When we do this, we give all our power and attention to these imaginary ideas. In reality, this is simply a delay tactic. So how would you know if you were constructing false obstacles and giving away your power to them? Here are some ways this habit tends to manifest itself.
Perhaps you want someone to laugh with, to love, or to marry. But instead of focusing on that goal, you decide that there are all these other things that have to be done first.
For example, maybe you want to get into better shape before you can meet someone, or lose another 20 lbs. Or maybe you need to get your finances in order and save a little money. Perhaps you “need” a better job before you can settle into that perfect relationship.
All of these prerequisites are creations of your mind. You can go about dating just fine without getting a new job first. When you’re looking for a lifelong partner, you want to be with someone who will love you whether you’re 20 lbs lighter or weigh just what you do right now.
Maybe you have the partner you want and that dream is well under control. Now you long for an exciting social life filled with fun, friends, and adventure. Getting out of the house on a regular basis seems like a great opportunity. So why don’t you?
Perhaps you haven’t felt able to let go of the less fulfilling social relationships you have now. Maybe you spend all your energy on the belief that you’re not interesting and no one would want to be your friend. Are these ideas helping or hurting you?
You might even give all your attention to relationships you’ve formed online or with TV characters on your favorite shows. Are these things part of your vision for your perfect social life?
Perhaps your social life and partnership are just fine. Your goals now include a career that’s interesting and fulfilling, one that fills you with a sense of accomplishment and pride. You want to make a significant difference in the world. You want to feel excited, passionate, and motivated.
But instead, you stay at a job you dislike in order to make ends meet. It’s amazing how much power bills have over us, when they’re just little pieces of paper with a few numbers typed on them. So many of us use our bills as an excuse not to find a career that we love. We devote our energy toward the belief that we can’t do what we want to do because we have bills to pay.
Imagine for a moment what your life would look like if, instead of focusing on bills, you spent your energy executing a plan to create a career that gave you everything you really want. Where would you be five years from now if you did this? Where will you be five years from now if you keep doing what you have been doing?
How to Stop Stalling and Start Living
So you’ve established that you do give away your power to obstacles you’ve created! What do you do now?
First, determine what you’re afraid of. Tell yourself you can have everything you want. Be specific about your goal. Then listen for a negative answer inside of yourself. Often, this will manifest as, “But I can’t… (I never, I won’t, there’s not enough…).”
Once you know what your “buts” are, you can assess your fears. “But nobody I really like would want to be friends with me,” is really you telling yourself, “I’m not good enough.” Get the idea? Instead of using your power to achieve your goals, you’ve been giving it to a false belief that you don’t have what’s needed to accomplish what you want.
Now you have all the key information to keep from giving your power away. Next time you’re thinking about how much you want to achieve your goals, listen closely for that voice that says, “But…” Then, use your power to tell yourself the truth. You are good enough. You are skinny enough. You are lovable (responsible, capable, motivated…).
If you find that you have trouble talking back to the negative self-talk, there’s no shame in enlisting professionals to help out. A counselor or mentor can aid enormously in this process.
Ultimately, your goal is to use your power to benefit you, not to tear yourself down inside. Even if you just take the steps given above and never do anything else, you’ll find yourself closer to reaching your goals than ever before. Give your power to the things that mean the most to you. A life spent in this manner brings fulfillment and success.