I am finding that following your heart and passion is not just a journey towards a goal or dream; it’s a journey towards oneself.  It is self-discovery and true enlightenment.  However, along the way to that light, you have to fight the darkness within.  These are my most frequent foes and how I deal with them.

1. I’m too old for this shit. Normally, this thought comes in the form of “You’re not getting any younger.” I’m a musician and in the entertainment industry age is a big concern.  So, I take this excuse to quit and use it motivationally; I say, “Damn right, I’m not getting any younger, so that’s why the time is now.” It has to be this moment that I give everything.

2. I’m too broke for this shit.  Bills are real and money is tight, true.  When that is the case, it becomes incredibly easy to see the things you don’t have.  However, this is when I have to become thankful.  I look around at the things I do have and I begin to innovate.  I begin to think how can I use  what I have to accomplish what needs to be done.  When I realize that I can accomplish the task without needing extra funds, equipment, etc., suddenly I don’t feel so financially inadequate.

3. I tried and failed already. Do I really need to go through all that again? No, I don’t need to go through all that again.  I won’t go through all that again. True, I have failed, but I learned from that failure.  I am not the same person.  I will not make the same choices.  Therefore, I do not expect to fail.  I expect to grow more, learn more, and reach more.  Not to say that everything will be smooth sailing, but there will be no repeats.

4. Not enough time. For this one, I have to be more practical in my dismantling of this perception because I can set lofty goals for my day/week.  As result, it’s easy to look at all you wanted to get done and compare it to what you didn’t complete and feel like crap.  So, I started tracking my time with an app called Toggl. I set a goal of a mimimum of 20 hours spent on music tasks.  I found that although I didn’t complete all that I wanted to do, I was spending over 20 hours a week working for myself.  I proved to myself not only that there is enough time, but also that I’m not lazy. :-) I just needed to adjust my goals.

5. No one is going to listen. All the other excuses were practical and by all accounts, logical concerns; this one, however, is that thing you bring up with your partner in a fight that you know is the most hurtful thing you could say, and while you know you shouldn’t say it, in the heat of the moment you say it anyway. Yea. This is the old proverbial gut punch. The way I get past it is by not caring.  I don’t care if no one listens. Before you get offended and close your browser window, let me explain. When I learned my first actual song on piano, there was no audience.  When I wrote and recited my first rhyme, there was no audience.  I didn’t start with an audience as my focus.  I started playing music and writing music because I could say the things I needed/wanted to say; it was a conduit for my thoughts, a healer, a spiritual guide.  I’m even writing these posts for myself first. :-)  This is my journal, my coping mechanism.  If you read it great; if not, it still happened to me, got written about, and posted because it heals me. Integrity can become too easily compromised when focusing on an audience. So, I continue to pursue music and write about my journey for the love of it, for the fun of it, and for the hope that it resonates with you. Now, does that mean it wouldn’t suck if when I put out my album next year no one buys it? No, that would definitely suck! :-) But what would be more important was that I did something I set out to do, that I made an attempt to share something with the world and completed it.

I know that it’s cliché, but we really are our own worst enemies.  Nobody can put you down the way you can. With everyday that I face myself to fight through all the doubt, fear and shame, I walk away loving myself more and more, scars and all. I walk away knowing myself more and more.  In the end, maybe that’s the real point of all of this.

How about you? What’s one of your life excuses and how do you triumph? Let me know in the comments.

– Queen D. Scott

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Photo credit: Imgarcade (http://imgarcade.com/1/no-excuses-sign/)

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