What’s Your Excuse?

I generally do catch myself when I’m complaining or feeling sorry for myself… Honestly, I’d say I’m aware of it 100% of the time. I’ve learned that – though disappointed in myself for taking the whiny tack at that moment – that it IS okay to “feel.” The human experience of emotion is both complex and highly individual. If we didn’t fluctuate, I begin suspecting we were in some kind of post-apocalyptic nightmare. No thanks!

But…

But. . .

I grapple with that concept because I don’t honestly believe I really have the right (or good reason) to complain. I’ve somehow had engrained that one person’s annoyance is another’s absolute dream…so perhaps my default is the cause of my inner turmoil. Still, I’ve never viewed complaining under any circumstances as a positive thing, so maybe it’s just flat-out disappointment that I’ve succumbed to the whims of my limbic system.

Whatever the case may be, I am ever-aware when I stray from gratitude. It has nothing to do with being a goody-two-shoes – I have PLENTY of moments of grumpiness, irritability, annoyance at others, frustrations etc… It is more that I sincerely WANT to follow a path of thankfulness – because I also sincerely believe I am blessed beyond measure. I don’t need moments of perspective to remind me. When one does come along – and it does often in the community I get to work with (children and individuals with disabilities) – I’ll be the one moved to tears.

One of the reasons I love the disabled community – and let’s be clear, I view them as uniquely abled, in fact – is that they just DO things. They get out there and they try, fear and anxiety be damned. There are countless examples of individuals with disabilities (physical, neurodevelopmental, intellectual and so on) who persevere in spite of adversity.

I took one look at the image below and really had to check myself – the amount of time I spend worrying about whether or not I’m good at something, whether I will come across a certain way, whether I will appear this or that…is RIDICULOUS! 

@therafininnovation and @supportadaptivesports!

I’d love to learn archery. Too many passions with too little time aside, I know deep down that I’d give myself a hard time while learning. There’s no good reason for that, just a life-time hard-on-myself M.O.. What the hell kind of excuse is that?!?! A terribly poor one (or, frankly, not one at all.)

I am so very thankful for the opportunity to work with a community that I both hight respect, and am ever-motivated by. The inspiration is endless and I am constantly moved by the adaptive, positive spirit these individuals imbue. They remind me to get out of my brain, forget the “what-if”s, and appreciate all that I do have…especially during a stuck-in-my-emotions moment. And I have to say…I, you, we…have A LOT going for us. 

I don’t really like the word “limitations” – to me that word pertains only to what we impose on ourselves. The challenges of disabilities are NOT mind-imposed – they are real…but they are not “limitations.” These fine gentlemen are a beautiful example of just doing things differently. No excuses, a whole host of adaptations, and unwavering, can-do attitudes.

Having a moment of feeling like everything is against you, or you (four letter word) “can’t?” Look at the image again. Take a moment to appreciate what you are seeing because it goes far deeper than just physical.

It’s 1,000% awesomeness saying “I don’t have an excuse. You don’t need one either.”

 

CAN And The Four Letter Derivative

When I was growing up the rooster of “four letter words” included a few more than ones that come to mind as an adult.  Things like “hate” and “can’t” were as much a taboo as the commonly know “bad words,” not so much from the harsher or inappropriate sound of them, but the damage they could inherently cause.  (And that damage runs deep in the psychological veins, make no mistake!)

My skating coach would correct me immediately if ever I made the grave mistake of uttering the dreaded “can’t” – because it was so drilled into me, I think about it every single time I hear someone say it – even at 37!  And I NEVER, ever use it with respect to myself.

I tend to get very frustrated when I am unable to do something – sadly even with activities I am new to (and therefore have no reason to be, nor expectation of being, an expert!) I had a ton of pressure on me growing up, particularly in sports.  As a young athlete, I was under the spotlight (literally when it came to dance and figure skating), and because I learned quickly, my bar was raised that much higher.

I’m nigh “unteachable” sometimes, because my frustration gets the better of me – I don’t know if it is fear of failure, embarrassment, disappointment, or a combination of the three, but it CAN be debilitating.

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At times like that I have to consciously take a deep breath and LET GO.  I have to remind myself that I CAN do anything I put my mind to – if I am new to it, it will take some time and that’s okay.  It has nothing whatever to do with can or can’t, but everything to do with letting go and trying – giving myself a chance!

It’s important that we stay mindful of the conversation we have with ourselves.  As they say, our self talk is a reflection of the conversation we are holding with the Universe.  And…the ever-famous, “whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”

Give yourself a CHANCE.

Take a deep breath, let go of the fears and embarrassment…or at least TRY.  Trying is the first step!

And mind the words you use, and the way you say it… You CAN do anything you put your mind to.  

You CAN.  

That other variation of the word…the one with “‘t” in it?  That doesn’t exist in my vocabulary anymore and I’m definitely the better for it.  Losing that word opens up a whole slew of avenues for success, learning and love.

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