7 Essential Steps to Get Out of Your Own Way

by Manal Ghosain on September 13, 2010

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Hope you got a chance to read the previous article and can recognize that you have been sabotaging your own progress. The next step is to make a decision to move past the limitations of your mind and get on with your life. Here are a few guidelines to get you started.

Please remember: no one but you can get you to move out of your own way. The entire process lies in your hands.

1. Question your assumptions and beliefs.

Whenever you experience any of the self-imposed roadblocks mentioned previously, stop for a minute and observe your thoughts and state of being. What are you thinking at this moment? How are you feeling?

Be still for a short while, and then have a friendly talk with your beloved self. Question the prevailing thoughts. Find proof that they may not be valid by recalling positive empowering experiences.

If you’d rather question your thoughts in writing, check out Byron Katie’s The Work process.

We are creatures of habit. Our subconscious mind thrives on repetition. This is how we get the negative stuff buried there in the first place. So we keep doing it until we replace old limiting beliefs with new more beneficial ones.

This is the most important thing you can do for you! Once you become aware of the limiting thoughts and beliefs, the process gets easier but it does take time and repetition. Please don’t try to take short cuts with your subconscious mind. It won’t work and the old stuff will creep back in.

2. Focus on what you want.

Ask yourself ‘what would make me happy right now in this moment?’ Write down anything that comes to mind. Keep doing this for a while. Again, you will see a few things coming up repeatedly.

Clarity about what makes you happy helps bringing it into your life. If you are vague about your desires, you won’t have the drive to go after what you want. Be as clear as you can.

If you’re unsure, pursue what is right in front of you right now and trust that clarity will come in due time. Your main task is to do what works in this moment.

Whenever you have an idea or two, go for it. The worst that can happen is that it won’t work. At least you can pat yourself on the back for trying.

With time you will become more familiar with what brings you joy instead of what makes you miserable—most of us are experts in the latter, almost instinctively.

3. Heal your heart.

If you are in pain and you are stuck emotionally, you need to deal with that. Talk to someone, do some free writing or seek professional help. Whatever works for you. You can’t lead your way with a broken heart.

Part of healing your heart is to release stifling emotions like guilt and resentment. Free yourself and learn to forgive yourself and others.

4. Do something.

Resolve today and now, no matter what is stopping you, to do something. Write, read, go out for a walk, talk to a friend, play music, give that cute woman/man a call.  Just do something with yourself that doesn’t involve escaping or avoiding.

Action is the most effective tool to start feeling that you’re making progress. As you become more familiar with what you want, you will start working on that. Won’t you?

Also, action lets you know if what you thought you wanted is what you really want. Stuff can be more romantic and appealing in our mind than reality. Trying something is the best way to let go of some of the things that linger in your mind and heart.

On the other side, the joy of working on what you truly desire is the best cure for any limitations that you throw in your way. Your life will be aligned within and without. True joy is the road to fulfillment and peace.

5. Say thank you.

We all like to be appreciated, including the universe. Do one of the following at least once a day:

  • Write what you’re grateful for today. Try to be thankful for different things every day.
  • Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and in your mind go through all the things that you’re thankful for today. Close by remembering something that really made you happy, and smile.

Don’t forget to say thank you to your loved ones, coworkers and the people around you. Nothing beats a genuine thank you in connecting with others.

6. Let go of attachment.

Learn to be in a neutral state. The best things that come in life are the ones that have no strings attached—no expectations or reservations.

I wish I could articulate this concept better and tell you how to do it. You need to try it. Ask for something with an open heart and forget about it. Listen, and act on what inspires you now. Then trust and let go.

To be in a state of non-attachment, you can think of a plan B, so if your current effort doesn’t pay off, you won’t feel crushed—you have an alternative. Of course, this won’t work with everything. But it can be helpful in getting you used to the idea.

7. Feel and express love.

Nothing opens your heart and mind more than expressing your love for the people around you, your surroundings and everything in your life. Love takes gratitude to a whole new level.

Love your partner, your family, your job, your couch, your car, your home and your life—no attachment, just love. It is the ultimate freedom from all self inflected ailments. While you’re at it, don’t forget to love yourself.

It takes awareness to step away from our conditioned tendencies to look for what’s wrong with everything in the universe. What good does it do us? Why not find something positive? This is not about positive thinking, it’s about looking deeper to find the truth behind appearances.

We internally create our own limitations and allow the programming to run unquestioned. So it’s no surprise that most of the steps mentioned above require inner work—from questioning your beliefs to feeling love.

The most important thing when we have self doubt and can’t seem to move past certain obstacles is to become aware of our mental and emotional roadblocks, deal with them and keep going.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes by W. Wattles: “Desire is possibility seeking expression”. If you desire something, you have within you all it takes to make it happen. All you have to do is get out of your own way and start moving.

Photo courtesy of Nicholas Canup

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