What is Your Greatest Barrier?
Have you ever considered that your greatest barrier might be you?
A morning run is the basis of the story. No, I am not trying to turn you into a runner, though running is a great way to burn calories.
This story is meant to give you an image of how the very thing that can be your greatest barrier can also create your breakthrough.
Replace this story with any instance or circumstance in your life where your greatest barrier, your mind, is getting in your way.
When You are Your Barrier
A check of the weekend weather made me cringe. The Saturday forecast was showing a bitterly cold nineteen degrees.
My face expressed my discomfort.
Therefore, running nine miles in the cold was not pleasing to me.
Instead of getting up and out, I lie in the bed thinking of all the reasons why I should stay there.
First off, there may be people in the world who welcome the cold. I am not one of those people. I find the cold unbearably uncomfortable. To say I am not a fan of the cold is an understatement.
Secondly, I had not run nine miles in over a year. The week prior I had only run seven miles. So making a two mile jump made me a little leery of my plans. Uncertainty flooded my thoughts.
Lastly, that week at work had kicked my behind. I heard my name all day all week. “Pam, I need your help, we have a request that is due tomorrow, when do you think you will be done with that?” It was insane! Tired is what I was.
Lying there, I considered pushing the run to the next day – or even Monday!
What was really happening?
Recognize What You are Doing
While reading, you probably recognized what I was doing in that moment.
As I nuzzled under the covers to keep warm, I recognized all I was doing was making excuses. In fact, I had become my greatest barrier.
This is why I say it is important that we be mindful and honest with ourselves. It is easy to blame something (weather, uncertainty, tiredness) or someone for what is or is not happening to us and for us.
The thing is that we have no control over others. We only have control over ourselves. Be sure to understand and recognize that.
Take inventory of yourself. Is it you and your thoughts holding you back?
Ask yourself what responsibility you have in what is going on with you, then take action.
In Spite of Make Your Move
Getting out of the house was laborious, but much like I was talking myself out of that run, I also talked myself into getting my butt out the door.
See, there you have it. My thoughts (excuses) were about to keep me in the bed – keep me from something – but after recognizing I was making excuses, I made my move.
It started by taking the step of getting out of the bed, then readying myself for the run.
Whatever your circumstance may be – discomfort, uncertainty, fear, stress, whatever – after recognizing what is happening, take action.
Take a step, make a phone call, send an email, or open a book. Whatever the first thing is that will get you unstuck, do it. That is how you make your move in spite of whatever you are going through.
Push Through Barriers
Turning into the last .6 miles, I ran smack dab into wind, and a hill.
Isn't that how life goes sometimes? Challenges show up right when you feel comfortable, confident, or capable.
To fight through the wind and make it up the hill, I leaned forward. I could only imagine what I looked like. Anyone looking out their window would have come to the conclusion that I was struggling.
That is not how I saw the situation.
To anyone looking at me I would have said, “To you it looks like I am struggling, but this is what I know. On the other side of that hill is not only home, but also accomplishment. I refuse to let my mind tell me I can't do this.”
Don't turn your mind into the barrier that avoids barriers – your challenges, hard times, and uncertainty. Push through your barriers.
Remain Committed and Consistent
After returning home and performing my stretches, I looked at the results of my run on my phone.
During the course of the run my pace got faster and faster. That is to say, the longer I ran the stronger I got.
It is consistency and my commitment to running at least three times per week that made me stronger.
Anything you do for the first time or that is not comfortable, you will start out slowly or on edge. You will grow each time you take action.
Therefore remain committed and consistent. Those are the requirements for getting stronger, more confident, and better.
Most of all, commit to not being your own greatest barrier. Rather than using your mind as a barrier, use your mind for your breakthrough.
How about you, in what ways are you being your own barrier? Share in the post comments.