Get your metaphoric shit out of your way with a metaphoric bulldozer. Image from Wikipedia.
You have to get out of your own way.
You know that you are your own barrier to success, right?
The only thing standing in your way is you.
It's your voice telling you those negative things, saying you can't do this, you don't deserve that, you haven't earned it yet, you're too fat, you'll never afford it, etc.
That's you, now, saying those things.
It isn't your mother, or that catty bitch (you know who I mean). It isn't her now, even though you can hear her voice ringing in your ears. It's in your mind now.
It's you who has put those recordings of the past on auto-repeat.
And it's you who can destroy them.
Lately I've been volunteering with folks in very tough circumstances who need to find work. They need resume and interview help.
But I need to tell them - someone has to tell them - that they are in their own way.
I do this with empathy, after listening to what they have to say. I tell each person in a loving way without judging them for their situation.
I tell them that they need an emotional bulldozer. They need to move all of their own shit out of the way in order to fully show up at work for their employer.
It will be tough. They have been through a lot. So have you. So have we all. Some worse than others.
What is key is that you challenge these negative emotions.
You must find a way to reframe them, to tell a new story, to overcome the past so that you can move forward into the future you want to shape for yourself.
Do not let your emotions dominate you. You must learn to ride your emotional waves like a surfer, without losing your balance.
You must attack your emotions head on with an emotional bulldozer.
You must write it out.
Writing is what you must make from the rubble.
Writing is the product that you make from your past, in order to get it out of your head. Don't worry about publishing this crap - most of the time it's nothing but garbage. But that's why you must write it out of your head.
You need to get the shit out and clean house. Writing allows you to organize your thoughts. It feels great to write out your stories, to pour out your soul onto the page.
It is remarkable how powerful an experience it can be to relive some of your worst moments on the page - but to add the wisdom you've learned, to comfort your younger self who was in so much pain, to provide yourself with the support you needed at the time but didn't get.
This kind of journaling is epically powerful - that's why I call it emotional bulldozing.
You must dig deep inside your inner world to identify the "shit factories" that produce your negative thinking - and knock them down.
This is so essential. It's necessary to get your shit out of the way so you can show up for other people.
If your shit is not out of the way, it will always be the barrier to your most critical relationships.
It doesn't matter if those are personal or professional relationships - you can't fully connect with another human if you bring a ton of shit and put it in the way.
Next time you write in your journal, try to identify some of the shit factories inside you that you want to knock down with your emotional bulldozer.
Can you can picture yourself in the driver's seat of that bulldozer?
Turn the keys and drive that puppy. It's fun to move the shit out of the way, so get crackin. You'll be glad you did.
For further insight:
Sylvia Lafair wrote an incredible book called Don't Bring It to Work: Breaking the Family Patterns That Limit Success - I read it a few years back when I got the chance to work with Dr. Lafair for a brief time.
She delivers amazing insights about the patterns we internalize in childhood that play out in the workplace.
I'd recommend it to anyone who is struggling with coworkers, employees, managers - or anyone who wants to improve their performance at work by getting out of their own way.