March 20, 2014
If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to have had to use crutches for a sprained ankle or worse a broken bone then you know how readily you came to depend on them to maneuver. Simple matters such as using the bathroom suddenly became monumental tasks while being debilitated. Yes, there you were all cozy on the couch when the urge struck. Without thinking you reached for the crutches to assist you in rambling down the hall toward relief. Needless to say, you came to depend on those crutches for fear of falling down and re injuring yourself. Yet, as time heals all wounds, the time also came when you had to give them up. You may have resisted at first feeling as though they had become an extension of you somehow; a trusted support…just in case.
Eventually though, your crutches ended up in a yard sale never giving that trusted support a second thought. However, assisted walking devices aren’t the only type of crutch. Unfortunately for us, other crutches take the form of addictions. Be it addicted to food, cigarettes, alcohol, gambling or even sex. Still others have become addictive patterns of behavior such as gossiping, lying, stealing and spending too much time in front of the TV or the computer whether gaming or just feeding your insatiable appetite for what’s happening in the cybernetic world of Facebook.
Still other crutches, which usually fly just under the radar, are cleverly disguised as ready-made excuses. It’s this myriad of ALL the reasons why we won’t, don’t, or can’t do something which are the difficult crutches to detect and give up. Just like grabbing our crutches when Mother Nature calls, we whip out of our cache a premeditated justifiable (in our eyes) excuse and WHOOMP, THERE IT IS! Our convenient crutch for why IT JUST AIN’T HAPPENING! When in reality we could, should, or would if we weren’t afraid.
Afraid of what? Only you can answer that question. However, unwillingness to try is commonly caused by fear of what others will think, fear of failure (or success, which is really fear of failure), fear of embarrassment, fear of being ridiculed, fear of facing a truth about ourselves, fear we aren’t deserving of whatever we’re keeping our self from by using our won’t, don’t and can’t crutches. Therefore, we perceive it easier to keep these ready-made excuses with us at all times. Then as soon as we feel the urge WHOOMP! There it is…our crutch.
However, too much of any one of these crutches can be harmful. Not only physically (visible crutch), i.e. cigarettes, over eating and alcohol. But also emotionally (invisible crutch), i.e., fear induced won’t, don’t, can’t, which can cause depression, low self-esteem or feeling out of control. Unlike physical crutches, invisible crutches, stemming from a limiting belief, are so ingrained in our subconscious we are oblivious to the fact we’re relying on a crutch. Yet, like a festering wound that won’t heal these invisible crutches obstruct our happiness...slowly sucking the life out of our lives.
For example, have you ever said, “I can’t because…” (Fill in your crutch(es) here.) Ironically, we believe we’re helping ourselves by hanging on to crutches. Do yourself a favor and catch yourself the next time you say ‘because’ right before you explain why you can’t, don’t or won’t do something and you’ll discover how you believe you are benefiting yourself. When in reality you are limiting yourself by playing it safe. Just like real crutches to help us walk without falling, excuse crutches have become our safety net for not trying.
Recognizing a crutch is the first step. Once you identify one crutch, others will be easier. The second step is to give it up. Let it go. You may resist at first. After all, this self-limiting crutch has become an extension of your personality. But don’t fool yourself; it’s truly hindering you from enjoying life. Step three is easy. DO ALL those things you’ve been keeping yourself from trying. Who knows, you may actually have some fun! I know, but if you don’t try, you can’t fail. Ahhh…lest we forget: failing is okay. It’s not trying, which is the real failure.
Can you imagine...enjoying dancing, writing, golfing, canoeing, fishing, bungee jumping…?
Smile, there’s no excuse not to!