I’ve been learning about obstacles the last few years. Not the kind that you have to avoid when driving or the ones you jump over in a track meet.
These obstacles have just as much power to slow us down. But they are the obstacles we create for ourselves. They are the obstacles in our minds.
The first time I noticed these obstacles was when I began working with other women to start their own businesses. I realized how much the fear of failure would stop women from even trying to pursue their dreams. They were literally frozen from taking any action at all because of the obstacles they were creating in their own minds over why and how they might not be successful.
Many of us have people in our lives who help put those obstacles there. You know… the people who tell you you aren’t smart enough. You aren’t good enough. Too unorganized.
Now, I’m not saying that you can think something into becoming reality.
I’ve also worked with lots of people who were great at believing in themselves, but not as strong in creating a plan and taking action. Belief without action won’t get one very far either. But a person’s negative thoughts can certainly keep her from pursuing a dream or idea.
Even the Bible instructs us to point our thoughts in a positive direction.
“… whatever is true, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
I realized over the last few months that I have become pretty good at believing in myself when it comes to my home business. I really do expect things to go well, and I don’t let negative thoughts stop me from trying something new.
I have worked on my brain to stop myself when an “I can’t” thought pops up. I think of something “I can” do instead. I’ve been working on this with my kids, as well. How many times a day do they cry in frustration, “I can’t”… and it’s often true because they haven’t yet learned how. “I can’t spell that word.” “I can’t tie my shoes.” Instead, I ask them to say, “I need help.”
If the “I can’t” is a bit larger, like “I can’t memorize my math facts,” then we ask God for help.
In my personal life, I’m definitely a work in progress when it comes to the obstacles in my mind. Take for example how I started this blog nearly two years ago, but waited until now to tell anyone about it! “People will think I’m silly.” “That’s a dumb idea.”
Well, about a month ago, I realized I was doing the exact thing I tell others NOT to do! I was creating all kinds of obstacles. So, I went out for a walk and thought about this for a while. Then I came home and announced to my biggest cheerleader, my husband: “Guess what?! I’ve decided to take myself seriously!”
“Great!” he said. “It’s about time!”