Why can’t I push past the barriers in my mind, whether they originated from me or others?
I used to think that I couldn’t push past my limits, didn’t find a reason to, or just didn’t try to until recently where I’ve made the effort to change my mindset and how I view myself. I want to be able to move on and move forward. But it seems to me that I can’t detach from these old beliefs that may not even be mine in the first place, but something I identify w/ so I keep myself there.
As I was writing this two memories came up to mind of me when I was younger.
1. Basketball- I was no older than about 12, maybe younger. I wouldn’t shoot the ball at all. Always passed it. Until the last game of the season. My dad had to bribe me. He said if I made a basket, he’ll either take me for some ice cream or buy me some trading cards. I ended up with four points that night and got a medal from my coach for my effort.
2. Soccer- similar story except I was younger, probably 7 or 8 years old. All season, I did nothing but show up. Season came and went. I had zero goals until the last game. I had a similar bribe like I played basketball. You score and you get a treat. Unfortunately, in the last game I didn’t make any goals, the ball hit the goal post but didn’t go in. After the game, I was still treated even though I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain.
Looking back at it now, it was always there within me. I just didn’t let it out. Mainly because I had a belief in my mind that I couldn’t maintain that top tier level of performance, going all out all the time and being consistent. I didn’t think I could do it, partly because I was shown and told that my dad couldn’t do it. And I was always told that I am just like him, so overtime I thought I couldn’t do it either. I also thought that people were just naturally born great at doing things and that I wasn’t one of them. Also, I was always afraid and nervous. I would let the butterflies get to me and sit down and watch everybody else play.
Thanks for writing in, sharing, and asking such a great question. 🙂 I love what you shared and I love how you shared it. I love that you asked an honest question while also taking the time to reflect upon yourself and your life to see other areas where the same challenge has presented itself in the past.
There are likely different reasons you struggle to push past the barriers in your mind and the reasons likely depend on which barrier you’re trying to push past. It could be that you’re not ready (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or physically) to do [blank] thing. It could be that you still have pain that’s blocking you, creating resistance (e.g. an old emotional wound from the past). It could be that you simply have to train your brain to push past barriers that are no longer serving you — needing to make the unfamiliar familiar. It could be that what you’re trying to push past isn’t the right thing for you to do (or it isn’t the right timing, or something about the circumstances isn’t right). Or it could be something else entirely.
In the coaching video I recorded for you, I give you a self-help tool to assist you in distinguishing if the barrier you want to push through is one that will best serve you to push through or if there’s a good reason for the resistance — meaning if the resistance is there to protect you. I also tell a ridiculously silly story about my own recent commitment to expanding my comfort zone. 🙂
One thing that’s incredibly important to note: Our brains are trained to always stay in the zone of what’s familiar. Literally, this is how our brains are designed. Even if what’s familiar doesn’t feel good, our brains will try to keep us there. It is legacy programming carried over from our tribal days because those who wandered away from the tribe — or those who dared to try something new — usually got eaten by a saber-toothed tiger or rejected from the group. And back in the days of our ancestors, thousands of years ago, being rejected from the tribe almost always meant certain death.
So all this means is that our brains will always try to convince us of the many reasons why a change doesn’t feel good or isn’t right. Our job, as independent thinkers with free will, is to always ask ourselves if the fear is simply because the change is unfamiliar or if there’s really some sort of danger lurking around the next corner. Your brain will tell you there’s danger and it may even send you in a fight/flight/freeze response BUT you have to begin recognizing this autonomic response as a program… one you have the power to change through conscious thought and reconditioning your brain.
If you have a particular barrier, you’re trying to blow past and the tool in the coaching video doesn’t help, write back to me and tell me the exact situation you’re struggling with and I’ll see what I can do to guide you more strategically. It may be that there’s subconscious pain blocking you from moving forward or just a mindset shift that’s required so that you can step out of your comfort zone and make the unfamiliar familiar.
It’s likely that much of the resistance is simply a lack of trust in yourself and your own knowing, which is a very common problem and one I see often — especially for people who have trusted themselves, or their instincts, in the past and got hurt or let down by the outcome; the defense becomes to stop trusting both and therefore to stop pushing past barriers and to develop limiting beliefs about themselves, others, and about life. I talk about this more in the free coaching video as well. 🙂
I hope this response has been helpful to you. 🙂
With love, gratitude, grit, and grace,