In my studies this week, the following sentence caught my attention. “You are the only one standing in your way.” It’s not the first time I’ve heard it, but I heard it differently this time. In personal growth, studying things repeatedly is important because every time you read it or hear it, you are at a different place in your growth, so you hear it differently each time. Internalizing an idea, making it personal to you and applying it in your life is how we grow from the ideas that we learn and understand in our growth journey.
Let’s examine what this really means … “you are the only one standing in your way”. It applies to achievement, to accomplishing something that is out of your comfort zone. It applies to doing something that scares you, that seems difficult, that you want to do but yet you stop yourself. Something is holding you back. Fear is keeping you where you are. Inside you want to grow and stretch yourself but you have doubt in your ability. Or if you do start towards it, you can’t quite get there because you’re not really all in, you haven’t totally committed. Fear, doubt, and your limiting beliefs are controlling your results, keeping you from growing and expanding your life.
A good example of this is one summer when I was about 8 or 9 my family went on vacation. We spent one night at a motel that had a pool with a slide, and it looked big to me. I loved to swim. I loved being in the water but had never seen a pool with a slide and had certainly never been down a pool slide. I saw other people going down the slide, but I was scared. It took a lot of time and coaxing from my parents before I had the courage to even consider going down the slide. I hung out at the end of the pool near the slide, watched others go down, laughing and having fun, and finally decided I would try. I got out of the water and walked to the slide when there wasn’t anyone else using it. I stood there a few minutes before climbing up the ladder. When I got to the top I waited, sat down a few minutes before bravely releasing myself to slide down and splash into the water. When I came up for air, I was ecstatic. It was a blast and I couldn’t wait to do it again. That is all I did for the remaining time at the pool that evening, going up and down the slide as many times as I could. I hated for it to end.
I was so glad I found the courage to use the slide. I knew then how much fun I would have missed if I had let myself stand in my own way of having that incredible experience on the slide. How long would I have lived in fear of going down a slide? How long would I have just sat on the side of the pool watching the others have fun before I would have decided to do it? How much time would have been wasted and how much fun would have been missed if I had let fear stop me?
I am so grateful I found the courage that day and for the encouragement of my parents. I proved to myself that I could push through fear, and accomplish what seemed scary, without any negative results. That experience has stayed with me. I learned the importance of not letting fear get in my way. I learned the importance of not letting myself stand in the way of doing what I wanted to do and experiencing the growth that comes with it.
This quote by Joseph Campbell sums it up nicely. He said, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” When you enter that “cave” and come out on the other side, you will feel and experience such a heightened sense of joy, exhilaration and a huge sense of accomplishment. You become confident in your abilities and your self-esteem grows. Like me, I wanted more. I wanted to do it again. Once you do that “hard thing”, you gain the confidence to take on another “hard thing.”
What is holding you back? What is standing in your way? It is limiting beliefs. They will stop us dead in our tracks if we let them. Where did these beliefs come from? They came from our parents, the people who raised us. Their beliefs were passed down to us. Their limited awareness and their limiting beliefs were passed down to them from their parents. As our awareness expands, we come to understand that those beliefs did not originate in us and we no longer have to accept them as our own.
Removing or changing those limiting beliefs and fears will take some effort. They are your paradigms, your habits and habitual thinking, and they don’t like change. You must replace the negative paradigm with a positive habit or positive thinking that you want in its place. You do this with repetition.
Decide the habit or thought that you want instead of the fear or limiting thoughts. Use affirmations and repeat them over and over. Write them out every day. You must reprogram your thinking to push you through the fear and move you out of your own way. The good that you want is on the other side of fear. Be persistent when creating this new habit or belief. A previous blog goes deeper into Paradigms here: http://www.darlenecurlee.com/inspirationsblog/paradigm-whats-that.
Will Smith has a great video about fear and skydiving that powerfully illustrates the joy of overcoming your fear. You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/bFIB05LGtMs Will sums it up in this way, “God placed the best things in life on the other side of fear.”
When we push through and do what we were afraid of, we realize it wasn’t bad at all and wonder why it took so long, “why didn’t I do it sooner?”. We learn that in reality there is nothing to be afraid of. Instead of missing out, go for it, get out of your way. There is so much to gain. The good, the treasure as Campbell calls it, is waiting for you.
Image by antoine carrion from Pixabay