If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. ~Michael Jordan
We’re all ready to strike out on our new path, but there are still some obstacles along the way that will try to keep us from changing. To be successful in our new adventure, we need to prepare ourselves to deal with the coming roadblocks and adversity.
Doug and I called out our personal roadblocks in our last post. We don’t want to fall for their old tactics anymore, so we decided to interview the assassins our ego will send against us. They are indecision, fear and avoidance…
Doug wrote up some questions to ask so we can get to know our adversaries a little better. We’re curious to see what the motivation for their persistent existence is, and what they are gaining by clinging onto us. After learning a bit about who and what our roadblocks are, Doug and I will ask them for help in becoming better monkeys, or send them away forever.
This exercise is important because it makes me dig into the hows and whys of the self created obstacles that I’ll be facing on my journey towards contentment. If negative patterns are left to operate unexamined, they will cause failure, usually before any progress is made. Sometimes though, when a pattern is examined, it can be transformed into something valuable.
Doug and I interviewed our roadblocks, and this is what we learned…
Indecision, who are you?– I’m what keeps you from being wrong. I keep you safe. No decision means no change. No change means no failure. Things may still happen, but they won’t be your fault.
What do you want from me?- I want you to dilute yourself. Keep wasting energy chasing dead ends.
What can you offer me as a gift?- You will have lots of ideas brewing… Something new will always present itself to you. You will have many choices, and from there you can select what is best for you at the time.
Indecision, I need something from you. I need you to earmark the best ideas in the swirl of my creativity , and bring them to my attention. Then, I need you to get out of the way and let me move forward.
Who are you fear?- I am the wall. I keep you safe. I keep things predictable.
What do you want from me?- I want you to keep our bargain. Don’t try to change. If you do this, I’ll keep rationalizing your inaction.
Give me a gift, fear-I will keep you from becoming complacent. Then, I will go away when you don’t need me anymore.
Fear, I don’t need you anymore, already! I trust I’m on the correct path for me, I trust myself and I trust whatever unseen powers look after me. I need you to leave my life and let me flourish.
Avoidance, who are you?- I’m what makes everything easier, at least in the short term. I help you pretend that everything is OK in life. I help you to go on… I let you not become overwhelmed.
What do you want from me?- I want you to keep piling up issues. Don’t deal with them. Don’t progress.
Do you have anything to offer?- I offer you a vague sense of peace. You’ll be able to escape from your issues for a while…
Avoidance, I have cultivated and coddled you for a long time. I need to deal with issues as they appear, and not let them pile up. You’re the most destructive of my roadblocks… You need to go now. I’ve developed the skills to be active instead of proactive, and there isn’t room in my life for you anymore.
Indecision has the potential to be transformed into a useful ally, if we can get rid of the negative, self limiting aspects and keep the creative drive. We’ll have to change its name though… Maybe we’ll call it Monkey Chatter. We’ll make Monkey Chatter a useful part of our journey, and teach it that it doesn’t have to try to sabotage change. Just keep making fun connections and throwing up new observations, Monkey Chatter, and you can stick around…
Fear and avoidance must be banished though. There’s no room for their negativity. Nothing can be gained by trying to transform them into forces of good. We’re sending them to live with our inner critic… and by live we mean stuffed in the same box that we lit on fire, encased in concrete and threw into the Marianas Trench…
Get to know your roadblocks from the previous exercise. Personify them and conduct an interview. Ask the following questions of each roadblock:
- Who are you?
- What do you want from me?
- What can you offer me as a gift?
Examine each roadblock and see if there’s anything of value that can be nurtured… Sometimes valuable skills are lurking in unlikely places. If there’s nothing of value, send the roadblocks packing… There isn’t room for anything that will hold you back as you stride towards contentment. Use what you can and dump the garbage…
All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. ~Walt Disney