“Your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.” ~ Michelle Obama
All day long, we face roadblocks that stop us, and we automatically refocus and figure out the next step. We’re not even aware that we’re doing it. For example, someone interrupts us, there’s a traffic jam, or a client calls with an unexpected question. We handle it and move on.
But when you’re taking a huge step, one that requires faith in yourself and the stakes are high, a small roadblock may seem insurmountable. It’s natural to get stuck when you have a big dream or something new you want to do. It’s easy to feel something pull you back. It’s predictable that at a certain point, something stops you, mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Take notice of the discomfort you feel and let that be a signal that there is something you need to work out there..
Now you have two choices.
- Back down and live with regrets, wondering, “If I had only…”
- Grab the opportunity, take the leap, and feel free, exhilarated and proud of yourself.
So the question is — which way do you want to feel?
What’s stopping you?
When you think about what you want to do at home, at work, in the world, in your community, what’s stopping you? Where are you feeling stuck?
Please take the time to honestly write a physical list of your internal and/or external roadblock(s). To get you started, here are some common roadblocks you might be experiencing: not enough self-confidence, not slender/pretty enough, not fluent enough, not skilled enough, not enough support from spouse/friends/community, not enough funds, not enough time, and not enough knowledge.
Being able to identify your roadblock(s) will put you back on the road to getting around them, working through them, and moving forward.
How to get past what’s stopping you
Please remember that grand gestures aren’t sustainable. Little things every day, your daily rituals, build up and gradually condition your body and mind to make things happen. Your life is a result of your rituals. Ask yourself: How are my rituals for sleeping, eating, exercising, working, cleaning, organizing, shopping, spending, measuring & tracking, and so forth, affecting my ability to achieve my big dream?
Look out for these roadblock rituals that will keep you stuck!
Wishing without acting. Wishing by itself goes nowhere. Be intentional and focus on one small change today. This approach will ease you out of your present habits, as you slowly build sustainable, life-long, supportive rituals.
Procrastination. There will never be the perfect time to get started. Acknowledge your feelings of uncertainty and plunge in!
Disorganization. Time management and clutter control takes work and self-discipline. Try this: At night, write a short list of exactly what you want to do the next day and the steps that will get it done. Review the list when you wake up. At a set time, begin doing them. If you find yourself lured away by something else, bring yourself back and focus. In your journal, note your feelings at the end of the day. Rinse and repeat.
Self-dismissive thinking. All too often we let past rejections dictate our present choices. Letting the opinions of others define you, rather than being true to who you’re capable of being, leaves your power in their hands. Take back your power! Take the next baby step toward the best version of yourself.
Denying responsibility. Everything in your life is NOT your fault, but it is your responsibility. You get to choose how you react to and act upon each event. In the most positive light, assess how you can make the most of the present. (If you’re in a dangerous circumstance, this may mean fleeing.)
Perfectionism. Perfect is not possible. The only “perfect” action is the next one you take. Where it takes you is where you need to be, to learn lessons you need to learn.
Faking it. To be at peace, you must show up as wholly, authentically YOU. Trying to pretend to be someone you’re not, living someone else’s life won’t work. That doesn’t mean settling for where you’re at or not pushing past your discomfort; it means having enough self-knowledge to see your potential and living up to it fully.
Losing your childlike curiosity. Over time, we can get really good at editing and discarding what’s hurtful or not useful. If we’re not careful, our open-mindedness and sense of wonder can go out the window, too. Always being right isn’t the goal in life. Let go of the assumption that you have all the answers. Invite diversity back into your life by listening to and learning from others.
Unrealistic expectations. If you expect life to be easy or that everyone will like and agree with you, you will be disappointed. Struggle brings growth. It’s empowering to find your inner source of strength and rise above. Those wins fuel you for life!
Avoiding all risks. You can’t control everything and you don’t need to. Learn to embrace feelings of uncertainty as your personal challenge. Will you make mistakes? Yes! There’s nothing wrong with that! How will you feel if you don’t take a risk? That could be your biggest mistake of all.
It’s all about you. Humanity is an interdependent network. To be totally self-centered is to tear a hole in that net. You are part of someone else’s safety net, just as someone is part of yours. Keep your connection with others strong. Be there to help someone past their roadblocks, and there will be someone there to help you past yours.
Doing nothing is safer. Lack of motivation, laziness, having no direction, fear of failure, biting off more than you can chew, all these things will keep you in the eddies of life. Build a bridge to the life you want, by mindfully assessing where you are and where you want to be. Then make one baby step at a time.
Here’s an exercise to help you free up your energy and move forward.
- Feel where you feel stuck — where does that stuck place manifest in your body?
- Place your hands on that area and pull the stuck energy away from you, as though it were a physical thing attached to you.
- Shake that stuck energy off of your hands. Like a sticky substance that won’t let go, stuck or negative energy can cling to us. The motion of physically sweeping it away helps us to acknowledge it and then shift it. This clears the way for new, renewed, and invigorated energy to settle in its place.
We’re inviting women from around the globe to explore big ideas and out-of-the-box creative solutions. If that appeals to you, please join The Great Circle Community. There is no cost to participate and this article is a sample of the things we’re discussing. We’ll be looking for you inside!