TEARING DOWN THE BRICK WALLS
Something I’ve noticed about myself is that there are challenges that I’ve had, places in my life that feel like hitting a brick wall over and over again. The same wall. The. Same. Damn. Wall. Maybe you can relate. The brick wall can be in our emotional life, e.g., being overly sensitive to criticism, or career based, consistently being unable to get the last few pieces of projects done, for example. The brick wall is anywhere you feel that, try as you might, progress eludes you.
One of the things that I always found so frustrating about this was that I would think that I had handled an issue and then, bam, it would be back and my face would be up against that same wall again. The issues usually didn’t present themselves in exactly the same way (sneaky little devils) but, when I had the time and mental and emotional space to pay attention, it was the same fundamental problem.
The brick wall is a limiting belief that keeps us stuck.
The brick wall is a combination of the blind spots that most of us have and habitual behavior patterns. There were things that I had long believed, or always done in a certain way that just didn’t work but I wasn’t thinking about them very clearly. I wasn’t able to notice where I had gotten into a bad habit of thinking or behavior. Unfortunately, that I didn’t notice didn’t mean that I wasn’t in a bad pattern. That I didn’t notice didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to get smacked down by the universe, once again.
It wasn’t until I started looking at the stories that I was telling myself and taking those stories apart, piece by piece, that I started making real, lasting changes.
I recently did a webinar for a colleague on limiting beliefs and the feedback was fascinating. It reinforced what I have long believed, a lot of our brick walls are because we confuse fact and story. The brick walls in our lives are often related to limiting beliefs we have, and those limiting beliefs often masquerade as facts. When stories masquerade as facts it makes it much harder to notice where we are going off track.
But fact and story are not the same thing. Not at all. Facts are the actual events, story is the unique way we choose to interpret those events. So when we hit a brick wall the first thing that we want to do is look at the wall. We want to look at the wall as if we had never seen it before and needed to understand how it was constructed. Taking the time to look objectively at our personal wall gives us the perspective to begin to take, if not a sledgehammer then at least a little hammer, to the challenges we are facing.
Our personal brick walls have to be dismantled by us. We built them and no one else can tear them down for us. It’s a simple process but not always an easy one. We humans like to be right and so we can hold onto beliefs that don’t serve us rather than have to admit that we were wrong. But once we get past that block, and friends or a coach can be really helpful here, we can take an objective look at our challenges. We can get the space we need to see what is really going on.
Dismantling that wall is possible. If you weren’t in the webinar and would like to learn the techniques for overcoming limiting beliefs you can grab your PDF of the steps I outlined here.
Letting go of what consistently stops you in your tracks is possible. You can do this, I know you can.