Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Getting Past the Block

I've realized lately that I have a lot of blocks. Blocks that I didn't realize I had. Negative thoughts about what I couldn't do. Fears of moving on from where I've been. People who were hurting and upsetting me and, possibly even unbeknownst to them, holding me back. I've decided to tackle these.

The first step, determining what's holding you back, is the most crucial. Whenever you have block, discovering it and admitting it are the most difficult parts. Partly, this may be because we feel like we're admitting a weakness, or an issue. Partly it's because, as I mentioned in my last post, it takes away our excuses from not taking action and moving forward. Obviously, this isn't a quick fix type of thing, and it takes small, persistent steps. But, you have to start somewhere, and so I'm combining some of what I've learned, as well as my own thoughts and experiences, into a couple of blogs.

In the last blog, I listed the first two action items in this process (paraphrasing):
  • Write down everything that's holding you back, even if it seems silly. 
  • Look back at the list, pretend it's a that of a friend, and be brutally honest with "your friend". 
But how do we know what's holding us back? Sometimes it can be really shoved back in our brains and/or our hearts. Here are a few questions to ask yourself: 
  • If you could do anything for a career, regardless of money/talent/feasibility, what would you do? You can list numerous opportunities. Don't limit yourself to just one. They don't have to be far off from what you're doing, if you're working towards your goal. But they can be, too. 
  • Have you considered trying to move your career in that direction (or at least something similar)? If not, why? If so, what happened that stopped you?
  • Are you mad/upset/frustrated with anyone (especially longer term), or is there anyone that you avoid? Why? Critical note:  Even if the person is someone you love/care about, write them down. 
  • If you could leave one legacy, what would it be? (For the purposes of this exercise, let's choose something other than leaving your loved ones healthy and happy. I suspect for most that's high regardless of your career/life path and the two aren't mutually exclusive). 
  • Who are you envious/jealous of? Why? Try to think of people you know, as opposed to celebrities and such. Be honest here. We often like to pretend we aren't jealous/envious people, but I think anyone can have it in them at some level. If nothing else, you may be wistful for some trait that you'd like to have but feel you don't. So call yourself out. No one has to know. 
Now look at the list pretending it's that of a friend. If you're 100% honest with "your friend", are "they" trying to accomplish any of those dreams for life, career, legacy? If they're envious of someone, have they earnestly tried learning how to get there or have they assume they can't? If someone's upsetting/angering/frustrating them or if they are avoiding someone, have they tried to truly correct the situation, or considered that the person could be a long-term negative influence that is holding them back? 

You (back to first person) might notice a theme. You "could never" make that interest/passion into a real career; how could you forgive or walk away from that person that's affecting you; you'd never be able to build up that legacy to leave; you couldn't be as (insert positive term/adjective) as that person you envy. There's a common denominator: you blocking yourself. 

You don't have to have the all of the time, energy, money, willpower, self-esteem, or resources to get where you want to be right at this moment. You just have to have the desire and the willingness to take even the tiniest step toward it, and then the next, and the one after that. You also have to have the courage to persist, and to trust your intuition. Sometimes, our brain and logic get in the way, telling us we can't or we shouldn't. And therefore, we misguidedly never again entertain the possibility that, perhaps, we indeed can. 

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