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Get Out Of Your Own Way:10 Ways To Stop Stumbling Over Your Own Feet

February 10, 2011

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine. ~Witter Bynner

Do you find yourself always discounting what you want to do, places you want to go. Does the evil voice in your head threaten your greatest dreams with plane crashes and other tales of bad endings that make you recoil and stay where you are. If you find yourself coming up against this over and over then it’s time to get out of your own way. As the writer, Fulton Oursler, once said “Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future”.



We can and will always be able to come up with thousands of reasons not to do something, whether it has to do with the weather, money, time or anything else that meets our fancy on a particular day. But what we must learn to do is come up with thousands of reasons why we must do something and use those to suffocate the negativity and fear, and in turn propel us into action.
So, why must we make our lives so difficult? It’s not like life doesn’t already throw us some real obstacles in the form of; money troubles, relationship challenges and other physical tasks which is what we should be saving our energy to fight instead of wasting it on fictional hurdles that we’ve created.We spend so much time trying to sabotage ourselves through negative self talk and trying to be something we are not instead of simply letting ourselves be and trusting our instincts. We take something that has the potential to be simple and turn into one of our biggest challenges which in turn lead us to be discouraged and give up whatever it was we wanted in the first place.

Stand Aside

Sometimes the most difficult step in getting out of our own way is actually realizing that we are in it. I can’t even count all the numerous times that my evil twin has sabotaged my plans. In my 20’s I knew I wanted to live in Europe, at the time I though the place I wanted to be was the south of France. I was sick and tired of cold Canadian winters, and living in cities that had no history and architectural style compared to Provence and Tuscany. Having dabbled in furniture design and interior decorating, I always found myself emulating the colors and styles of the Mediterranean. I knew deeply that this was not only where I wanted to be but needed to be.  My soul would never dance freely until then.
The voices in my head had other ideas though. They convinced me I would fail if I left Canada as there were too many hurdles I needed to jump including the fact that being a Canadian citizen I only had the right to be in Europe for 3 months at a time, not a lifetime like I so desperately wanted. So, like any self-defeated individual, I listened to these voices until the day that my true voice, on the verge of extinction, made one last plea for freedom and was heard loud and clear. Ignoring it was not a possibility, it was time to go for real this time, and go I did.
Fast forward 5 years and  the original dream I had once upon a time has materialized into something more than I could have ever imagined. The path has not been a linear one, straight to the treasure, it has been filled with mountainous peaks and rapids to cross. It has led me to places both inside and outside of myself  that I hadn’t included on my map. I have learned and am still learning from my journey.
The most important lesson learned is without a doubt that courage breeds courage, power and action. Once you roll the internal ball of your ambitions and dreams no one can stop it, not even you.


How To Do IT

1)Face the Facts: YOU are the one stopping your dreams from becoming a reality.
Once you accept and see the patterns and ways of self sabotage, you can devise a plan to overcome it.
2)Believe in Yourself.
This is the most important, without this belief you can and will not be successful. The negative voices in your head will win each time and you will be left discouraged and without any strength to continue.
3)Surround yourself with positive people who are going places.
Positivity is infectious so let it rub off on you. Like attracts like and if you’ve been hanging around negativity then it’s time to reorganize your circle of friends.
4)Stop Procrastinating.
Some goals simply require disciplined action. Just Do it.
5)Drop the baggage.
Maybe you’ve failed before. Maybe everyone has always told you, you would never achieve great things.Let it go, along with any other past baggage that isn’t serving you well right here and now. Write it down, get it out all out of your system and then burn it and let it be released from within you. Move on.
Once you have a clear picture of what it is your going after, you must have laser like focus to determine the steps that will be needed to turn the dream into a reality.
7)On paper it’s a plan, in your head it’s only a dream.
Read any article written on people who have made it to where they wanted to be and you will find the majority of the time their one key to success was writing their goals down in the first place. Getting things out of your head and onto paper makes them tangible, no longer something that only exist within your head.
8)You can do anything you want, but maybe you won’t be able to do everything you want.
This is something I’m guilty of doing.  I find it very difficult to focus on only one thing but when I do I’m more productive. It’s easy to get in our own way by trying to do too many things at once which only leads to very little being accomplished. Try focusing on your tasks one a time and moving on to the next only once what your working on is finished.
9)If it’s not working, STOP DOING IT!
When Alberta Einstein defined insanity as; “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting  different results” he hit the nail right on the head. If you keep meeting resistance in a particular area of your plan, then it might be time to reassess and try a new way. Don’t be stubborn or think there is only one way. If the direction your headed in is not working, it’s simply the Universe telling you that there’s a better way for you. So find it.
10) If it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it.
Working hard towards what you want will not be easy, but you should find joy and satisfaction in knowing that you are headed in the direction of you dreams and doing what you want to do. If that’s not true then you must reevaluate your goals and how you are pursuing them.


Now Do It

So start doing whatever it is that you’ve always wanted to do. Whether it’s changing careers, moving to another city or country, taking a round the world trip, mountain climbing, learning a new language, do it. All you need to do is plan an action route and go for it. Of course you will come across some real obstacles on certain paths of your life, so that’s why it’s so important that the rest of the time you stay out of your own way.

What tactics have you used to get out of you way and accomplish your goals?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2011 16:47

    Jessika you rock!

    Your story is really inspiring to me actually because I simply can’t see myself living in America forever. I don’t even really look at myself as American so much anymore as the only people I find I truly relate to for the most part are the ones that consider the entire world their home. If you’re a citizen of the world you have to embrace that, ya know?

    I’m on the Focus part right now. I am working my butt off to learn as much about web design & building a portfolio as possible so I can support myself when I leave again. And my focus has become laser. Maybe too laser b/c I feel everything else is on the backburner almost too much! haha. But I have to move abroad again. I simply have to. There is no other way and I’ve decided that.
    But now I’m thinking about Number 7: On Paper It’s a Plan.

    The question is…where?

    I’m thinking, maybe I should book that flight NOW. It’s a deadline. And it’s pressure. But it’s an end in sight that come those 6 months if I keep working with focus I can continue to pursue my dream and fast forward 5 years later…well…you already know the story!

    This was an awesome post! Thanks for the solid words of wisdom Jess! You talk the talk & walk the walk!

    -LAUR 🙂

    PS- Thanks for linking to my post!

    • February 21, 2011 19:02

      I love reading your comments and following your adventures Lauren.

      You remind me so much of myself and I know that no matter where you choose to be or what you choose to do, you will get there and live it and learn from it until it’s time to move to the next passion.

      All I can say is go girl! Your on the right track and the laser focus you have right now will pay off big time.

      Where to go you say? Do you know how to shake up a good cocktail? I need a bartender. How does summer in Greece sound?
      I’m really looking forward to seeing where your passion and hard work takes you. 🙂



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