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Understanding Barriers

Updated: Dec 30, 2018

Everyone wants to be successful, however grand or small their definition of success is. Success for one person might be getting out of bed and actually leaving the house, while success for another might be developing a multi-million dollar company. Our definitions of success are individualized, based on many factors including our state of mind, our environment, the resources we have on hand, even our upbringing. Regardless of what the definition is, we set goals and make plans for ourselves, so that we can achieve our visions of success. Unfortunately, as it is wont to do, life does not allow for easy, stress-free paths to success.  Barriers and obstacles are an all too real reality of the journey of life. Whether it is in our careers, our academics, our social relationships, or most importantly, in our mind, limitations arise to test us, to stall us, and to stop us. 

I'll give you an example: I have a friend (whose permission I've taken to share this) who spent years in a dead-end job; she was unsatisfied with the way her manager and her co-workers were treating her, she was unsatisfied with the fact that she wasn't earning enough, and she was especially unsatisfied with the fact that despite all her frustration, she was still staying at that job. What she said to me during one of our conversations really struck me; she said, "I hate where I am, but I am paralyzed with fear. My fear of confronting people has kept me mute, and my fear of venturing out into something else has kept me motionless." For her, fear was the greatest obstacle; until and unless she fights that fear, she will remain in the same spot, and she knows this. 

Were I to begin to tell you my personal experiences dealing with barriers and limitations in my life, we would be here until next year.  Suffice it to say, I have had to run, jump, and even moonwalk through numerous obstacles, in varying magnitudes, to get to the man that I am today. This is not to say that I am some expert or life coach in this matter, or that I no longer experience obstacles. I believe that every stage of  life brings with it both a new set of rules, and a new set of barriers. The trick to overcoming these barriers is understanding.  I'll give you an analogy: a barrier is like a tree; it has roots that keep it grounded and are at the foundation of its strength, and it has branches that extend outwards, touching various corners of whichever environment it is in.  

Overcoming your barrier requires you to understand:

  1. The root: where is this barrier planted? How extensive are its roots?

  2. The branches: what other parts of my life, both internal and external, are these barriers affecting?

  3. The purpose: what is the purpose of this particular barrier?

What you discover is that in understanding your barriers, you are better able and better equipped to handle and overcome them. You've probably heard the saying forewarned is forearmed.......this is especially true when it comes to tackling limitations. If you don't understand the why of an obstacle, you cannot begin to understand the how of overcoming said obstacle. 

I'll leave you for now with this parting question:

Are you TRULY prepared to understand and overcome your limitations?

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