Negative thinking

I am fortunate enough to be writing this blog post from an office in a very hot Cape Town where I am spending the month. It’s been a year in the planning but here we are, escaping a chilly UK for a hot South Africa.

Maybe you are thinking ‘lucky you’ but it has nothing to do with luck and much more to do with planning and removing barriers so that I could do this. It’s meant finding a temporary office, it’s meant moving some of my client’s sessions to SKYPE and some clients missing a monthly meeting with me but with a bit of long term planning, we are able to do this.

So it got me thinking, what barriers do you put in the way that stop you from doing the things you really want to? They could be in your work life or personal life (or like me, combining the two). The truth of it is, we tell ourselves stories that keep us in our comfort zone and give us excuses to not do the things that will help us grow or make us happy. We are very good at finding all the reasons that get in the way of us moving forward. Often what is lurking underneath those reasons is a form of procrastinating that isn’t always about being lazy but more about overthinking or believing you have to be perfect before you do it! We seem to be conditioned to find out why something won’t work as our starting point rather than working out how to make it work.

So what’s stopping you? What’s holding you back? What is preventing you from changing your life – from making yourself happier?

Stop reading for a moment. Count what’s stopping you. List three examples. When I thought about spending a month in South Africa mine were (1) financial, (2) fear, (3) practical matters (e.g. taking care of my dogs).

Step outside of your own mind: are those things really stopping you? Are they really holding you back? Or do you simply perceive those things to be the hindrances — the immovable hurdles obstructing you — from changing for the better and improving your life?

When I pragmatically explored my barriers:

  1. Financial – I researched property and office hire for a month and found out I could live much more cheaply in South Africa than in the UK
  2. Fear – what did I fear? Mainly (and irrationally) that my business would fall apart! When I spoke with my clients, they were all supportive. Some agreed to SKYPE sessions and some said let’s hold off till Feb to meet
  3. Practical Matters – Fortunately my brother agreed to have the dogs and friends agreed to keep an eye on the house. What other ‘practical matters’ were there? Pragmatically – NONE!

So when you honestly list your barriers, step outside your own mind and explore them pragmatically, you usually can overcome them.

We are already planning our next trip here next winter!

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