There’s a significant difference between watching and participating. Watching is the entry level of engagement in the daily activities of our lives. The next step up is actively trying to do the things we’ve been watching other people do. One more jump finds us not only participating, but doing it whole-heartedly, all sails to the wind. Giving your all will take you where you want to go in the quickest possible time. However there are times when you’ll stumble upon adversity. Here are three common obstacles preventing you from reaching full-on engagement and how to overcome them:
How often do you hear that little voice in your head that says ” I can’t do it because (blank)?” Your mind fills in the blank with various random reasons. I used to hear it often. But instead of ignoring it, I focus on it. I focus on it because that’s the only way to defeat that annoying little voice. Head on. That voice is not you talking. It’s just a pre-recorded taped message that you can choose to listen to or not. To move forward with full-on engagement you must turn the recording off as soon as you hear it.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” President Roosevelt certainly understood our plight. For example, let’s say you’re going to give a presentation for the first time. We naturally feel anxious. Fear of making a mistake, fear of being seen as a phony, and fear of looking like a fool are just a few of the ways we let fear hamper us. The solution is to remember that you’re not alone. Everyone feels fear when doing something for the first time. There was a very popular television show devoted to our nemesis called “Fear Factor.” Besides eating spiders and bungie-jumping off tall buildings, it showed us how to face our fears by taking action. The more you work through them, the sooner you will overcome them. And then one day, believe it or not, they’ll be gone.
One of my favorite slogans is Nike’s “Just Do It.” It’s message is simple and direct…just get up and do something, anything. It doesn’t say to just sit and think it. It doesn’t say just do it later. The message is about action. The most effective way to engage yourself in your life is to just do something. You may be asking yourself, ‘do what?’ Well that’s completely up to you. But whatever you choose to do make sure you have a clear goal in mind. Be specific…I want to re-finish my living room floor project. Remember to be timely…I want to re-finish my living room floor before Thanksgiving. Setting a goal for yourself, and really wanting to achieve it, will awaken your body to do what it needs to do to get you where you want to go.
Before you can overcome your obstacles, you’ll need to be aware of them. Mental, social and physical hindrances will always be waiting for you as you travel on your chosen path. Just remember to treat them as mere speed bumps on the road to reaching your goals. The key to accelerating your progress is to be a Creative Warrior and practice full-on engagement.
Realizing your potential starts with the recognition of the self-limiting obstacles that stand in your way. Then you’ll be ready to begin doing the things you want to do.
© 2014 Seth Greenwald