What is it that keeps us from realizing our best selves, the person we were born to become?
Sharing our journey with you here at Simple Life Reboot continues to help us stay focused on building our new life of margin and deep living. We have come to realize that far too often, that which keeps us from reaching our goals is not an actual impediment, but rather an obstacle we have created.
Also, the obstacles that keep us from achieving goals may be the same obstacles that keep us from fully loving and caring for those around us.
A LIFE NOT LIVED – A LOVE NOT LOVED
Let’s face it, just hoping for life to get better rarely results in real change. In order for something to happen, we must take action. Best intentions do not count and certainly will never be actualized by a life not lived, or by a love not loved. To reach our goals, and to love those around us deeply, we must act with intention.
So, what keeps us from acting?
In Steven Pressfield’s seminal work, The War of Art, he says, “Resistance is not a peripheral opponent. Resistance arises from within. It is self-generated and self-perpetuated. Resistance is the enemy within.”
We each face obstacles of our own making. We draw up plans and manufacture impediments in our minds. Recognizing real from false obstacles is the first step in being able to submit a new set of plans from which to operate.
Time and again we get side-tracked, yield to the lesser things in life, and stall out. What causes us to do this, to lose focus, to wander in the desert of mediocrity?
There are two main matrices from which we manufacture personal impediments. The first, our Internal Fears, we design over a lifetime. The second, our External Distractions, originate from more recent constructs. Both sets of plans are self-generated, but the resistance we experience from each involves a different amperage. Regardless, the effect is the same – self-deception that becomes ingrained, deflecting us from achieving our goals.
THE INTERNAL RESISTANCE: FEAR
The only thing more defeating than the fear of failure, is the fear of success. This fear is common, but we often do not recognize it in ourselves. It turns out that the fear is not about “success” per se, but rather the fear of how our life might change once we attain success.
1) CHANGE – fear of who we will become – the kind of life we will lead – fear of how our relationships might be affected (jealousy, cynicism, isolation) – higher expectations – longer work hours – more responsibilities – loneliness – criticism.
2) FAILURE – “the higher we climb, the further we fall” – “I don’t deserve it” – “I haven’t worked hard enough” – “I’m not good enough to sustain it” – “I’m not qualified” – “I cannot cope with being in the spotlight” – “I will be found out to be a fraud”.
Reaction to Fear
Both fear and excitement elicit similar reactions in our nervous system resulting in an elevated heart rate and causing us to sweat and breathe more shallowly and quickly. When we feel fear, we give more credence to instinct than reason. Fear is uncomfortable. We want it to stop, and so, we often self-sabotage in an attempt to halt the discomfort.
We self-sabotage in a number of ways, often without realizing it.
NEGATIVE SELF-TALK – “success will make my life too complex” – “I will miss out on doing more fun things” – “I’m not cut out to be that type of person” – “I’m not prepared”.
PROCRASTINATION – “I’ll do it tomorrow” – “I need more preparation”.
ERRATIC BEHAVIOR – Nervousness – Irrationality – Avoidance – Anger – Addiction
THE EXTERNAL RESISTANCE: DISTRACTIONS
The only thing harder than facing our fears, is eliminating our distractions. It’s easy to find ways to get side-tracked so as to generate ready-made excuses for why we did not complete our work.
TWO TYPES OF DISTRACTIONS
There are two main types of distractions that hijack our focus.
1) FANTASY – obsessions with: the Internet – Gaming – Sex – Grandiosity
When we become obsessed with our fantasies, we replace our real-life progress with a false sense of purpose and accomplishment drawn from the make-believe world. Also, if we attempt to actualize our fantasies in the real world, such can be at best disappointing and at worst destructive.
2) PRIDE – obsessions with – Possessions – Work – Physical Appearance – Professional Appearance – Highest Standards
Pride keeps us from recognizing any authority higher than ourselves. Such leads to behaviors of superiority, envy, hatred, animosity, revenge, and arrogance. Pride can keep us from acting. It can also cause us to act too quickly, or to act without the proper motivation and perspective. Pride ultimately results in some degree of failure, either on a personal or professional level.
THE HIGHER MORAL PURPOSE
Understanding how and why we limit ourselves supplies us the keys to unlock potential we never knew existed.
Simple Life Reboot believes in breaking free of the mundane to realize the exceptional, to not simply have good intentions, but rather to take deliberate action to fulfill them.
Slay the internal resistance to succeed, and begin discovering the life you were called to live.
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If you would like to read more on this topic, please, check out The Four Zones of Intention.
Also, watch Derek Sivers TED talk, Keep Your Goals To Yourself
“The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed.
Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on Resistance.
“This second, we can sit down and do our work.”
— Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
Originally posted on http://SimpleLifeReboot.com