Gates & Barriers

Don’t you just love when life throws up meaningful metaphors?

On the weekend I took down one of the many child safety gates that cordon off areas of our home. It wasn’t until later that night when I really noticed that the gate wasn’t there. What I found most interesting about the whole thing was the strange feeling that overcame me when I realised what was different…freedom. My life was that little bit easier because a gate, a barrier, had been taken down.

This then got me to thinking about the other barriers we have in our lives, barriers that are both physical and mental. Of the two, the mental barriers we erect for ourselves are the most insidious. Everyone has physical limitations that they live with, but the barriers we don’t see are often the most destructive.

Destructive? Insidious? Harsh words maybe, but true. Think about all the things that stop you from going out and achieving what you want in life. Sure there are those barriers we have to work with like lack of funds, someone who will get in your way or that well-meaning friend who points out that it has been tried before and has failed…etc.

Then there is US. If only I was smarter, more interesting, more passionate, more creative, more (insert excuse here)…you get the point. How often do we critically examine the voice inside us that says we’re not there yet or we’re not ready yet? This is the place we should start our search when thinking about change! Too frequently it turns out that the voice inside is making stuff up. Why? Because it is that part of ourselves that doesn’t want us to be noticed, to stand out, to try something new. ‘If you do this you might fail and imagine what “they’ll” say!’ says that voice. Note: there is always a “they”. Who?

Fear, especially fear of failure, lies at the heart of what Seth Godin terms “The Resistance”. I’ve blogged before about this part of ourselves that stops us from achieving our potential and from helping others to achieve their potential, and this whole metaphor stuff on gates really highlighted for me the importance of questioning that scared part of ouselves that puts up the invisible barriers that are the hardest to see – and what you can’t see, you can’t change!

See what you need to see and change it! Do it today because no-one else will!