Having gone from being a single parent of four children on welfare, food stamps and medical assistance, homeless and without an automobile to a CEO of a $24 million organization and married to a wonderful man I know a thing or two about evolving versus repeating old patterns. Both are hard.

The difference is that the with latter, the end of the story is familiar yet you deny the truth and feel like a victim when you get to the last page and already knew the ending. With the former you have no idea where you might go, it scares you to death because you don’t want to believe happiness is attainable yet sustainable for fear of being let down. Then you risk openness and release all the assumptions disguised as excuses you used to grasp onto. Here you realize you deserve all that is good and your story keeps unfolding.

When we repeat old patterns we are stuck. Most achievers tackle being stuck by getting back on the treadmill to nowhere and working harder only to find that not only are they more stuck but they are now exhausted and doubting their efficacy.

Risk takes heart. It takes vulnerability. It takes a willingness to look yourself in the mirror, accept yourself with all of your flaws and know that ‘done’ is better than ‘perfect.’

Release Your Need to Hold onto Excuses

Often clients ask me what the most important thing is they can do to advance in their careers and to be happy. It’s not that you need to add anything to your already full plate of responsibilities. Likely, there is something that needs to end. And that necessary ending is linked to an assumption you are making. It could be about a relationship, friendship, health, job, future etc. Here are a few of the most prevalent thoughts that hold us back:

I’m not smart enough.

I’m not educated enough.

I’m not attractive enough.

I’m not young enough.

I’m not healthy enough.

I’m not experienced enough.

I’m not likable enough.

Ultimately, all of these feed to “I am not enough.” Who do you need to be enough for? You’ll never be enough for others if you aren’t first enough for yourself.

What if you were to completely release your need to lean on that assumptive doubt? Yes, your need to rely on that excuse. What would happen then? It’s scary isn’t it? With that perspective you have to be the creator of your own destiny – not a victim to outside circumstances.

Self-acceptance is the only way to move away from being stuck. “May I be gentle with myself in this moment. “I am not perfect but I’m still awesome.”

Originally published on The Ladders.

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