Saturday, January 6, 2018

It’s Time for You to Get Out of Your Own Way in 2018

Happy New Year! It’s always easy to blame someone else for your misfortunes. You then don’t have to take the fall, the rap, responsibility, or be accountable for your behavior, attitude, actions, or lack thereof. As a matter of fact, this all started in your childhood. You learned that to fall, falter, or fail, could mean dire consequences for you. You feared that you would be punished, isolated, ostracized, alienated, and sometimes castigated. As a result, not only did you learn to avoid owning up to what was wrong and what went wrong, you would also exacerbate the problem on many occasions by either trying to cover up the problem, implement unhealthy actions and behaviors, or you would just keep doing the same things you had been doing all along… what was always wrong.

You are now a grown man or grown woman, the behaviors, thoughts, and actions that you exhibited as a child should now be behind you, especially in 2018. This is clearly stated in I Corinthians 13:11—“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” During your childhood you didn’t know as much as you know now and you kept getting in your own way, creating cycles of repeated nonproductive and time-consuming behaviors that kept you operating in 360-degree repetitive cycles, instead of 180-degree cycles of change and growth. Children are usually the ones to get in their own way; adults should be the ones to clear and pave the way!

In 2017, as well as previous years, I’m sure that you can identify the times you have stood in your own way, wreaking havoc along the way. Remember that man/woman you became involved with, even though you knew he/she was not the person for you? You were so lonely, so fearful of being alone, and so desperate that you were not willing to take the time to get to know him/her, you settled for less, accepted less, and wound up with mess! You were so busy looking for somebody that you settled for anybody, who turned out to be nobody!  It’s time for you to get out of your won way!

How did you get so in debt that you are barely making it? You have been perpetrating a fraud for so long, trying to keep up with the Joneses, who are just as broke as you, and you are living way above your means. Because you want to be accepted by everybody and you often don’t feel worthy, you have found yourself spending out of control, trying to please and fit with people you don’t know, you don’t like, and those who probably don’t know you or like you.

I could go on and on, reminding you of all of the times you have gotten in your own way, but time and space won’t allow me to do so. However, I’m sure that you get the gist of some of the ways that you can get in your own way. The bottom line now comes down to, what are you going to do about it? It is time for you to put on your big girl panties or big boy britches and take a stand for growth and change.

Now that you have entered into a new year, you have an opportunity to leave the old year behind you and start doing some new, constructive, and productive things in your life. One of those new, constructive, and productive things is for you to finally get out of your way! It is time for you to stop crossing up yourself, stepping on yourself, and tripping over yourself by living on ‘Insanity Lane.’ It is time to finally admit that your greatest problems haven’t necessarily been because of others, but often because of you! And I give you permission to admit this without kicking yourself in your behind, beating yourself up, scorning yourself, or getting rid of yourself. The problem isn’t falling, faltering, or failing; it’s not getting back up! I give you permission to finally get back up and then get out of your own way!

When you finally decide to get out of your own way, you will then allow the flood gates of life to open, pushing a steady flow of new, productive, positive opportunities, options, and other possibilities that have been blocked by you getting in your own way. However, one of the first things that you must do is to recognize that you have been standing in your own way, blocking your view, hindering the new, and preventing all that you deserve from coming to and through you, without obstruction.

Now that you’ve admitted that you are in your own way, you must want to get out of your way and work on the areas in your life that need to be strengthened with hard work, perseverance, motivation, and determination. If you are ready to move forward, here is your assignment. Look at the list below of ten critical areas and determine which of them indicate areas that show where you are in your own way, blocking your way and hindering your path for success in 2018. Be honest with yourself! And to make it palatable for you, you don’t have to work on all of your deficient areas at the same time, but you must work on them if you desire growth and positive change in your life in 2018.

You need pen and paper to list your five identified critical areas that you have chosen to work on from the list below, in order for you to get out of your own way in 2018. Once you identify your top five critical areas to work on, set a goal for each of the critical areas. Setting goals will allow you to correct the areas and move out of your own way. Also, document three action steps for each of your five chosen critical areas that you can and will implement during the process of meeting your goals and finally getting out of your way. In addition to the action steps, be sure to include timelines for you to use as a measure for when you expect to implement your action steps and meet your goals. It is also imperative for you to include a contingency plan for each of your five chosen critical areas that you will work on. If one action plan doesn’t work, you will have a backup plan. Finally, keep a journal, documenting your feelings and thoughts, as well as your accomplishments during your ‘getting out of your own way journey.’ Now let’s get started! Get up, get to work, and get out of your own way! 

Ten Critical Areas of Getting in Your Own Way

1.     Your self-esteem-How you see & feel about yourself-Low & negative self-esteem can and will have a detrimental impact on your belief in yourself, your motivation your outlook on life & your overall success. You must work to increase your self-esteem.
2.     Your belief system-You have a negative belief about yourself and your abilities. As a matter of fact, you don’t believe that you deserve anything or anyone positive in your life & you will often sabotage your success. You believe I can’t instead of I CAN! You must learn to trust yourself in order to believe in yourself, using oral positive self-talk, learning to state aloud, ‘I CAN, I WILL & I AM.’ 
3.     Your faith-You don’t seem to have a spiritual connection, a spiritual foundation, or a belief in a higher power-- God. You are very pessimistic and you don’t have an anchor to hold onto when your life is spinning and/or spiraling out of control. Because you have no faith in a higher power, you often feel hopeless & helpless, rendering you unable to see and believe that your life, your life situations & life circumstances CAN & WILL get better & be better!
4.     Your mindset-Your mindset is one of negativity! You think negative & you speak negative on a daily basis. You have a firm hold on Murphy’s Law; if it’s bad & it can happen to anyone, it will probably happen to you. Because you think negative, you feel negative, often times finding yourself psychologically unstable. It’s time for you to engage in mental health treatment.
5.     Your outlook on life-You have a negative outlook on life. If you don’t see it, you can’t behold it!! You see failure as the norm, rather than the exception in your life. You are often depressed, because you see no way out of tough situations & you believe you are a failure & your life mirrors the same. Not only does your future look bleak, you live in bleakness everyday, with a cloud hanging over your head. You must begin to open your blinds of life & let the sunshine in; just stop standing in the rain!
6.     Your lack of forgiveness- You have difficulty forgiving yourself & for others. You are burdened down on a daily basis because you hold onto past hurts, pains & disappointments. Let it go! Let them go! Your heart is too small to carry people in it!
7.     Your selfishness-Everything is about me, my & I; you are always taking and rarely giving or sharing! In some cases you are narcissistic; no one matters but you. You walk around with both hands open when you want something from others, but you stand with closed fists and a closed heart when it comes to sharing & giving to others. You believe everybody owes you something. You can’t hold onto everything; closed fists not only keep things in, they blocks things from coming in! Learn to be more conciliatory & altruistic!
8.     Holding onto dead & lifeless situations-You don’t seem to know when to let go. You hold onto people, situations & circumstances that have no meaning for or in your life and they have no life of their own. These people, situations & things are not only dead weight, they are leeches; sucking everything they can from & out of you! They mean you no good! There is no value or worth to them. They are liabilities instead of assets & they yield no return. However, you hold on to them…they are Toxic! Purge & cleanse yourself of these liabilities; you’ll do much better without them!
9.     Residence on ‘Insanity Lane’ & ‘Fool Street’-You keep doing the same things, you go in the same direction & you follow the same paths that take you nowhere and net you nothing, time after time, expecting a different results. You keep expecting people & situations to change…PEOPLE DON’T CHANGE; THEY MUST GROW! You must stop investing in negative situations & negative people going nowhere. If he/she has crapped on you for the past five years & you have accepted it, he/she will continue to crap on you in the New Year! Wake up, smell the roses & stop sniffing dried weeds!
10.  Your decision making-You make poor decisions or you just don’t make any at all, because you don’t trust yourself. Too often, you make decisions based on the needs and wants of others, on a hunch, or on your feelings, and not on the facts, your beliefs, or your faith! Either you make decisions that are prudent & beneficial for you or someone will keep making them for you! Learn to trust yourself! You are probably just as smart or smarter than the average person!

Go ahead…just GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY in 2018!

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