Picture a road stretching out in front of you. The way is clear, there are no obstacles and you can go through at whatever speed you’re comfortable with, enjoying the scenery along the way. You feel free, strong and wonderful.
Now picture that same road, but this time it’s strewn with boulders of all sizes. While some are small and pebbly and might only slow you down a bit, others are large and block your way. You’re unsure of your ability to navigate around them. Some are nuisances; others pose a threat to your safety. At the least they’ll slow you down. At worst, you won’t reach your destination.
The things we let stop us on our life’s journey are boulders on our life’s path. They create obstacles to letting us reach our destination, following our heart’s calling.
7 warning signs of obstacles ahead
- Fear of failure. Any time you try something new, you risk failure. The mark of a person is not that they’ve failed. It’s how they’ve responded, what they’ve learned and what they’ve done with it. Even when you do your homework before trying something new, it may not turn out like you planned. If it was worth doing in the first place, it’s worth continuing. Figure out what went wrong and try again. Read: Worst One Ever – by Seth Godin
- Basing decisions on opinions of others. There is no shortage of people who have opinions on how you should handle your life. You certainly see this with new motorcycle riders. There are lots of self-proclaimed experts who think they know what’s best for someone else. While seeking wise counsel is advisable, basing decisions on what others are telling you will pull you in all directions. Accept the wisdom of those whose advice you value, remembering even so that it’s coming through their own filters, then make the decision that’s right for you. No one else walks in your shoes.
- Worry about what others will think. Many are stopped by the boulder of “What will other people think of me if I fail?” Who cares? I stopped worrying about that long ago. If I let that get in my way, I’d still be hundreds of thousands of miles and millions of light years back. Measure yourself only against yourself – and be kind.
- Fear of negative consequences. Letting this boulder block your way will stop you right where you are. If your heart is guiding you in a certain direction, listen to it! It took me years to learn this. Fearing financial consequences or losing popularity will stifle your creativity. Keep your eyes on where you want to go and maintain momentum. Don’t be a distracted rider/driver.
- Lack of self-confidence. And it’s companion, low self-worth. We all have doubts about our selves. The truth is that everyone has unique gifts they share with the world. Holding your gifts back deprives you and others who will benefit from it.
- Making excuses. A morbidly obese friend won’t diet because she’s afraid of putting all the weight back on. There will always be excuses for why you can’t do something right now. They’re associated with fears and hold you back, or you trip over them. Catch yourself when you’re doing it and ask what the fear is. Then deal with it so you can move on. This isn’t at all easy because it often involves opening up old wounds. But until they stop getting in your way, they’ll hold you back.
- Feeling overwhelmed. Failing to set healthy boundaries and trying to please everyone will put all kinds of obstacles in your way. You’ll feel drained and ineffective. You can’t be all things to all people, and can actually do them a disservice by taking on their burden. Focus on where you’re going and what your purpose is. Then, just like on a motorcycle, to stay balanced, sometimes you need to put your foot down.
Now close your eyes and visualize moving your obstacles out of your way so your path is clear.
Listen to your intuition. Getting in touch with it and understanding how it speaks to you is the first step in clearing the boulders from your road. Not only will it not steer you wrong, but by listening to it, you’ll maintain balance and have far fewer obstacles in your path.
What warning signs do you have?