trust… the REAL you, your soul.
One final thing… regarding any excuses you are living within at present… here's a secret:
They aren't your excuses. They belong to your ego. Your soul is clean and clear, and your mind is what keeps you stuck. You are not your mind. You are not your ego. You are the brilliance, the energy, the essence and the spirit behind all that noise in your mind. When you learn to dis-identify with your mind, you will start to reclaim your power, and instead of your mind owning you, you will own it as was always intended.
With much love, Bernadette
I love this post, it made me sit up and take notice of my lifelong dream which I keep putting on hold because of my misplaced fear. Thank you for this!
Hey Sooz, that’s awesome! Go the dream!! Bx
B, I just love this post and I love everything you do in your life!!! You having the courage to follow your dreams gave me the courage to follow mine (and to continue following mine)!!! Thank you for showing me the way forward in so many ways!!!
Hey Jamie! So nice to see your message. I have SO much respect for you… you have wholeheartedly gone out there and followed your dreams, I adore what you’re doing, and always love seeing your posts on Instagram. GO YOU! Love and blessings to you, your husband and your beautiful children. B x
I love this article and I love all the work that you do. I am a big fan 🙂
I have a question for you and I hope that this is the right place to ask it. I am from Ireland and have been living in New Zealand for the last 9 years. I recently moved back to Ireland and I know that I want to follow my passion and live a more creative life. I am in a perfect position to explore that at the moment and know that this is the perfect time to do it but I have found myself a job. I think I am taking it because it is familiar and I also feel like it is expected of me from family and friend etc.
I am really worried that I am making the wrong decision, possibly hiding or making excuses for myself so I am just wondering if you have any advice on this?
Thank you 🙂
How awesome to connect with you. We have some geographic synergy, my father is Irish, and obviously I’m a Kiwi. So nice to connect with someone in the Ireland-NZ vibes! So for your situation… firstly congrats on your move, your passion, exploring new possibilities. Secondly, it is totally legit to take a job while you explore your passions if that means you can use the job as financial security, support, a bridge to tide you over while you explore your passions and gives you time and space (without financial pressure) to set up your creative endeavors or a business for example. There is a fine balance… as there may be a part of you that is erring toward the familiar and the easier option, but also, it is totally valid and sometimes necessary to have a job in order to support/fund your new endeavors initially. So just do it with AWARENESS. If you’re taking the job, know the REASONS you’re taking that job in particular, what it gives you, why it benefits you, and how you intend to utilize it to enhance this phase of your life. I hope that helps. Feel free to reach out if you have Qs. Love, Bernadette PS. Another point… once you’re in that job, be 100% sure to keep yourself focused on your exploration and creative projects/passions… ensure you have dedicated time outside of work where you actively progress those things, have a plan, take action… otherwise nothing happens of course! xx
Bernadette it’s like you read my/our minds. For the moment I’ll just say thank you for your amazing insights and work. Rather thank you for giving. Simply beautiful
Donald thank you for your lovely message. You are so sweet. It’s a pleasure to share the resources with you. Love and best wishes, Bernadette