Monday, August 10, 2009

Mental fences

I received an email from and they told me of a book that they were selling called Living a Five Star Life, by Betty Mahalik. I like the simple things that she challenges the readers to do. Here is a small part of what was in the email. It did make me stop and think.

Betty challenges all of us "to live a great life by discovering the life we have right now, instead of trying to invent a whole new life."

Today, I'd like to share her chapter titled: Fences in your Mind. Enjoy!

"I've watched the movie Chicken Run at least a half-dozen times. Just beneath the surface of its simplistic look and story line lie a number of wonderful messages told through the eyes of a bunch of Claymation chickens trying to break out of their chicken-wire world to escape their fate at the chopping block. Their freedom leader, a feisty little hen named Ginger, comments profoundly in one scene: "the fences are all in your mind." She reminds her fellow chickens (and us), that a bigger obstacle than the physical fences they're surrounded by are the mental fences that hold them captive.

It's been a good reminder for me on those occasions when I've been dealing my own mental fences...those created by self-doubt, uncertainty, fear. Can you relate? Where have you fenced yourself in mentally in recent days or weeks? Perhaps your mental fence is procrastination, a deadening habit that keeps you stuck. Maybe yours, like mine, is related to self-doubt, and the on-going internal noise it produces that keeps you immobilized. Perhaps yours is the belief that you don't deserve success, so you sabotage yourself to avoid having to find out how successful you could be. There are a million variations of the theme, but the result is still the same: we stay stuck like the chickens in the movie.
One of the key questions in the Best Year Yet® program is: "How do I limit myself and how can I stop?" Those limitations are never external. They always live inside us. The antidote to being trapped by our mental fences is to create a compelling enough vision that, like Ginger and her flock of chicken friends, we're willing to resort to amazing measures to break out. The formula:

Recognize that your mental fences can only keep you stuck as long as you're looking at them. They can only contain you as long as you're not taking actions consistent with your vision. Go ahead, take the action you've avoided and leap into a future filled with possibilities. And remember, the fences are all in your mind!"

Like I said, I haven't read the book, but I certainly enjoyed the part of it they sent me. I am always looking for ways to conquer my fears and limitations. I do believe that most of our fences that keep us trapped or held back, are truly in our mind. So like she said, we need to go ahead and take action  and leap into the future. Good night dear friends!

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