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Personal Development

How to Get out of Your Own Way


How to get out of your own wayIf you’re anything like me, you have dreams. Big dreams. Little dreams. Out-of-this-world dreams. Maybe you dream of starting your own business, quitting your job and traveling the world, finding your soulmate, or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. You feel yourself really come alive as you start to take the steps toward this dream of yours. You want this so badly. You’ve been investing loads and loads of energy and time into making it a reality. This dream is a part of you. It always has been.

And then something happens. You get in your own way.

It’s not something you consciously do. But it happens.

Doubt creeps its way through your door… “Can I make a living doing this? Is he really out there? How do I know for sure this is the next step? Maybe I should wait until I’m ‘ready.'”

And then comes the fear… “What if I fail? What if I run out of money? What if I get my heart broken?”

And then the comparison “Everyone wants to follow their dreams. What makes me so special? Why don’t I have as many paying customers as she does?”

Little by little, all of these limiting beliefs creep their way into our creative, beautiful, prospering, dreaming minds and before we know it, negative self talk is bouncing through us like a pinball in a pinball machine: “I’m too old. I’m too young. I’m too in-experienced. I’m too qualified. I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough money.”

Sounding familiar? This is you getting in your own way. YOU are the only thing preventing your dreams from happening. Believe it or not, the Universe wants to support us but we are the ones slapping a big, fat “Not gonna happen” sign across every dream we dream. So, here are some steps to take to stop getting in our own way:

1. Get honest with yourself

It’s time to get real. Block off an entire weekend afternoon or perhaps an entire evening. Light some candles, create a playlist of music that makes you feel good, grab a green smoothie or some tea, and settle in. Settle in to your chair. Your surroundings. Settling in to your heart. No distractions. Just you, your heart, and your pen and paper. Take this time to center in on what’s really going on here.

Are your excuses more important than your dreams?

This shouldn’t be a fifteen minute make-a-list-and-you’re-done kind of thing. This will take some time. And it will be uncomfortable at times. But if you want to put your dreams into motion, you’ve got to get out of that comfort zone. Write down exactly how you have been standing in your own way – holding yourself back – telling yourself you’re “not ready.” Write it down and sit with it. And then maybe get pissed off at it for a minute because that limiting belief right there… that could have been the very thing that kept you from ever getting to where you want to be in life.

2. Make peace with your inner critic

After you’ve taken some time to get honest and bring up exactly what you’ve been doing, saying, thinking, feeling to get in your own way, it’s time to let it go. Make peace with your inner critic. Tell him or her that it’s okay. That we know they’re just looking out for us but hey, we’ve got this! True fulfillment, accomplishment, and success are on the horizon and, well, that’s kinda scary, right? The thoughts holding you back are thoughts of fear.

As Jack Canfield said, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”

3. Understand that this is an ongoing process.

It takes a while to un-program ourselves of negative self-talk. So, just know that these thoughts are probably going to show their ugly faces to you again from time to time. Eckart Tolle (One of my absolute favorite authors! If you haven’t read The Power of Now, it’s a must-read!) sums it up best by saying:

“When this happens, the ego has you in its grip. You don’t have thoughts; the thoughts have you—and if you want to be free, you have to understand that the voice in your head has created them and irritation and upset you feel is the emotional response to that voice. Only in this way can you be present to the truer world around you.”

Which leads me to my next point…

4. Recognize the thoughts as mere illusions.

Do you have proof that you’re going to fail? Do you know without a doubt that you won’t have enough money, or you won’t find your soulmate, or you won’t get any clients? No. Those thoughts are illusions. Your ego is basically that tiny little devil that sits on your shoulder and snickers to you all day (And this is where I’ll recommend Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth because he so brilliantly explains all you need to know about the ego.) Once you’ve done the work to zero in on how you’re standing in your own way and why, once you’ve made peace with your inner critic, and know that this will be an ongoing process but that it’s possible to tune out the illusions, there is one more thing…

5. Fill yourself with positive energy.

Spend more introspective time. Light those candles again and continue to play that playlist more often. Check in with your pen and paper on a more frequent basis. If you like affirmations, surround yourself with them. And surround yourself with people who lift you, support you, and believe in you. This is so important. Everyone else can take a hike right along with your ego.

Stop. Breathe. Ground yourself.

Remember that everything you have is already within you. Fill yourself with affirmations:

I will never doubt myself again.
I support my deepest desires.
I use my natural gifts and talents to serve others.
I am whole. Always.

I’d love to hear your experiences with “getting in your own way” (and getting out) in the comments below!

And, if none of this is working and you’re totally stuck, lucky for you, I still have some spaces available for one-on-one coaching! If you’re ready to get to work and break through those blocks, head on over to my ‘work with me’ page and shoot me an email!


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  • Reply
    Ashley Mc. Glass
    March 25, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    this is SO perfect chelsea! you give the best advice and insight..I really needed to read this, right now, at this exact time in my life.

    • Reply
      March 25, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      Well, my friend, this is another “inspired by Ashley” post since this was one of the questions you had asked a few weeks ago. And now, looking back, it’s even MORE meaningful to see how this topic was on your heart earlier on. Life sure unfolds in an interesting way and I like to think we receive the lessons and messages we need in perfect timing. So glad to know it resonated with you!

  • Reply
    Allie @ Between Dreams
    March 25, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Beautiful post! “Make peace with your inner critic” has been a BIG one for me.

    • Reply
      March 25, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      Thanks, Allie! It’s been a big one for me as well!

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