#TBT: 5 Signs We Are Getting In Our Own Way and How To Stop
MANY OF US ARE STANDING IN OUR WAY TO LIVING THE LIFE WE WANT.
don't get me wrong, oppression is real. not everyone has the same chance at success. life isn't fair, and society doesn't help at all. but what about the things that we can control? what about our mindset? what about our choices? even in times of hardship, I choose to focus on the areas of my life that i can control. and once I shifted my focus, i realized that me, myself and my lack of self worth were the only things stopping me from living the life i wanted to live.
think this might sound like you, too?
here are 5 signs you are getting in your own way, and how to stop:
1. WE BELIEVE WE ARE UNWORTHY OF THE THINGS WE WANT
I chose this one as #1 because I believe it runs the deepest. Like most challenges we face, getting in our own way starts in the mind. We lack self worth, so we don’t allow ourselves to dream. The voice in our head is constantly telling us we aren’t good enough. We call it “practical” or “realistic.” This goes for romantic relationships, it goes for professional pursuits, it goes for our relationship to God (true story - there was a time not too long ago when I was ashamed to pray because I felt I wasn’t good enough for God’s grace). #1 sign of us getting in our own way is by believing at a fundamental level that we don’t deserve the things we truly want out of life. We don’t dream about them, so we certainly aren’t asking for them or acting upon them. We can get out of our own way by dreaming daringly and creating the life we want to live.
2. WE ARE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH COMPLIMENTS
We get in our own way when we cannot take compliments. It doesn’t matter whether the compliment is about our intellect, about a comment that we made, about our physical appearance, something we have accomplished, when we know what we’re worth, we don’t have trouble accepting compliments with a humble smile and “thank you.” People who know their worth are not self-absorbed. When we know what we’re worth, our egos aren’t susceptible to flattery because our affirmation comes from within (and above). When we know what we’re worth, we are not ashamed when people compliment us: we are not surprised when others see the greatness in us that we know we possess.
3. WE ARE UNCOMFORTABLE GIVING OURSELVES THE CREDIT WE DESERVE
As mentioned with #1-2, getting in our own way oftentimes relies on a lack of self worth. We cannot take credit for our greatness because we don’t believe us or the things we do are great. When we do great things, we believe it must have been a coincidence. We get in our own way because we cannot see ourselves for who we truly are. When we know what we are worth, we have no problem humbly taking credit for the great things we’ve accomplished, for the tremendous growth we’ve worked for. Again, our affirmation does not come from external sources, so we are not looking elsewhere for our accomplishments to be validated. We are in a constant state of self-reflection and self-validation.
4. WE ARE CONSTANTLY ON GUARD OR "PLAYING DEFENSE"
I wrote an entire post about how keeping a defensive guard up is unhealthy, and how we should play offense instead (focus our energy on our purpose). If we get stuck playing defense, we are getting in our own way because we are constantly looking at life through a defensive lens, always interpreting people’s behaviors and actions through this fearful lens. This prevents us from seeing people for who they are, from inviting people to enter our space as their best selves and, worse, it prevents us from seeing ourselves for the powerful people that we are. When we get out of our own way, we stop being defensive and focus our energy on our life’s purpose.
5. WE DO NOT LOVE AND ACCEPT OURSELVES AS WE ARE
So many of us are abusive towards ourselves. We call it ambition. We believe that we should not love ourselves “until….” or “once I…” or “as soon as I….” We think that this is what goal-setting is: refraining from self-acceptance until we’ve attained a particular goal. Ironically, this self-deprecation is exactly what is preventing us from achieving our goals and feeling happy about ourselves. To get out of our own way, we must love ourselves right here and right now. We must start and end our journeys in self-love.
if we choose to live our lives pointing blame at all of the external factors preventing us from walking in our purpose, we will have no shortage of things, people, places, circumstances to blame. we can literally spend every minute of every day playing the blaming game - but what good does that do anyone?
i would rather channel my energy on the things that are very much so within my control, the things that, admittedly, i allowed to spiral out of control: my perception of "self," my attitude and my level of self-love and worth.
LOVE, THE FIRST STEP TO GETTING OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY IS RECOGNIZING THAT YOU'RE STILL STANDING IN IT.