The top 8 excuses people make for their unhappy lives.

Original article retrieved from The Huffington Post

In honor of the exciting new year upon us, I’ve been thinking of my many clients this year — my wonderful, reluctant, often overwhelmed but always resilient clients who’ve made enormous positive change in their lives and careers this year. It’s been a heartwarming experience to watch their lives unfolding in astounding ways. I’ve thought long and hard about what makes these individuals able to bring about dramatic change and why others don’t or won’t.

People who are able to make life change have a sufficient dose of clarity, confidence, courage and commitment. Those four ingredients can make all the difference between a miserable life and a brilliant one. Folks almost never start out with all of these assets, but their commitment to changing what hurts and limits them urges them into a flowing river of change that brings more clarity, which in turn gets them in touch with their worthiness and confidence, which then gives them access to more courage to create life as they want it.

Can everyone do this? Yes, everyone CAN, but only a few WILL. Why won’t thousands of unhappy and unfulfilled people create life in the image of their dreams and visions?

Because they make excuses — millions and millions of excuses (both conscious and subconscious) that keep them from believing they are worthy of an amazing life or trusting they have what it takes to create it.

I’d like to share what I’ve seen are the eight most damaging excuses people make — excuses, faulty reasoning and destructive myths that keep people down, and make their lives smaller, less joyful and rewarding than they ever need to be.

Here are the eight most damaging excuses people make:

1. I don’t have the money to do this.
How people respond to the idea of getting outside help (coaching, etc.) acts as a metaphor for how they deal with their problems and their lives. I can’t tell you how many hundreds of people reached out to me this year desperate for assistance, asking me for free help and claiming they don’t have any money to spend on getting the help they need, though they realize that outside help is exactly what is necessary now.

I know this will inflame some readers, but here’s the reality — if you believe there’s no way for you to generate even $250, if you can’t think of any way to be of service to someone else that would generate more income for you, then you’re stuck in the biggest excuse of all — that money is the problem and the root of scarcity in your life.

But that’s completely incorrect. What’s lacking is your understanding of your enormous capabilities, talents and gifts, and how you can be of service to others and the world. No matter who you are and what your life experiences and history have been, you have something important to offer that others need and will pay you well for.

If money has been the key reason why you won’t get help or make life or career change, let it go, and understand that the more you empower yourself to take control, the more you’ll access your ability to be of service and make more money. Don’t play the victim anymore. (If money is a recurring problem for you, read the groundbreaking book The Energy of Money, by Maria Nemeth).

2. I’m not ready to do the work required to change.
Hundreds of unhappy and unfulfilled people admitted to me this year, “I’m just not ready to make change.” Here’s a stark reality folks — no one is really ready to make change. We resist change fiercely. We change because what we have created in our lives has become intolerable and we finally realize there’s no way to overcome it except moving through and beyond it, and that takes energy and courage.

As we embark on 2013, I ask you this — can you let go of your belief that you’re not ready? Can you simply accept that if you want something different in your life, there is no better time than now to bring that into being, despite how “ready” you feel?

3. I’m afraid of what I don’t know.
Welcome to being human. We’ve all heard the expression, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.” But in truth, this is just another excuse for staying stuck. The only way to have an exciting and enriching life is to stretch way out of your comfort zone and to take on challenges that make you feel afraid of failure and embarrassment. Once you make facing your demons a common occurrence in your life, you’ll realize that “the devil’ is simply your ego fearing its demise. In other words, you are deathly afraid of making mistakes, walking through the unknown and appearing (to yourself and others) as “less than.” But that’s what life is — unknown, uncontrolled and unlimited. Go for it — find the one area that would excite you the most and stretch into the unknown. (Download my free Career Path Self-Assessment to understand what would excite you most in your career in 2013.)

4. What if it doesn’t work out?
I hear this excuse weekly: “What if this big change I’m trying doesn’t work out?” Well, then you’ll deal with it, and you’ll become stronger, more confident and more capable than you were before you tried this new direction. This happened to me after my 18-year corporate stint and before I launched my career coaching practice, I became a marriage and family therapist. After serving as a therapist for five years, I faced the reality that I simply didn’t enjoy or feel well-suited to the professional identity of a therapist. Some would say that “it didn’t work out.” But I believe it did — I use every single tool and strategy that I learned in my therapy training in my coaching, writing, speaking and training work. In the end, it did work out — I just needed to find the right avenue in which to apply the powerful and transformative tools that therapy training offered.

5. What would people say if I did this?
Let’s face it — many people in this world are judgmental, negative, naysaying and critical, and don’t believe in power of your (or their) abilities. It’s a fact. But are you going to let this type of thinking keep you from changing what needs to be revised in your life? It’s a group mentality that says we have to keep doing in life what makes us miserable. Embrace a more individualistic and self-reliant view. Trust in yourself, and believe that you have the right and the worthiness to live your life as you dream it. Don’t let the naysayers hold you back.

6. My family needs me to keep doing this job I hate.
No, they don’t. Your family needs you to be ONE thing and one thing only — all that you are meant to be in this world, nothing less. You didn’t come to this planet at this time simply to pay your mortgage. Of course, you have financial obligations that must be fulfilled. But while doing that, always plant the seeds for your future self, for the self that wants to grow, and be bigger and better and in service to the world in ways that give form to your highest and best life intentions. Families demand a lot, but don’t kid yourself that your being a great family person, parent or provider has to mean that you give up on yourself as a highly contributive and fulfilled individual in this world. (If you long for a better career, get the career growth training you need from my Amazing Career Project and download the free homework “Assessing and Closing Your Power Gaps.”)

7. I don’t really believe it’s going to work out.
People who are chronically miserable and underdeveloped often have at their core a faulty belief that no matter what they really want, it’s not going to work out. If you have this belief, look at your childhood,and the messages you learned growing up with the family you were given. Understand that the belief that it won’t work came from someone or something else outside of you. We’re not born believing that the universe is unfriendly and uncaring. We learn that. What you want is most certainly possible for you, but not if you don’t believe it is.

8. This is just me — I can’t change it.
Anything you think and feel can be changed. You are NOT your thoughts. You are separate from your thoughts and emotions. But you must become aware of your thoughts and emotions before you can be free of their hold on you. I’ve personally witnessed the transformation of hundreds of people’s lives once they realize they can change what they think and feel. (And I’m a living example of how we can overcome extremely limiting beliefs and experiences to reach a much more joyful way of life). If you’re chronically unhappy and dissatisfied, this isn’t “just you.” This is a version of you that wants modification. You don’t have to live with chronic unhappiness — get the help you need to be free of it. (If you are suffering from a chronic depressed mood or thinking, therapeutic assistance may be of help to you. Ask your doctor for a referral or visit the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and find a therapist in your area. Don’t wait.)

If you want something different in 2013, stop making excuses. Embrace the fact that your longing for something better means you are ready for change. You deserve it, you’re ready, and it’s time.

 

Currently Craving

Ladies and Gentlemen this is NO JOKE. Polaroid recently announced that it will be launching an “Instagram Camera” by 2014. What this camera will do is that it will take pictures, let you select your filter (as you already do through the app on your smartphone) and then it develops your picture instantly with the selected filter. Its a modern twist to your old-school polaroid camera.

instagram cameraToo bad it’s not coming out this year because this would absolutely be the graduation present I would want.

And on that note, as of today I am officially 30 days away from being an Emerson Alumni. But I mean who’s counting?

Why Long Distance Relationships Are Such A Bad Idea.

Dating and having relationships is an important part of the human experience. Most of you will agree that finding that one person that is just right for you, that treats you the way that you want to be treated and talks to you the way you want to be talked to, is one of the most — if not the most — important goals in life. There are so many beautiful people on this planet.

A good amount of them can be found living in relatively close proximity to us. I do not doubt that in your neighborhood alone you will find at least a handle of attractive people of whatever your sexual preference.

Even if you lived in West Bumblef*ck, I am sure there is at least one person in your town or village that you wouldn’t mind boning. Yet, there is a high probability that at one point or another in our lives, we will find ourselves in what we like to a call a long-distance relationship. My question is: Why?

Unless you grew up on watching foreign romance films, I don’t see any way that a girl living in America could actually want to marry a Frenchman. We usually are okay with getting our pickings from nearby — say, in the same country.

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Nevertheless, people come to visit from abroad and you occasionally meet them. I myself had a short fling last summer with a foreigner and I will be honest, I plan on visiting her in Paris some time soon — but I’m going there to get some good, wine-fueled, European loving, not to begin a relationship. And that’s how it should be: bag the foreigners and date local.

This is why I love NYC…dating the locals usual means dating foreigners. What can I say? I like them exotic, imported. But I have had several friends in the past in long-distance relationships. And no, none of them are still together. In fact, I have one friend that is about to begin a long-distance relationship with a guy from Belgium. Idiots. Why would anyone think that a long-distance relationship is a good idea?

I mean, I get the initial appeal — all romantic seeming and what not. I get the want of having to long for a person, to miss them; it intensifies the feelings that you have for that person. The less you physically see a person, the more you begin to deposit your own projection of who you believe them to be onto their being rather than seeing them as they really are.

There is something that gets lost when the human interaction that you have with a person is mainly via tech gadget. For starters, body language is extremely important. Secondly, it’s hard to have sex over an Ethernet cable — Skype just doesn’t quite hit the spot.

cyber boyfriend

 

Not having sex for extended periods of time can’t be good for your health. Actually, I’m sure it won’t kill you, but why date someone that you can only sleep with a handful of times in a year when you can date someone that lives closer by and will rock your world several times a week? That’s a ton of orgasmic difference.

If you can see your lover at least once a week, then I can still understand keeping them around. When going into a relationship, we must go into it with a purpose. Ask yourself not only why you are dating this person, but why you are dating at all. What do you want out of the relationship? Where do you ultimately want things to go? It’s okay to say that you just want to see where things will go, but only if the person lives on the same continent.

Seeing where things will go with a person that lives in the same city is one thing; seeing where things will go with a person that lives a plane flight away is a whole other. A relationship’s development over a distance is sluggish if not entirely stagnant.

If you are seriously dating someone because you want to spend time with them…then a long-distance relationship is not the right choice. If you are dating because you want sex… then a long-distance relationship is not the right choice.

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If you are dating because you want to find the person you wish to spend the rest of your life with…then a long-distance relationship is not the right choice; sooner or later you will need to see each other weekly in order for anything serious to develop. However, if you are in a long-distance relationship with someone because you love them, then I’m sorry my friend; you are screwed.

The one and only excuse that I will accept for being in a long-distance relationship is being in love. When you fall for someone, the choice of whether or not you ought to be dating someone essentially evaporates. If you love a person, then not being able to at the very least talk to them regularly will be more painful than the possibility of a breakup.

The good news — or bad news, depending on how you look at it — you won’t be capable of staying away from each other for very long. Slowly but surely the urge to be with each other will be unbearable and you will have no choice but to live in the same city.

covers

 

This, again, has its own dangers. Often at times, the love that we feel during a long-distance relationship fades shortly after the happy couple begins to spend more time together. It’s easy to over-romanticize things when a long distance separates you.

It’s much more difficult to keep the flame burning when you see each other everyday. To sum up: avoid long-distance relationships if at all possible. You will be much happier dating someone you can actually spend quality time with regularly and not only over quick, short spurts. If you are head-over-heels for that person living in Bulgaria, then…best of luck.

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Paul Hudson | Elite. 

For more from Paul, follow him on Twitter @MrPaulHudson