Imagine that you wake from a dream and look out from your bedroom window.
In the moonlight of your imagination perhaps you can make out the ghostly forms of young people hard at work around your home.
You can see that there are quite a few of them, all young: from babies and toddlers to teenagers. They are busy maintaining defences: road blocks, barbed wire, tank traps, trenches, minefields and barricades.
In the moonlight these defences look both insubstantial and very strong.
Surprisingly there is something strangely comforting about all this activity.
When you look more closely at these youngsters you notice that they seem to be closely related, perhaps they are all brothers or sisters. With a surprise, that is no surprise at all, you see that they bear a striking resemblance to those photographs of your younger selves in your old family albums.
Every face, busy and intent as they tend their barricades and blocks, looks anxious and afraid. They tend their own piece of the defences with grim determination. You can tell they are going to do their best to make sure that bad things never happen again.
Looking out at all the other houses from this perspective you can see other teams of ghostly youngsters building defences around their own houses.
Some homes have only a few modest blocks or barricades, others are swarmed over by fearful squads of children maintaining massive defensive positions, pill boxes, minefields, barbed wire fences, guard towers and slavering spectral dogs. Desperate efforts to keep their homes safe.
Although they seem to have been working just this one night, you have the feeling that these defences have been here a long time. A tangled jumble of blocks and barricades piled together without conscious planning or forethought.
Time passes at our imaginary lookout and the ghostly maintenance is nearly over. The sun of a new day of consciousness breaks over the horizon and these defences are washed into invisibility by the light of the everyday world.
If we had not seen the defenders and their defences during the night, what happens next would make no sense.
We look on as the neighbourhood gets ready to start their new day. Leaving their homes to go off to get something done in their world.
For some people that couldn’t be easier, they open their front door, lightly step over (without noticing) the meagre blocks and obstacles and go on their way with smiles on their faces and a bounce in their step.
Others struggle, without quite knowing why they have to struggle, they clamber over barriers they can’t quite see and don’t quite understand. Eventually they may reach their destination but it will have seemed like a lot of hard work to go a short way. They arrive bruised, dishevelled, exhausted wondering why it seems like so much work when other people make the same journey with no difficulty at all.
Still others barely make it out of the house, it is too much effort and there is so much in their way. What makes it so frustrating is that they do not know what is in their way, yet they are held fast.
But, because we have seen the armies of those anxious younger selves at work, we know what stops them.
We know that those younger selves built those defences and barricades as a valiant effort to keep themselves safe. They did the best they could at the time to keep trouble at bay.
What those younger selves don’t realise is that what was designed to keep them safe is now keeping them in, stopping their adult selves from doing what they want to do.
That is sad enough, what is even worse is that the battles those young defenders are preparing for are usually long over, the enemies have gone home or died long ago but still the young defenders with the determination of those that know no better maintain the defences and fear the next attack.
Their adult selves may only be vaguely aware that this is happening and attribute their difficulties to something else: their horoscope, the state of the economy, bad luck and all the other “reasons” that are out there for stopping your progress. Many people never realise they are the prisoners of their own invisible defences.
What is to be done?
How can we clear the way for people so that they can leave their homes, their comfort zones, and move freely in the world?
There are two things we need to do, one is surprisingly easy, the other is surprisingly difficult:
1. Dismantle the barricades. Cut the barbed wire, dismantle the road blocks, fill in the trenches. Surprisingly this is the easy bit, with EFT or other techniques it is surprisingly easy to undo limiting beliefs and out of date fears to clear the way.
2. Before we dismantle the barricades we have to find them. This is the hard bit. Because few of our limiting beliefs are noticeable in consciousness, these traps and blocks are invisible to us. They stop or delay us from moving forward and hinder us in all sorts of ways but if asked to identify them we would find it quite difficult to name them. Because they were often formed long ago and are very familiar to us, they have slipped below the level of consciousness and been integrated into our lives where they become invisible to our conscious minds.
How can we find the barricades to remove them?
There are two possibilities:
1. Get Help: Therapists and coaches are trained to spot these barriers and blocks and help you dismantle them.
2. Clear Your Own Barricades: If you want to work on your own blocks then you need to use a process that forces them into view. One of these methods is described in How To Find Your Limiting Beliefs With Just One Word, a more thorough process can be found in my book “Getting Out Of Your Own Way”
If you undertake this work you might be surprised by how many blocks you find, you be even more surprised to find out just how much easier your life gets if you take care of them.
If you want help to find and eliminate your own hidden blocks contact me for information about the Getting Out Of Your Own Way packages and Getting Out Of Your Own Way workshops (the next is in York on May 12th – see below for details).Image courtesy of mattwi1s0n