“Show me someone who keeps getting in your way, and I’ll show you someone who keeps making excuses.” ~ Note From The Universe — Mike Dooley
What Is Holding You Back?
What’s holding you back? What is keeping you from reaching your goal, fulfilling your purpose, and creating your best life? Given the opening quote, you probably suspect that this is a loaded question and you may be reluctant to trot out your usual litany of excuses, er, umm, I mean “reasons”.
Don’t get me wrong. Nobody that I’m aware of follows a straight, open, easy path to success. (If they do, then they’ve set their sights too low. They should aim higher.) All of us encounter obstacles, bumps and potholes, detours, blocked roads and locked doors. That’s part of why we are here and one of the big reasons for having goals in the first place. It’s called “Learning”.
Some people see the glitches, the false starts, the dead ends, the unsupportive or downright antagonistic people as obstacles — often insurmountable obstacles — in their path of growth and achievement. Other people see them as stepping stones on the way to victory. And a few see them as absolutely necessary steps to enable the achievement of their goals.
“The Obstacle Is The Way”
How do you move from insurmountable obstacle to necessary step? Well, like most things, it’s a matter of perspective. It’s a matter of how you choose to think and what you choose to believe. Like most things, it’s a matter of choice.
This is hard for many people to accept. What about someone like Lisa (*), a single mother of 2 daughters? This young mother has cancer. She struggles to provide a home for her children while she battles a life-threatening disease.
Or how about Warren(*)? Warren was beaten by an alcoholic father, was orphaned at an early age, was homeless for a number of years, battles alcohol addiction, and is living at the Salvation Army.
Do I mean that they chose these conditions? Not at all. I’m not saying that we choose our circumstances. (I’m not saying that we don’t choose them, either, but that’s a metaphysical discussion for another time.) The point I’m making here is that we can choose how we think about and respond to our circumstances. And you can choose to see the circumstances you encounter as obstacles to your goals, as stepping stones toward your goals, or as essential lessons to help you reach beyond your goals.
Watch out for the Kryptonite!
I recently read a blog by Marelisa Fabrega, “12 Ways to Go From Dud to Superhero“, where she discusses 12 ideas for personal development based on the Superhero culture. One of the 12 steps is “Beware of your Kryptonite”.
Basically, this means that everyone has a weakness. (Some of us have been blessed with a multitude of them!) For Superman, it’s Kryptonite – remnants of his exploded home planet — that drain him of his super powers whenever he comes in contact with it.
Superman doesn’t spend time and energy trying to overcome the effects of Kryptonite. He uses his strengths (his super powers, if you will) to pursue his goals of truth, justice, and the American Way. When his weakness is exploited (i.e., a villain exposes him to Kryptonite), he uses his ingenuity and strengths to overcome his weakness.
Similarly, says Fabrega, “it doesn’t matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to turn your weaknesses into strengths.” You are much better off identifying your weaknesses and making sure that they don’t trip you up.
Obstacle = Growth
When you are faced with a barrier, a hurdle, a stumbling block, an obstruction, a complication, a difficulty, a problem, a disadvantage, or a deterrent (Isn’t it amazing how many words we have for the things that get in our way?), focus on your strengths and how you can use them to surmount the issue. Don’t focus on your weakness – your own, personal Kryptonite — and why that is holding you back. And if you really want to soar, focus on how the situation is helping you learn essential skills and lessons that will help you not only now, but in many other situations as well.
So . . . what’s holding you back? Chances are, it’s you. You can’t change your circumstances. But you most definitely can change how you think about them. The thing that you think is holding you back just may be the thing you need to learn. Let your obstacle become your stepping stone to move forward. That is embracing the Excelerated Life™!
Excelerated simplicity ™ — freeing yourself from unnecessary complexity — is one step in creating your Excelerated Life ™ , a life of well-being, meaning, and purpose.
(*) Not their real names, of course.