In my last blog post, I wrote about how the gorgeous cedar trees in Tofino manage to continue on their growth path even when there is an obstacle in their way. Check it out here if you missed it the first time around.

But then it occurred to me that what I had to say was all fine and dandy when the obstacle was somewhat external to us in some way. 

Don’t get me wrong, overcoming and moving past the things that get in the way of our growth can be both incredibly rewarding, and completely daunting at the same time.  Growth and pursuing our dreams and goals are never going to be a simple undertaking right?

But what do you do when the obstacle that is getting in the way of your pursuit of the #goal is yourself?

We set out with good intentions.  We build a plan of action and we start to take those steps forward and we start moving.

Momentum builds and you think you are away to the races. Woo Hoo! 

And then…. Duh, duh, duhhhhh…..

Pffffftttt…. All the air goes out of your rising balloon and you have trouble finding the energy to do anything. (that couch is looking really good right now, along with that bag of chips and a good Netflix show to binge on)

I know of what I speak… (been there, done that and bought many t-shirts to prove it)

So, what the heck happened?  You were feeling all positive and ready to set the world on fire and now you feel like making a cup of tea is like moving a mountain.

It’s FEAR Baby!

Yup – good ole fear is putting some ideas in your head that is making you second guess yourself and what you want to do.

Fear shows up in so many different ways for us.  Below is a few of them, but certainly not an exhaustive list.

  • Numbing out – shopping, eating, drinking, bingeing anything on TV, obsessively scrolling your social media feeds…
  • Procrastination – Doing ANYTHING BUT what you need to do to keep moving towards your goal.  There will always be something else to do… trust me (that laundry you got? It can wait)
  • #Whattheysaid – other peoples opinions on what you are trying to accomplish
  • #Whatyousaid – in your head – those random thoughts that you have that tell you what you “should” be doing and how you are going to #fail at what you want to do because you are #lacking in some area of your life or have some #characterflaw that only that voice inside your head sees and thinks you need protecting from. This little voice is also known as your inner critic.
  • How you were raised as a kiddo – We all know that kids learn from watching, so what did you learn from watching and listening to your family members, friends that may be impeding you from moving forward?

The list goes on, but these are some of the top obstacles in our path and why we come to a screeching halt and stop the momentum that we have been building.

So now that you know what is stopping you, what the heck do you do about it?  Your energy is in low gear and you can’t just flip a switch and get moving again – or can you?

  • First things first – get your a** off the couch and move your body.  Yup – GET UP and turn off the TV, put down the devices and MOVE.  Go for a walk, dance, hit up a yoga class… it doesn’t matter what you do, but you need to move that stagnant energy and get it out of your system! STAT!
  • Give yourself CREDIT would ya?  I am willing to bet that you rarely take the time to review how far you have come in life – the other obstacles that have been in your way, the events, the challenges, the big wins!  We are so busy moving on to the next “thing” that we rarely give ourselves the pat on the back for a job well done, or just the fact that we made-it-through-the-thing and got to the other side.  You are amazing and you should tell yourself that on a regular basis. You can start to do this by making a list of everything that went on for you in the last 12 months – what you accomplished, celebrated, trips taken, challenges overcome (big or small) … whatever the case may be and take some time to reflect on it all. I would be willing to bet that you will be amazed by what shows up on that list that you have almost forgotten about.  It all needs celebrating.
  • Stop beating yourself up for falling off the bandwagon. Dust yourself off and get back on it. You just took a timeout, but you were not thrown out of the game!
  • Decide upon a set amount of time to do one thing that will help you get back into the swing of your goal. It might be as simple as reviewing the work you have already done and figured out what needs to happen next.  The trick here is to manage any overwhelm you may feel and pick the exact next step you can do and only focus on that ONE thing. And then, do it.
  • Focus, focus, focus! When you find your mind wandering to all the other things you could be doing, recognize it and resist the force that is pulling you to go and do it. Again, set aside time (one hour or whatever works for you) to just get one thing done and then you can “reward” yourself with the chore that you think would be a better use of your time. (I’m betting that once you get going, the laundry won’t seem as important anymore)
  • “What other people think is none of your business” – kudos to Deepak Chopra for this insight. Other people like to project their own fears on us when they see us doing something different. Read more about what I think about what other people think by going here.
  • What you are thinking – AKA the inner critic or as the awesome stylist Stasia Savasuk calls it “the jiblet”. (Check out Stasia on Instagram – she is AMAZING!) That little voice that fills your head full of fearful thinking – the What if’s, you can’t, the self-doubts.  The first thing to recognize is that the “jiblet” (I am totally stealing this term because I love it) is trying to protect you (even if it sounds like a cranky, unhappy, old woman). Change is hard and the jiblet is not fond of it when you change the game up on them. One of the best things you can do is recognize it when it starts to chatter and send it some LOVE.  (why LOVE? Because LOVE conquers FEAR every single time) Let Jibby know that you appreciate the heads up and you know that it is trying to protect you, but that you are a grown person now and you have got this under control.  Seriously – talk to your jiblet and let it know that you are the boss now. OH, and You Are NOT Your Thoughts – so if those thoughts are paralyzing you from moving forward, please, please recognize that they are just THOUGHTS. You can change the way you think.  You can!
  • How you were raised has a huge impact on your life as an adult.  Likely you witnessed some stuff, heard some things that have stuck with you forever.  These things are the backbone of what you believe and, they too can be changed.  If you always heard “we don’t have enough money” – boom! You will never think that you will have enough money, or you will think that you don’t deserve money. (that is just one example of a belief system).  You deserve the best life you can live, so it may be time to find some new things to believe in so that you can move your butt forward in life and go for the goals you have for yourself.
  • Find your creative self again. Step away from the pursuit of the goal and do something that you LOVE to do or something that you used to love to do but have not done in a while.  We cannot always be striving towards that “thing” we want.  We need time to relax, get back in touch with what makes our hearts sing.  Opening the door back up to doing something creative opens the doors of our minds to allow amazing insights to flow through that will ultimately help you achieve your goal.

Ok, so this is the type of stuff that you need to take a look at if you are to be “more like a tree” and figure out how to get around the obstacles in your way.  It may take some time, but it is totally doable. 

Instead of finding yourself paralyzed on the couch, with that empty bag of chips and feeling like your brain is numb from too many back-to-back episodes of “namethatshow” get up, get moving and get dressed in something that is not your comfy pants and slouchy shirt so that you can FEEL better about who you are and what you are meant to be doing.

We need you to show up and you need you to show up and give the world your beautiful light.

Bend like that tree.

The path to your goal is upwards from there.


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