Recently, I wrote this haiku
I am so jealous
not by your deserved success
but my inactionTamara O’Briant Barrett © Jan. 31, 2020
Yes, I was talking about myself when I wrote this. I had just observed yet another one of my ideas being materialized by someone other than me. All at once, a feeling came over me, and when it did, I picked up my pencil and these words came out. When I read them, I could only accept the truth they represented, and that is the fact that I do become jealous when I see people doing the things that I thought about doing. In fact, when I see it happen, an inexplicable feeling of dread comes over me, and automatically I begin to question myself. I beat myself up for not trying, but mostly I am upset with myself for not even STARTing. I cannot put into words the number of deferred dreams and undeveloped thoughts I have left to sit on a shelf in my mind only to collect dust. All because of my inaction, and all while I watch as others bring to life the same ideas I placed on a shelf years ago.
What kept me from starting? A lot of stuff, but my number one issue was and still is distraction. I am one of the most distracted people I know. Distractions have kept me from making plans, from finishing tasks, basically, from being great. Distractions keep me thinking and not doing. After distraction comes fear and self-sabotage, not to mention comparison and lack of foresight. To get right down to it, I am the poster child for a Hot Ass Mess. For years, I have allowed any number of distractions to rule my life, to keep me from using the gifts and the talents that God gave me, and that is why at the age of 45 (46 in 30ish days), I am still working on becoming the person I dreamt of becoming so many years ago.
Getting Started is Urgent
Things we say to keep from starting
“I’ll do it later”
“I don’t have enough time or money”
“I have nothing to wear.”
“When I lose weight.”
For many others and this is no different for me, the list to not get started is longer than the list to start. So I say to that, Stop, so you can start. Inaction pretty much keeps us from living, not from living our best life, but living “period“. Here’s why being inactive is bad. Inaction keeps us in failed relationships, keeps us at dead-end jobs, keeps us unhealthy, keeps us in debt, keeps us addicted, keeps us alone, and keeps us afraid. Inaction cripples us from doing what we must do to become who we were meant to be. For this reason, I say that inaction is closely akin to a form of self-sabotage. It makes us constantly lie to ourselves, make excuses, for why we haven’t made the necessary changes that we need to make, and it is that same inaction that causes us to get salty when people question why we have stayed too long in a situation that has not served us, and we stayed because we had an inability to act.
Along with being inactive, we make excuses to justify our stagnant mindset, and excuses are dangerous because they make us narrow-minded and they limit our potential. Excuses cause us to look at what we don’t have instead of looking at what we do have. We say to ourselves, well if I was just a little bit younger I could start that business or go back to school. Let me tell you, when it comes to making excuses, I am winning. I have allowed the lies I tell myself to make me spend more time focusing on the things that are wrong with me more than I do on the things that are right. I spend more time focusing on the things not in my possession than I do on the things that are.
Trust me I know, getting started is difficult to do. I have already told you that I have made a career out of making excuses and of procrastinating, but the time to stop thinking and start doing is now. No more excuses.
You Have What It Takes
I have no clue how I came to realize that I needed a total life transformation. All I can say is that I am absolutely thankful that I did. I simply became tired of not giving my best, and that’s when I began to realize that I have the power to regain control over my life. I started speaking to myself differently and I owned the crap that I was doing that was negatively affecting me. I quit the negative self-speak and I started telling myself , “You are equipped with everything you need to make your life better for you and your kids.” And I do. I have education and experience, I have talent and creativity, I have a working mind and numerous ideas, and I have people who love me, and if I take a true inventory of all I possess, I’d see that I am blessed with much more.
Distraction, procrastination and fear have kept me from truly enjoying my life, but I don’t want the same thing to happen to you. It’s time to STOP being inactive and making excuses, and it’s time to START doing all the things that ignite you and make you better. Instead of making a list of reasons why you can’t, list the reasons of why you can.
So what does it all mean? When I think back on the type of person my inaction made me, I understand where the jealousy came from, and also how the self-pity and negative self-talk came to be. I don’t want to be jealous, nobody really does. I say all this to say, I want for you the same thing I want for me: a better life, a happy life, a life where you actively pursue all the things that “set your soul on fire.”