the perils of justifying yourself

Me, you, or someone you know:

“I don’t want to do it anymore. I’m going to …”
Fill in the blank: Quit, sell it, leave, cancel, give it away, walk, resign.

That practical voice inside your head, well-intentioned friends, your granny: “Now, why would you do that?! It’s … (fill in the blank) good money, a great opportunity, you’ve worked so hard, what will you do without it? Can’t you work it out?

And you bite the hook. In fact, your psyche’s been hanging on it for quite sometime, gnawing on 101 good, practical, and perfectly reasonable reasons why you have the right to make the decision that you’re making. You know, rationalizing. Well how about this rationale:

It doesn’t feel right.

Stay there for a few seconds. It’s a very powerful place to be. It’s elegant. It’s clear. Declared feelings have sonic reach.

And… it can be very uncomfortable. Like the truth can often be before it sets you free.

I recently left a gig because it just didn’t feel right. I struggled with all of the yes, no, make adjustments, suck it up, expand your perspective, get more creative kind of options. A few people thought I was nuts to walk away. Great exposure, cachet, extra money… All true. The “facts” usually are.

I made the tastiest Excuse Sandwich about why it didn’t work for me. I need to find a baby sitter, it interrupts my week, it’s not what I signed up for, I need a haircut, I don’t like so and so or such and such, I need to focus on … All absolutely true. And in the grand scheme, in the greater gestalt of what I’m capable of, totally lame and absolutely surmountable.

If something felt right, I’d drive all night in a push-up bra to get there. When it really feels right, you go out of your way. When something feels right, you put inconveniences in their place.

THE CORROSIVE EFFECTS OF OVER-JUSTIFYING YOUR FEELINGS

JUSTIFYING YOUR FEELINGS:

  • automatically puts you on the defense. When you’re on the defense, you burn more energy. Rationalization can be incredibly inefficient.
  • over-complicates things.
  • perpetuates cleverness. Clever is not a good word in my personal dictionary. It rhymes with slick, manipulative, covert. When you’re trying to rationalize something that is very often amorphous and insular you’ll reach for smooth answers that you think people – or your subconscious – want to hear. And that makes you a salesman.
  • depresses your essential self. The more you load rationale onto your feelings, the more padding you create between you and your most powerful, unlimited resource. If you make a habit of keeping your instincts at bay, that tend to stay at bay.
  • makes you look and feel like a victim. In an effort to prove and protect, you make up reasons that appear to be more important than your refutable instinct. You whine. You nit pick the situation. You start sounding like the whimp you don’t want to be – instead of the hero that you essentially are. When the passion is there, so is the solution. No problem looks insurmountable when you’re turned on.

Of course, sometimes your greatness demands that you explain your reasons in no uncertain terms. Taking the time to explain yourself can be a fantastically creative act. If that’s what’s called for, then explain how you feel. Hold the excuses. Stand by your heart. Make it matter.

related posts
Danielle-LaPorte-Failures-traced-to-my-silence

All of my failures can be traced to my silence.

Truthing isn’t necessarily easier to do, but it brings incredible ease to your life. And the more you do it, the easier it becomes. The courage, the classy delivery, the compassionate humour, it all becomes more accessible when you’re using your voice everyday.

Will you do as much as it takes, as long as it takes? 2017 is asking

Will you do as much as it takes, as long as it takes? 2017 is asking.

Listen. It’s time. This is it. 2017. New. Year. Now. I for one am going deeper and higher. I’m reaching inward for my strength, facing my Soul, and I’m going to pour my devotion to the Light all over every word I speak, and every human I encounter and adore and hold, and every cause I’m working for.

danielle-laporte-how-to-wish-someone-well-audio

How to wish someone well — in a way that will blow your life wide open.

We’ve all been hurt. Screwed over. Taken for granted. Unseen. And once we untangle our hearts and egos from those painful interactions, sometimes we can still manage to send someone positive vibes.Harm done, but okay. Everyone did their best. Onward. I wish them well. And even though you’d never commune or collaborate with that person ever again, you really mean it…

Danielle-LaPorte-Year-in-review

5 Q’s for your deeper Year In Review

Do your year in review with a friend. Last year I sat in a pub in Ojai, while Steph pushed me to do a rapid-fire reflection on the closing year. Keep reading…

holding-out-danielle-laporte

Holding out. The most underrated spiritual act there is.

Good things come to those who… hold out. Holding out requires a sacred, almost superhuman degree of focus—mystical muther freaking prowess.

Danielle-LaPorte-the-royal-practice-of-overcoming-distraction

The “royal practice” of overcoming distraction.

Most of us approach distraction as a time management issue—how we wrangle our to-do list and hit our goals. But when you zoom out and look at it esoterically, it snaps your priorities into place. Keep Reading…

danielle-laporte-this-is-what-healing-looks-like-audio

This is what healing looks like—from cancer to politics, and our bleeding, blazing hearts.

Healing is as ugly as “healed” is gorgeous. If we don’t judge the mess of it, we’re more likely to get to the other side of it sooner—and more deeply healed and stronger than we ever imagined possible. Scars and all. Healed.

Danielle-Laporte-Guru-Singh

Cataclysmic Evolutionary Catalysts. (AKA: The times we live in). A guest appearance from Guru Singh.

For the first time ever on my site, I’m bringing you a guest feature. Because these times call for collaboration. And radical wisdom. So here it is: Guru Singh is a luminous and direct Truth teller. It’s an immense honour to share his insights—and prayerful plea. Please listen in.

danielle-laporte-conscious-gifts-2017-1

8 holiday gift ideas for friends & co-workers. Conscious, cool, and not-destined for landfills. And 6 ways to help #NoDAPL this season.

Here are a few pro-earth, pro-good taste, pro-kindness ideas for showing your love and appreciation this season: 8 conscious ways and things to give this season—to friends and your professional circle.

danielle-laporte-how-you-listen-is-how-you-live-featured-2x

How you listen is how you live. (A poem for being of service.)

You may hear this as an order, an invitation, or as the opportunity of lifetimes.

How you listen is how you live.
Can you hear the women crying?
Can you hear the soil gasping for clean air?
And did you hear that? That’s the sound of a good man asking, How can I serve?

How do you serve?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This