Get Out of Your Own Way, Tool #2: See Where You Stop Yourself

stop yourselfWhen I was first making my way as a coach, I was excited and terrified in equal amounts.

The terrified part made her presence known many times.

Every time I booked a speaking gig, I got sick. Sometimes it was just an upset stomach the day of. Once I completely lost my voice.

Maybe you’ve noticed something similar… say, every time you get close to making something new and exciting happen, your kid or another family member has a crisis.

Maybe something in your life breaks.

Maybe you even have a car accident! (I had one of those.)

Whatever it is that typically happens, I’m here to tell you:


It’s simply your ego kicking up a fuss, quite vigorously, to the point that all you can really focus on is your fear—and that’s when undesirable situations start showing up in your life. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So, repeat: Whatever it is, it’s not a sign. It’s also not a punishment. It’s actually a love letter from the universe that shows you what tricks you use to stop yourself —what irrational fears are just waiting for you to step out of your comfort zone so they can pop up and yell “Boo!”

Because if you don’t ever discover what these tricks are, how will you ever get out of your own way?

FACT: You can’t change a habit you don’t know you have. Awareness is the first step to everything good. (Click to Tweet!)

Whatever situations you subconsciously co-create out a twisted desire to stay ‘safe’,

Pay it just as much attention as it needs, AND NO MORE!

Then go do what you intended to do before the shit hit the fan. =)

So, go to the drugstore and buy some cough drops, but still show up and speak. Or, book a last-minute appointment to get your kid checked for strep, but don’t call off your meeting. Or, set your family member up with a helpful resource, but don’t drop everything to go sit by their bedside 24/7.

And don’t use it as an excuse to feel like you’re lame, or doomed, or just unlucky. We all hit our fear threshold somewhere (well, unless you’re a sociopath). Gay Hendricks has a great book about it called The Big Leap, which I HIGHLY recommend if you feel like you keep bumping up against the same ceiling.

I’ve used some pretty dramatic examples above, but you’re probably stopping yourself in smaller ways, too.

Here’s an exercise to help you see how and why you put on your own emergency brake:

Think about where in your life you’re feeling the most frustrated–work, money, health? Then write down, I don’t ________________, and this is your blank, such as “have a job I love,” or, “Do what it takes to get in shape,” or, Feel connected to my husband,” because _______________________. And this is where you start listing the reasons. For each reason, you do the same thing.

It’ll look something like this:

I can’t/ don’t want to _____________________ because ________________________.

And then drill down on your ‘because’.

That would be bad because _______________________________.

And that would be bad because ____________________________.

It would mean that I’m _______________________________.

If your reason for not doing what it takes to be healthy is it takes too much time to shop and cook, write down the ‘because’ for that:

It takes too much time to shop and cook because I’m so busy at work.

I’m so busy at work because my boss heaps stuff on me.

My boss heaps stuff on me because I never say no.

I never say no because I’m afraid I’ll lose my job or be judged.

I’m afraid I’ll be judged because people are mean.

Now, it’s not true that people are mean. I mean, some people are, but not ALL people are. But it may be true that you have a belief that it’s not safe to say what you really think because people will be mean to you and you will get hurt. That is something that’s reworkable!

Once you identify that old belief and re-jigger it, you can start saying what you really think, which is the best way to start drawing opportunities and situations to you that suit you! The more real you can be, the less of a toll your life will take on you, because you won’t constantly have to be editing yourself.

This is just one example of how one thing—like eating poorly—is really linked in your mind to something totally different—a fear of being judged.

This is how mindset shows up in all parts of your life, and it’s an amazing and freeing voyage of discovery and freedom if you’re willing to look at how you’ve been throwing up your own roadblocks.

If you have any questions or insights from reading this, I’d love to hear ‘em! Leave a comment below.

And stay tuned for next week, when I’ll share tool #3 for getting out of your own way: De-clutter your psychic closet.


Want to be a better person, but don’t know where to start?

My new daily podcast, How to Be a Better Person, is here to help by sharing one simple thing you can do in the next 24 hours to rise. My mission? To help you live your best life.

Subscribe on iTunes Get podcast news