Crutches. After an injury, they help us heal, they even allow those who might otherwise be incapacitated to find mobility. They are a tool. What would happen if a healthy person conditioned themselves to rely on crutches to get through life? Wouldn't using crutches be limiting, slow or even stop some of their progress?
In life, I have found that many of us use proverbial crutches along our journey and then continue to wonder why we are not reaching our true potential. We are all guilty of this at one point or another, especially me. Rather than do the hard work that it takes to change our outlook or circumstances, we choose to use the crutch of outside influence and the mystical and all powerful force of "They".
I have heard it many times in my life, I have even been guilty of saying it myself before I learned how debilitating an effect it could have on self-esteem and drive. "They" are racist so I won't get a fair chance. "They" are rich and will do whatever they can to keep me from succeeding like them. "They" are out to get me. "They" will judge me because I have been divorced, arrested, in treatment, etc. "They" owe me. "They", "They", "They".
Relying on these crutches to justify bad acts or as an excuse to absolve us from the basic responsibilities of our actions is one of the primary reasons many of us do not achieve the results we want in life and why many of us have so many setbacks. Sadly, we live in a time where it has become the social norm to deflect personal responsibility and embrace as many of these crutches as we can. These crutches we walk around with will slow us down by making us think that we aren't good enough or convincing us we will fail, therefore it is better not to try in the first place. While difficult to do, learning how to let go of these crutches will allow us to achieve more and be happier.
So, the big question is how do we let the crutches go? Here is how to get started:
1. Ask the hard question.
The first thing to do is simply ask yourself if it makes sense. Are your circumstances really out of your control? Can that white supremacist that lives alone in the woods really stop you from getting an education and moving on to a better neighborhood. Is there really an international conspiracy created by the ultra-elite to specifically keep you down? Or could it be as simple as making small changes in succession that will add up to larger change in your life? (Look for my Redefining Success book on Amazon if you need a Guide)
2. Accept hard truths.
At the risk of hurting someone's feelings, the fact is that we just aren't that important. Accept that and move on. We, being the vain creatures that we are, tend to think others think about us 24/7. We think that the corporate demagogues are sitting in a room with the Illuminati, aliens and the X-men plotting and focusing on how to stop our progress....even though we live in Nowhere, USA working to pay our bills and watching Netflix. Consider this...maybe (just maybe) there isn't a think tank of the most powerful people on the planet focused on ruining your life and trying to "keep you down".
3. Understand that everything isn't always about you.
There is a great big universe out there filled with solar systems, stars, moons, planets, and great mysteries. At the center of all of this wonder is not you (or me, or anyone else we might know). As harsh as that statement may be, mainly because we all are guilty of taking things way to personal, it is still very true. As you read this, you might be thoroughly enjoying the article, or you might also be appalled and think I do not know what I am talking about. In either situation, my life will go on. It will be up to me to decide whether or not I will allow my perception of your feelings to stop me from finishing this article and publishing it or not. (You are reading it so my choice is obvious).
4. A little effort goes a long way.
Rather than blaming the mysterious "They", I want you to honestly ask yourself if you are doing everything possible to make the progress you are dreaming of or did you get too comfortable blaming others and enjoying life's distractions?
5. No Man (or Woman) is an island.
Not everyone is out to get you and, even if you feel that your closest circle doesn't have your best interests in mind, find help. Those who truly desire to succeed will find a way, not an excuse. There are many resources out there to help you find information, mentors, or direction. If you can't rely on friends and family, hire someone. If you can't afford to hire someone, go to a local non-profit or charity. If you don't know where to begin, Google it. The trick is to do something and get help when you need it, we live in a time where physical distance isn't as much of a barrier as it was a century ago. With technology as it is, the only excuse for not having coaching or mentors is that you chose to do things this way.
Like with the real crutches we receive as a result of injury, there will come a time when we will have to let them go if we want to truly progress and move forward. If you find yourself stuck, we can help. Contact us today and inquire about our coaching services.