These four words used to slip out of my mouth frequently – “I don’t have time.” Here are some examples of things that I’ve said. I don’t have time to be creative. I don’t have time to exercise. I don’t have time for personal development. I don’t have time to cook. I don’t have time to meditate. I don’t have time to read. Just to name a few.
I decided to stop using the “I don’t have time,” phrase. The phrase disempowered me. I used it as a euphemism for what was truly going on in my life. Here are some scenarios when I’ve used the “I don’t have time” phrase.
• Yes-ism – I said “yes” to every request, appointment, meeting, social engagement, or favor. Also known as, putting everything and everyone before my own needs. I was so concerned with pleasing others that I didn’t know how to say “no," or balance my own life.
• No-ism – No-ism is a cousin to yes-ism. “I don’t have time,” was a replacement phrase for hiding the truth. In reality this is what was happening – “No, I don’t want to; but, I’m so worried about pleasing you, or avoiding conflict that I’m going to tell you that ‘I don’t have time.’”
• Everything has to be perfect! – I would spend immense amounts of energy trying to achieve flawless and perfect results; therefore, projects took disproportionate amounts of time and energy. Another form of people pleasing.
• The never-ending “to do” list – In reality, I received validation from my busyness.
• Someone or something else has control over my time (typically my job, family, or friends) – That meant I had lost of my sense of life priorities. So, I blamed something outside of me (my job, my family or my friends) and felt powerless. I viewed my daily activities as “have to” activities; rather than, “get to” activities.
• Look at the time! – I spent all of my time vegging out, hanging out with my friends, or doing anything to avoid what I actually wanted to accomplish. AKA, procrastination.
As I started to unravel the mystery of why I never had time, I realized why I was feeling depleted, resentful, unfulfilled, ragged, and unsatisfied. By taking an honest look at how I spent my time, I was able to shift to my true priorities, be honest and compassionate with myself, and unearth true alignment.
The next time you’re tempted to say, “I don’t have time.” Pause and think if any of the above scenarios are true for you.
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