Images come to my mind of physical obstacles that block our pathways. Trains, rocks, dead-ends, buildings, cement barriers, dams and any other structure making the linear path seemingly impossible.
In myself, friends, family and clients, the type of obstacles most detrimental to well-being, success and happiness are emotional blocks; the way we stand in our own way.
We cannot understand why we can’t get from point A to B. We say we want a better life, a promotion, love, to get along with others and fertilize our happiness. Instead, we are bolloxed by our own story. The “can’t” list grows bigger and yes…my favorite saying comes to mind: “You are stuck in a box”.
I have a client who wants to move to anther country and teach English.
She says she wants to save money to make her transition easier, but at least once or twice a month she finds herself buying items at discount stores that she doesn’t really need. She stands in her own way. We have spent time on this subject and I have asked her to “pause” when she gets caught up in the “urge” to shop. Breathe and see how she feels, asking herself if she really needs this new item. Why does she want to sabotage her own success, when she can see herself living in this other country? Because a part of her doesn’t feel worthy of her goal and it stands in her way. When you think big, it is scary. You have to believe you deserve it more than you don’t. Small keeps us safe and you don’t have to question your value. Small is where you beat yourself up for all the BIG stuff you are basically saying “no” to having in your life.
I know someone who has a job in which he works strictly for the paycheck. He has bigger dreams than this 9-6 p.m. obligation, in fact his dreams have nothing to do with his job. He finds his free time to entertain his creativity, severely limited. In fact, I had asked him to write the post on this subject. His big heart wanted to, but his brain said there was no time.
He is starting to feel depressed about his plight. He can’t seem to figure out the best course of action, because his fears are much greater than his resolve for happiness. He is afraid he will end up in poverty or at the very least struggling financially where he to lose his job. It is a very real concern, but one that shouldn’t hold him back from carving out time to be creative and work toward his “real” dreams.
In his case, the feeling of boredom, disassociation and listlessness concerning his job bleed into his free time. On top of that he now has a co-worker who has decided to create an additional stress in his work environment, which gives him even greater anxiety with his job. The day job affects all areas of his life. What’s the answer? He has to “get out of his own way”.
Instead of finding himself tugged under the train, he has to connect with that place inside of him that wants this other life. The place buried under the layers of responsibility, fear, unworthiness and anything else which keeps him in his comfortable yet unfulfilling corner of his life.
He has to step into discomfort. Maybe he could make a commitment to spending 30 minutes or an hour a day being creative toward his dream? It is easy to do once you take the first step, but first you have to get out of your own way. Instead, of filling his plate in his free time with things meant to bring momentary gratification or escape from the dreariness of his job, he needs to invest in his own happiness and do something which makes HIM uncomfortable. It may even give him anxiety, because also buried in there is a sense of expectation. He will have an expectation of himself to be creative so that whatever he makes will have to live up to his standard of excellence. Will he get out of his way? Last time I checked, he made a decision to spend time each day opening himself up to his greater dreams….interestingly enough, he is starting to relax, enjoying his time on and off the job, and spending more time having FUN!
We stand in our own way when we say we want to lose weight, but continue to overeat (Overeating–calories in, calories out… too many different schools of thought to name here on what is healthy).
When an individual overeats she is stuffing feelings. She is trying to fill what is not fulfilled in her life. When I am stuck in a process, I too, find myself wandering over to the refrigerator…mindlessly, not even aware of my actions, in a sort of haze as I wake up to realize I am looking for a feeling of satisfaction, which never comes through eating in this manner.
Standing in your own way with LOVE is another man-made obstacle. Love has no boundaries, yet most people place “limitations” on this particular subject. People all require love, but as much as they want it, they may run from it, because it requires vulnerability and getting out of your own way of protecting yourself from getting hurt.
It appears a person usually comes equipped with a long list of expectations a partner MUST live up to, so the individual doesn’t have to wake with disappointment continuously. And of course when we are focusing with what is wrong with someone else, we are not focusing on “ourselves”. We once again stand in our own way in love. At the end of the day or in the middle of a dispute, you need to ask yourself is it more important to win the argument, stop dating someone who doesn’t fulfill your list 24/7, punish another human and stand in the way of what you really want? Could you pause for a second and do what feels difficult, asking yourself, “What is the goal? Being alone and self righteous?” Or do you want to extend yourself beyond your comfort zone and say “love” is the winner? And be open and vulnerable to what that means?
I have to say that “love” rules for me every time I take a step out of my own tunnel vision–as in “getting out of my own way”, I want love to be the winner.
It creates a huge sucking up within myself; processing my old feelings of it being weak to communicate or back off the desire to be righteous or punish another, and INSTEAD ask myself, “Do I love this person? Do I want to do whatever I can in a healthy way to keep this relationship in my life?” And I find myself answering “yes”, it is important to me. I then ask myself what is the most loving thing to do? What I find is then I must walk on a bed of nails. I communicate what is true for me even if it ruffles his feathers. I end up finding the balance of not destroying the relationship,while being vulnerable, honest and loving to curtail an old pattern once again. It is not easy and thankfully he is a kind and patient man. It really is nice to say, it is a relief to get the hell out of my own way!