don't make excuses

This weekend was….interesting.

On Saturday I got some unexpected news that had me a little shook for a minute.

Without going into too many details, because my relationship with this pub is still very important to me, my role with one of my favorite gigs is changing. Instead of being a constant presence with the publication, I will assume a more periodic role–writing longer-form pieces, instead of assuming the day-to-day duties I once enjoyed.

While I told myself this change was merely God’s way of forcing my hand (I was already considering a role change, but wasn’t sure if it was actually what I wanted), the news still threw me for a loop.

Then, the doubts began to creep in. I wondered how would I recover from the shot to my income, and more importantly, how would I deal with the shift in what had become a big part of my professional identity over the past few years.

When I was thisclose to slipping into a complete funk, a 50 Cent quote popped into my head.

Curtis (because he was too on point to be Fiddy at that moment), once told Oprah:

 “Either pray or worry. Don’t do both.”

I thought about that quote. I internalized it. And when doubt began to flood into my mind again on Saturday, I repeated it.

Either pray or worry. Don’t do both.

When I began to wonder what this all meant, I repeated the quote.

Either pray or worry. Don’t do both. 

When I began to look at my bank account and wonder how I’m going to make up the lost income, the quote came up again.

Either pray or worry. Don’t do both.

It might sound a bit corny, but I clung to that quote to help me focus on the positives instead of dwelling on the negative.

I told myself: Don’t worry about what you think you lost, look at what you’ve gained.

And even if I didn’t feel it at the time, that voice was right. I’ve gained so much over the past two years that it would be completely stupid to look at this news as anything other than another opportunity.

By Sunday, I had beaten my brush with doubt. While I was/am still uncertain about how things will play out, I’m genuinely hopeful about what’s next.

It bears repeating that every single time a door seemed to close in my face another window opened and opportunities rained down on me.

So why would this be different?

Last night, like many of you I tuned into Oprah’s Lifeclass. Her guest, Pastor Rick Warren taught the audience how to make the best of the hand they were dealt. And while his message spoke to me (so much so, I may head to the OC to visit his church), it was another guest that really made an impression.

Nick Vujicic was born without arms and legs, and despite this immense challenge, he’s managed to overcome all of his odds to live an awesome life.

He’s speaks all over the world, he has a popular Youtube channel. He travels, suba dives, and surfs. He’s married, and he and his wife are expecting their first child.

I thought to myself: if Nick can do everything he’s done DESPITE having no arms or legs (no arms and no legs!?! C’mon, son!), then what’s my excuse?

For years I said that I would do everything from travel and write a book, to finally get healthy and run a successful business. And yet there’s something that has always held me back.

And while I’ve managed to knock a few goals off of my list, there is still something that’s kept me from achieving the life I TRULY desire.

Unfortunately and fortunately…that thing is me.

As Iyanla Vanzant told me last summer:

“What keeps us from achieving our heart’s desires is not anything outside of us, it’s the conflict inside.” (click the link to tweet that out.)

What keeps me, and you, from really breaking through our barriers and living how we want, doing what we want, and being the people we want to be is…us. We are the problem. Plain and simple.

And while our excuses seem mighty enough, the truth is, they aren’t.

If Nick can overcome the most serious of odds this side of death, then what’s our excuse, really?


In the comments section below, please leave a comment and let me know what excuses you’ve been using and how they’ve affected you so far. Oh, and let me know how you plan on changing things. 


*Photo via Chris Piascik

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