L E T T E R – Excuses Keep Us Small – The Broad Place

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L E T T E R – Excuses Keep Us Small

I had a catch up the other day with someone and it was like I was in overdrive. I left feeling uneasy and I really hadn’t been myself. As I drove away, I couldn’t put my finger on this slippery feeling. The only way I can describe it was that I felt like I was on high definition, like a TV, a bit too harsh, a little shiny and everything being a bit vibrant and unrealistic. I’m hyper at the best of times, me on overdrive is bordering on unbearable!

I could feel myself itching to text them, and makeup something like ‘sorry if I was a bit much this morning, work is really challenging’. Which would have been a lie to appease my anxiety. Thank God for friends as I instead called one of my best friends up and explained it all to her, and in the explaining, I realised the thing was, I was just a bit nervous. I really wanted them to like me. Instead of identifying this for myself and calming down, I had gone into overdrive. And that resulted in my being inauthentic. That was the gross slippery feeling I couldn’t put my finger on. I just simply wasn’t an authentic version of myself, as I had let my clinging desire to being really liked affect me deeply.

My friend and I spoke about this for a long time. She did it at work sometimes, when trying to impress someone. The monkey with the cymbals routine I sometimes call it. All noise and clatter and gimmicks. We chatted about how when we aren’t ourselves when we aren’t authentic, we find it almost unbearable these days. In our early twenties, it was kind of digestible. Now, it can feel sickening.

And that the first thing we want to do is find an excuse. Maybe we are tired, or it was the energy of the other person. I mean there are a million excuse we can draw on. Coming instead to the kernel of truth within the situation is INSANELY liberating. And I am fascinated and bordering on obsessed with finding these kernels. Here are some that I have worked with students on recently…

’This person intimidates me as I think they are amazing and so I acted arrogantly and now feel disgusted with myself’
‘I have wanted to be friends with them for a long time so I am putting too much weight on this and ended up aloof and now ashamed’
’My marriage separation is affecting my confidence on every level and I am now a people pleaser and leave social scenes feeling ill’

From these truths we can realise that our ego tried to protect us in a moment and delivered the opposite of our desired result. It’s so ironic, isn’t it!! We end up getting the very situation we feared. And then our ego’s get to play a game of shame with that. It’s like a merry go round we can’t get off. Your truth kernel is your exit strategy.

So next time you find yourself slyly or frantically coming up with an excuse for why you were weird in a moment, peel back the layers to the deep truth of it. This honesty that means we can successfully navigate ourselves through life on a deeper level of authenticity.

Sent with love,

Jac x

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