I enjoy How to’s mainly because it the only time I get to show off without it coming across like I am bragging. In fact, How to’s are helpful and many people enjoy learning something new so the show off part usually goes on undetected lol.
I have been meaning to share a few things and since you and I are similar in many aspects, I thought I’d tell you how I have mastered talking myself out of everything. I make excuses all the time without even realizing that they are excuses. Like most people, I make excuses to get out of doing things I do not want to do, but unlike most people, I also make excuses to get out of doing things I want to do. When an opportunity arises to change my life for the better, I usually have a slew of excuses under my sleeve. Like when I was 19, I talked myself out of going to university because I told myself that the application process was too long (I am not joking). I know I had deeper things going on back then but on the surface that is how I convinced myself that university was just not for me. Fast forward 10 years and while I don’t regret not having attended university, I do have many insecurities around it and for the longest time it was the thing that stopped me from applying for certain jobs, going after certain passions or even asking for a raise or promotion. The truth is it was never about the degree, it was just that I had mastered talking myself out of asking or doing those things and it wasn’t until recently that I had discovered exactly how I do it (I do I have to stop here and thank mindfulness for this discovery) and how you can too 🙂 or maybe you are doing it already in which case you can be aware of it and make some changes inshaaAllah.
1. Let the fear consume you: Every time you really want to do something, just think about the unknown. You can fail, you can succeed and both are equally terrifying to think about. By holding on to these thoughts you cripple yourself and will never take action. This will ultimately allow you to stay in the current unhappy state you are in because it’s familiar and there are no surprises.
What you should do instead: Have the courage to trust yourself. You have overcome many other challenges in your life and you have figured things out. You will figure it out again, fear is just another excuse to stop you from following your passions and chasing your dreams.
2. Think about it, then think again: If fear didn’t stop you, thinking about it too much will. It is the best way to let time pass, and allow your thoughts to just make up difficult situations that may never happen.
What you should do instead: Understand that the mind is like a butterfly that flies from one flower to another, never standing still. If you pay attention to these thoughts, you would be amazed to discover that most of them are useless and the only way to focus your mind is by praying, and finding some peace.
3. Don’t take action: Everything you really want requires action, and it needs a little effort from you especially when taking that scary first step. It may even require sacrifices like watching less tv, or giving up social media to learn a new skill but is it worth it?
What you should do instead: Action conquers everything especially fear. There is something about taking action that gives you a high; it feels great and its motivating. Consistently taking small actions will give you the results you are seeking.
4. Be Lazy: Who wants to challenge themselves? I know I don’t! You have your plate full and there is no way you want it that badly. You can live without finding out if starting your own business would mean more freedom for you and your family. Just chill, and things will fall into place.
What you should do instead: The prophet (sallaalaahu alaihi wasallam) used to seek refuge in Allah from laziness, and this is the dua he use to say everyday:
‘O Allaah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men.’
5. Never share it: Not with anyone, even if you really want to turn a new leaf. It’s just embarrassing when you don’t do the thing you said you were going to do yet AGAIN although this time you said it will be different.
What you should do instead: Find people to support you, who will stand by your side and help you. A great friend keeps you accountable, but if you really don’t want to tell anyone you can always start a blog to keep yourself accountable. I have found that blogging can be great for not only motivating others but myself as well.
Being aware of how you talk yourself out of opportunities and pretty much everything is important. So what are you not doing that you really want to do?