Sailing Past Blocks to Success
By Sulana Stone
What stops us from playing bigger? What keeps us from taking the steps to having the job, health or relationship we truly desire? How do we fall off the fast track to our dreams? And what can we do to find happiness, especially when we’ve tried all the tricks in the book?
To get some answers, let’s explore some roadblocks to success and what you can do to get around the barriers. Take, for example, a situation of getting a job you really want.
Suppose you’ve found a job you feel will make you happy. The first step is to fill out a job application. You get the application. You grab your pen. Then feelings begin to bubble up. You “get the urge” to do something else. You call someone. Watch TV. Read a book. Go for a walk. Check your emails. Dash off to a movie. Get out of the house. Go somewhere—anywhere. You’re driven to do anything but complete the application!
What’s going on here … especially when you can plainly see the benefits of stepping into a more exciting and creative way of making a living?
How We Get Off Track
Feeling excited about taking the next step in our lives is common. And it’s also common to not take that step. But why do we get off the track to success?
Often we ruin our forward progress due to our own unconscious beliefs. Old patterns are sidetracking us. Outdated beliefs are leading us to unconscious actions. We follow “urges” we’re not aware of. We take actions that lead us astray.
Unaware that we’re being influenced by behaviors that keep us from our goal, we often stay busy going in circles to nowhere.
These unconscious patterns come from beliefs and feelings that are buried deep inside of us. So hidden is our true attitude that we’re not aware the feelings exist. The foundation of these feelings is often the belief that we’re not smart enough or good enough to have what we want.
As little children we bought into these limiting beliefs and behaviors in order to fit into our families, school and society. Now, as adults, we’re still running on this unconscious conditioned programming. Unfortunately, most of the unconscious behaviors that helped us as children, restrict us as adults. Once we grow up, rather than help us, these automatic patterns keep us from realizing our dreams.
What Do You Long For?
If you wonder if any unconscious beliefs are affecting your life, just ask yourself what you long for—but don’t yet have. If you truly want something and don’t have it, the odds are that unconscious beliefs are blocking your path.
When fresh opportunities pop into our lives—like getting a job we love—we are often bushwhacked by feelings that lead us away from our goal. And when we continue to buy into these feelings and beliefs, we’ll continue to fall short of our goals.
How to Keep Unconscious Beliefs from Blocking Our Success
How do we become aware of these “hidden” beliefs? By noticing them. Notice when, where and how the urges come up. Then when we see these unconscious patterns appearing, we have an option. When we notice this limiting feeling, rather than distract ourselves, we can choose to move forward. Noticing the urge to get off track gives us the freedom to do something differently.
Get to Know Yourself
What happens when you “go for the gold?” Do you have a “tendency” to get sidetracked? Watch TV? Take a nap? Eat? Get busy with other activities—activities that don’t support your goal? By noticing what actions you take to waylay yourself is how you get to know yourself.
Once you’re aware of your patterns, you can counteract and question the compulsions that come up when new opportunities arrive. Ask yourself, “Does the action I’m taking now lead me towards my goal or is this a delay tactic? Does my action take me closer to my goal or get in the way of my progress?“
If we notice the urges and see that our actions are leading us away from our dreams, we can consciously choose other behaviors that will take us towards our goal.
A Real Life Example
Let’s take a look at a possible scenario. You give a successful talk and the audience responds well. The next day, two people email you as a result of your talk. The first person wants you to speak to another group. The other wants tips on how to start her own speaking business. After learning this, you head to the kitchen for a snack. You lie down for a rest. Browse the internet. Chat with a friend. You do anything and everything but jump whole-heartedly into responding to these folks.
What happens? Perhaps a popular unconscious belief, “I’m not good enough to do what they want” is subconsciously triggered. Then, because you’re unaware that this hidden belief is activated, unconscious tendencies block your way to moving forward. These familiar old patterns impede your progress.
By becoming aware of your patterns, you can choose behaviors outside your patterns that support a healthier and more exciting lifestyle.
In the example above, when you feel the first urge to snack, instead of snacking right then, you could ask yourself, “Am I truly hungry or is this a familiar feeling that arises when I’m asked to “share my talents” more? If the feeling is familiar, rather than eating to stuff down the uncomfortable unconscious feeling, you can recognize the feeling. Welcome the feeling. Then take actions to assist the feeling to move through your body. Walking in nature can help the feeling move through. Breathing deeply into your stomach can help free the feeling as well.
Showing Up for Your Dream
“Your dream won’t show up for you, until you show up for your dream!” my spiritual teacher reminds me. He means that the way we attract more health, abundance, better jobs and loving relationships is by showing up and choosing more conscious behaviors.
What tools have you already learned that make you feel more alert? When we use what we know to stay more present, we gain the clarity to “catch” our unconscious patterns. Then we can make better decisions that, in fact, do lead us towards our goal.
“Ah, Let Me Count the Ways”
The more we’re aware of what actions we take that lead us away from our goals, the more we can spot these compulsions before they rob us of our happiness. Then we can choose an action that truly moves us towards our heart’s desire.
Here are 9 common roadblocks to success to be on the alert for:
1. Doing Other Things First
At the beginning of the article, we started by avoiding filling out a job application. When you see that you’re spending your time doing any activity except filling out the application, you can make another choice. Tell yourself that unconscious feelings are distracting you. Admitting the truth gives you power. Then experiment with playful ways to complete the application. Answer one question then walk around the block. Answer another question then have a drink of water. Answer another. Breathe deeply. Pet a plant. Splash your face with water. Answer another. In a focused way, keep the energy moving and spotlight your goal. Sense how good you’ll feel having your dream job. Answer another question. Have fun with the many ways you can keep your energy moving in the direction of your goal.
Doing other things first will entertain you for countless hours, days … and years. Even give you a false sense that you’re taking steps towards your goal. Be on the lookout for this trickster!
2. Researching It
You feel excited about the job you’re applying for. But, you ponder, do you know enough about the job? You decide to read more about it. Do exhaustive internet research. Go to lectures, seminars, workshops. Take classes on it. Watch someone do it on TV. You find countless ways to avoid filling out that application.
This behavior is quite seductive. It lures you away from your goal while convincing you that you’re going towards your objective. Doing more … and more … and even more research has conned even the sharpest person into missing out on having a terrific job.
3. Distracting Yourself Until the Feeling Passes
Finally, you’re crystal clear that completing the job application will take you towards your goal. Then you get the munchies and nibble away until your excitement slips slowly under the gastric juices. Or you shop until your clarity gets lost among the “sale” signs. You might watch TV movie reruns until your creative opening is “gone with the wind.” If all else fails, you go to sleep!
4. Thinking About It
Another way to distract yourself from your goal is to figure out every option regarding this job. You try to project everything that could ever happen in your new position. You figure out how you’ll deal with any situation that arises in advance. You think about every possible scenario so you don’t actually do anything. Guess what? There’s no end to figuring it all out. Our minds are infinitely creative and will keep us going in circles forever! To counteract the mind, take action. Jump into the experience! Yes, living your dream will bring up feelings—feelings of being alive!
5. Writing About It
When you recognize that having this new job will bring more excitement and meaning to your life, you write about it. Privately, in a journal. Publicly, in an article or book. Writing can provide meaningful self-expression and help us gain clarity about situations. Unfortunately, many of convince ourselves that writing about the job is the same as taking the job!
6. Talking About It
How often do you fool yourself into thinking you’ve already taken action—when all you’ve done is talk about your situation? You can tell everyone you know how challenging it is to get the “right job” and to say the “right things” on an application. Not to mention facing the job interview. You can talk until the cows come home. Yet talking is not the same as moo-ving into your dream. This is the same pattern as writing about it. Just looks different.
7. Waiting for the Perfect Time or Person
A cunning sabotage pattern that will block your success is feeling that the time, place or person needs to be perfect. Feeling the need for perfection is a cue that you’ve triggered an unconscious belief. The urge will tell you that, “The perfect moment for action hasn’t come yet.” Or, “Wait! The perfect person will come along so you don’t have to step out by yourself.” When we look around, we can see many people’s lives are spent in waiting for the perfect opportunity or the perfect person. And they never step into living their dreams.
8. Telling Yourself You’re Not Good Enough
One of the most powerful stumbling blocks to success are the feelings: “I don’t deserve it. I don’t have the credentials, education, experience. I’m not loving or smart enough. I’m too young. Too old. Too fat. Too skinny. Too bald. Too hairy.” To counteract this pattern, we can look around and see one of the most inspiring figures of our times: Barack Obama. “They” said he didn’t deserve it. He didn’t have the credentials or experience. He’s too young. Imagine what Obama would be today if he had internalized what “they” said and told himself he wasn’t good enough. Imagine what you can achieve when you don’t allow these feelings to rob you of your happiness!
And … the final unconscious distracting behavior on our list is:
9. Telling Yourself You Don’t Know How
Thinking and feeling you don’t know how to let in more love, health, money or a better career is a self-sabotaging pattern that many of us use to keep joy from ourselves. When you notice that you’re telling yourself, “I don’t know how,” you can open to another option: “I do know how.” If you keep the door open, you can ask your intuition for guidance. Your intuition knows everything! You only have to consult your intuition and you’ll know how to take your next step into a new opportunity.
Choose Your Happiness or Lose It!
We’re all in the same boat. When we allow our unconscious urges and patterns to trigger our self-defeating actions, guess what? Our unconsciousness triggers reruns of the same ole limiting past.
If we become familiar with our unconscious distracting urges and identify our sabotaging patterns, we can override the patterns and not let them take over. When we get to know our tendencies and spot our behaviors before they rob us of our joy, we can let more of our dreams into our lives.
We absolutely have the power to create our dreams coming true. When “the urge to do something else” strikes, we can make a choice. We can choose to step into the new opportunity. We can decide not to let an automatic action take over. We have the ability—and personal power—to take conscious constructive actions that will bring us the love, health, money or great career that we desire!