The wobbly, wooden bridge

When I’m planning to work out, I become the queen of excuses.

There’s a chance it could rain, I shouldn’t risk it.

I had that cookie today, I might not be able to run as well.

I had that salad today. I don’t really need to go to the gym.

My hair actually looks nice today. I bet I could make it last another day. If I exercise, I’ll have to wash it and it’ll be a waste.

Really, why am I not happy with the way my body looks? Shouldn’t I just be comfortable in my own skin?

Exercising is a mental game. If I can shut out these excuses and put on workout clothes, I’m always happy on the other side of the workout.

And the excuse making doesn’t just happen when it comes to working out. It also happens any time I try to choose butterflies. Going on a date (Is being single really so bad?). Signing up for a networking event (It takes too long to drive into the city, it’s not worth it). Walking into a party where I only know a few people (No one will miss me if I’m not there).

But anytime I can shut out these excuses and follow through, I’m glad I did it…well maybe that’s not true for every date, but we won’t go there.

And the excuse making is amplified when it comes to big life decisions. Those “turning point” decisions, as Donald Miller calls them. The doors you walk through and things are never the same again.

One of the biggest excuses I make when I’m working up to a big life decision is “I’m still in planning mode.”

Don’t get me wrong. Planning is good. It’s important. Especially when it comes to big life decisions. Do not quit your job without a plan. Do not move across the world/country/ city without working through the logistics. Do not take a trip around the world without doing research.

But at some point, you need to honestly consider if your planning has turned into procrastinating.

Because plans without action are meaningless.

Yes, it’s hard to put down the books, charts and pro/con lists, and accept the new job, call a realtor, or book a plane ticket. To move out of planning mode and into action mode is like crossing a wobbly, wooden bridge. You’re not sure you’ll make it across, and even if you do, you’re not sure what’s on the other side.

Photo by Don Cload, Creative Commons

Photo by Don Cload, Creative Commons

But just like finishing a run, leaving a party, or heading home after a first date, the other side feels okay. And sometimes, it feels more than okay, it feels awesome.

And it’s not so much the activity itself, because sometimes those suck. Bad runs, parties and dates are realities. And big life decisions are, at times, going to feel pretty sucky too. Because anytime you step outside of your comfort zone, there are elements that are going to suck. There will be times you wish that you could slide back into your comfort zone.

But even when it all sucks, you still did it. You shut out all the excuses and did it. That’s the part that feels awesome no matter what.

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4 Responses to The wobbly, wooden bridge

  1. Jen S says:

    Wow – did you write that from inside my brain? I always get stuck in the research portion, thanks for the reminder that at some point you just have to “do it”.

  2. Bah! This happens to me all the time. I can’t even tell you how many life plans I have written out (too many to count!). Definitely being able to recognize when you are stuck these planning ruts/excuses is important – but also so easy to ignore/justify when it’s happening. Taking the first step is crucial (but always the hardest)!!! Easier said than done, for sure. Enjoyed this post, Linz!! 🙂

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