What Gets in Your way?
Updated: Dec 15, 2020
What holds you back?
What one thing do you wish wasn't standing in your way?
If you didn't have anything stopping you, what would you be doing differently?
“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don`t get distracted." Proverbs 4:25-27
There are many things that hold us back, distract us or get in our way. I am going to focus on some internal gremlins that we need to identify. In order to move forward, we first have to identify these inner barriers. We can liken this idea to road works on a highway as we approach a construction zone. We first need to be aware that there are road works ahead as we pay attention to signs that warn us what is up ahead. Then we need to slow down to the new stipulated speed limit. In some cases, we need to stop at road works if our lane is closed for a short time. Once it is safe to proceed again, we can begin our journey and continue to enjoy a safe road experience without construction barriers until the next time.
The road works in our lives can represent physical/exterior barriers like difficult people, work stress or others. Road works can also represent the hidden, more abstract barriers within our minds. I`m sure you are familiar with the phrase "mind over matter" where having a good attitude will affect the choices we make which will ultimately affect our performance. I remember when I ran the comrades ultra-marathon in South Africa and from the half way mark, I was struggling but I was determined to finish the 91 km race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. I did manage to complete the race with 50 seconds to spare! This event taught me how much further I could push myself if I put my mind to it. The challenge within our heads, if conquered, is very often more powerful and intense than the physical more obvious challenges.
Road works are "red flags" in our lives that tell us something is wrong and we need to pay attention. But in most cases, we are too busy trying to cope with life; perhaps juggling two jobs or trying to be in two many places at once? Busyness and circumstances stop us from self reflection and we need to slow down and identify these internal gremlins that are holding us back.
It takes being proactive and intentional to change habits when certain behaviors or attitudes are clearly not working.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
Lets take a look at these inner gremlins:
What kind of person do you consider yourself to be - someone who sees a glass half empty or a glass half full?
How do people close to you view your mindset or attitude?
A negative mindset convinces you that it can`t be done. If you tend to have a "never-be-able-to-do-it" attitude, its important to be honest with yourself and recognize this as holding you back from growing as a person.
Negative assumptions lead to negative perspectives and it is important to understand what perspectives you tend to adopt in most situations. A perspective is a lens through which you view yourself and the world and it is dominated by strong emotions about who you are. Let me explain this with an illustration: A negative mindset of "I can`t get good grades" will result in a negative perspective about not being successful in school. Feelings that are brought on by this perspective could be ones of despondency, low self esteem or lack of motivation. These feelings will in turn lead to negative actions on your part. So you choose negative actions - you don`t study or complete homework or hand in assignments on time. These actions lead to low grades which show evidence of how you see yourself. People with bad attitudes tend to have bad things happen to them with bad results.