Sometimes, we don’t even know we’re stuck.
We go about our days, leveraging and win-winning, shuttling kids back and forth to school and soccer, lulled into a hamster wheel we can’t see. Only the vaguest notion of being in the wrong place filters to the surface of our consciousness on occasion. Are we blocking our own success?
In a previous blogposts, I’ve talked about what inspires my writing ~ who (or what) serves as The Muse. Sometimes, it’s a quote; sometimes it’s my children; other times, it’s people who populate my social networks and in the case of this post, my inspiration came in the form of the tweet below:
“Freedom is an inner (as well as a physical) state of being.” ~ @RabbiShaiSpecht
So many people focus on freedom as being an external factor: the ability to earn a lot of money; the latitude to travel or the ability to pursue a particular career. While there are those who appear to have achieved a level of success any or all of those categories, true freedom actually starts within before it is fully manifested externally.
It is from within that we release our fears, our prejudices and our internal beliefs that form our barriers to success and independence. Once we are able to identify our specific barriers, then we have the opportunity to transcend and overcome them.
“As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery. We have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness.” ~ Dalai Lama
For most, the fear of failure is the biggest barrier to reaching independence. We may be afraid that we won’t succeed in achieving our goals and so we never try. Closely related, paradoxically, is fear of success. For many, it’s almost worse to succeed. For it’s when we succeed that people count on us. Expectations are created. We fear that we cannot sustain a certain level of success and so we prefer not to risk the effort to succeed.
In terms of prejudices, some cling to thoughts like “rich people are snobs.”Â Demonizing people who have what we secretly fear to achieve is a derivation on the Aesop’s fable of the fox and the sour grapes. We deride what we cannot achieve (or perceive that we are unable of achieving), and thereby block it from entering our lives.
Attachments come in the form of relationships (either ones we wish to have or ones we wish we could escape). Attachments also manifest as a preferred outcome to any given situation. What’s helpful to realize through all of this is that fear forms the root of all assaults against independence. Fear manifests as anger, a wish to control, suspicion and all other sorts of emotions that restrict our freedom.
A good way to determine what your particular fear centers are and how they rank in order of severity is to list your goals in the affirmative and see which ones really rankle you. For example, take out a sheet of paper and write out positive statements as if you had already achieved them:
- “I enjoy my job.”Â
- “What I do makes a difference.”Â
- “I make enough money to satisfy my desires.”Â
Take note of your gut reaction to these (and other, similar) statements. When you hear your inner voice say, “Yeah, right!”Â in response, that’s a hint, indicating barriers to those particular gaps in your journey to independence.
Keep this list handy. Jot down feelings that come up when you say any of these statements. Then ask yourself why you feel them. Ask as many “whys” as it takes to reach the base emotion. Do you already notice a barrier that you’ve seen represented in your life? How did you overcome it?
Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive)