4 Obstacles which keep you Far Away from your Dreams
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears”~ Les Brown
Most of us remember that each of us, as a child had great dreams about who we want to be in life, but we tend to forget (or rather unconsciously choose to forget), as we grow older.
Listen to the aspirations or ambitions of kids around you or try to recall the dreams you had in your childhood days.
The common feature of these dreams and ambitions of children are:
- These dreams had no limits, regardless of the children not having any clue about “how” to achieve them;
- Children are quite vocal and least or not bothered at all as to what others think about their dreams.
- Children have a sense of faith of achieving their dreams and they don’t have any self-doubt on their capabilities for achieving their ambitions.
But, as we grow up, these dreams and ambitions somehow start looming too large to be achieved.
You would just wonder why something which seemed innocently possible to a child starts appearing as ‘not practical’ or ‘not possible’ for us.
While reading Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, I stumbled upon 4 different types of fears or obstacles, which strongly pull and keep us away from achieving our dreams at different levels of our consciousness in our lives.
1. Regressive Belief system:
This is the number one obstacle which everyone inherits from his/her surrounding environment. As a child, when the mind works on the beliefs borrowed from one’s parents, surroundings, friends, teachers etc, we are told that our dreams, our ambitions are not possible and are impractical to achieve. If we had ever tried to give the success examples, we were made silent by giving the excuses like:
- Such people are naturally gifted or talented; or
- They had better circumstances and access to means to fulfil their dreams; or
- They are simply lucky.
- They are different breed which are even less than a miniscule fraction of 1% of world.
So the first obstacle is the undesirable conditioning of the naïve mind of a kid, because he/she has not yet developed fully his/her cognitive thinking skills. He has no choice except to unconsciously believe the statements from surroundings to be true.
Gay Hendricks in his book The Big Leap has stated this as an “Upper Limit Problem”, which all of us face in all areas of our lives, whenever we need to make progress beyond a certain limit. Our beliefs have already created a false ceiling beyond which we don’t think it is possible or even worth trying.
So such beliefs tend to stay with us for a larger part of our life, except for those, who start questioning these unhelpful beliefs and overcome those by immersing in great books or learning to create confidence in their abilities.
This requires a rebel’s approach. It happens that the true inner voice keeps buzzing in our heart, but our head is so much clouded, that we tend to suppress that little voice. It is only when, one starts the questioning one’s beliefs, which then works like peeling of onion. You realize that all the limitations were only in one’s head and nowhere outside
“If you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right” ~ Henry Ford
2. Fear of hurting our loved ones:
As Tony Robbins has rightly stated in his book “Awaken the Giant Within” all our actions are driven by two stimulants, one which enhance our pleasure and the others, which help us avoid the pain.
Therefore, our moment to moment decisions are solely influenced by the fact that whether such decision will give us pleasure or help us to avoid any pain, nothing else.
And the irony is that If there are two actions, which generate pain, human being chooses to avoid such activity which is more painful, and still keeps on doing the activity which is less painful.
The fear of hurting the feelings of our loved one is big pain for most of us, which keeps us stuck in the life we don’t’ want (but keep on doing only to avoid hurting the feelings of our loved ones). Thus we don’t choose to move towards the direction, which would ultimately give us the real fulfillment.
Take an example:
Your parents wish you to stay in the mainstream i.e. become a doctor, accountant or a lawyer and you want to become an artist, musician, author or follow any other passion or vocation in life, which is your heart’s desire. Now there are two types of pains: (1) the pain of hurting your parents feeling, if you don’t fulfil their desires; and (2) the lifelong pain of you not following you dream, (to avoid hurting your parents).
So most of the people tend to avoid the first pain i.e. hurting their parent’s feeling and rather continue a path, which doesn’t give them the real fulfilment.
The reason being we feel a sense of guilt in your heads, that our loved have sacrificed a lot for us to give us all pleasures, so we shouldn’t have hurt them.
However, some people timely realize that howsoever well-wisher another person is about him, but they can’t see the future with the same vision which the dreamer has. In fact, the well-wisher is very convinced that he/she is totally thinking for your benefit, but that’s not the case, rather he or she is operating solely from his or her own belief system and might be in complete disregard of your vision and passions towards achieving your dreams.
While most of the population remain stuck in unfulfilling life, only few people tend to break this obstacle by either convincing their loved ones by displaying their confidence and larger than life faith in their vision and brighter future. Few others get so much pushed against the wall that the pain of not fulfilling their desires becomes so large compared to the pain of hurting their loved ones that they take the plunge and move towards their own dreams.
3. Fear of defeat:
After once has shattered his limiting beliefs and have also moved on further from the feeling of hurting someone, then he finds himself straight in front of the fear of defeat.
Now one doesn’t have that excuse or luxury to say that, “No I did not want it this way”. One already knows that his heart has pulled one so much towards the goal, but obstacles are bound to show their ugly head on the journey towards goals.
At this point, to overcome this fear, one has to believe that these obstacles, namely fear of defeat comes to make one stronger. Rather one should pray: “Oh God, don’t reduce my problems, rather make me stronger to overcome these problems”. Because:
“What you get by achieving goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals” ~ Henry David Thoreau
The kind of satisfaction and joy, which one gets when he or she overcomes the defeat, is such which stays with one for life.
4. Fear of success:
This is the most difficult one, because it comes in a disguised way. It appears like, if the whole world is suffering, then how can I enjoy the feeling of success and fulfillment. Since it comes with a ‘saintly aura’, most find it difficult to cross this hurdle and stop there only to remain content with what they are or what they have.
Again, this is the situation where upper limit problem comes in the way. At this level, though you already are at reasonable level, but still away from living an extraordinary life. Since you have already put a ceiling in your mind about level of joy, success and abundance, which you can experience, once your thermostat showing going beyond that you stop then and there only.
But remember, this is a different kind of belief in your own head, which operates on the principle of guilt, one needs to just work towards removing this layer of the feeling of guilt.
In fact, all the good people should be very successful, because once they succeed; they will spread the goodness for the larger benefit of this world. So instead of getting plagued by the feeling of guilt, one needs to realize that this is the upper limit problem, which one needs to overcome to get a life, which very few people tend to enjoy.
And that is the extra-ordinary life, which comes after crossing all these 4 obstacles on the way.
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