In case you have not noticed, life is full of barriers that are strategically positioned on the critical paths of everyone’s dreams.  A critical path in simple terms is a path you have to go through, with no alternative route.  It can be the first path towards the direction of your dreams followed by general paths with alternative routes, it can be in the middle of your journey towards your goal, or it can be your last lap and when you can literally smell your success.

The question to ask yourself every time you come across a barrier is, “Is this a blockage for me not to achieve my dream or is it a challenge for me to show how much I need to achieve my dream?” This is a question most people do not ask themselves, as a result, dreams get abandoned at this stage.

I need all of you to understand that pursuing your dreams is not like a soccer match, where there is a referee who has the power to blow the whistle on you and get you off the soccer field through a red card.  There are many of us, who, when experiencing difficulties, behave like a referee has just pointed us out of the soccer field. We have a silent whistle in our subconscious minds that says “Stop now, you could not do it anyway, just quit”.  We make the referee to be our negative inner voice. This is the inner voice that we need to eliminate entirely, and only us can eliminate it, nobody else can, because nobody else can hear it except you. An inner voice can be a negative inner voice for those who do not succeed, or a positive inner voice that propels others to succeed.

An inner voice capitalizes on your perceived weaknesses and withdraws your adrenalin towards a particular goal, whilst a positive inner voice affirms your capabilities and gives you the adrenalin to help you to march forward. You therefore need to fight your negative inner voice by creating a positive inner voice that says the opposite and affirms your strengths and downplays your weaknesses.   This fight is necessary because the negative inner voice only creeps up when there is a problem to be solved, when an option to fight or flight is in front of you.  At this stage, make it your business to fight for your dreams through a positive inner voice instead of abandoning your dreams.

“Is this a blockage for me not to achieve my dream or is it a challenge for me to show how much I need to achieve my dream?”

For example, when a negative inner voice says “I am not clever enough to understand this anyway, I must find a course that does not work with such numbers and formulas.” Create and fight back with a positive inner voice that says, “Hey I am a genius and I can work this out, I have solved some complex problems before.”

Another example: “I am not good in dealing with people that is why my business is failing, I must start a business that does not expect me to deal with people.”   A positive inner voice can fight this by saying “Business is about people I am good with them, this is just a difficult character I must learn to deal with.”  

Your positive inner voice must be strong enough to pump you the adrenalin that is more than enough to propel you to march forward with conviction towards your dream.

Barriers that we come across all the time, are just personal invitations for us to overcome them, rather than a locked path for us never to reach.  We must treat barriers within a playful context, for example, you are serious to achieve something, and a laughing rock comes in front of you that says “hahaha you want that? jump me first” this playful rock only expects you to do your best to jump it and for you to laugh at it in return.  When you turn your back and run away from this rock, you’re ending the game and making it miserable, not happy.  So next time you hit a barrier, remember the playful context and say “Yes I can jump over you, what do you take me for, a baby?”  and you do your best to prove the barrier wrong and laugh at it.  Let the barrier just make you more tired than you anticipated when you reach your finishing line, or at worst just let it make you to take longer to achieve your dream.  Don’t end your game unnecessarily, don’t hear a whistle from an unforeseen referee in a non-existent soccer game.

Always remember’ “Barriers are just challenges, are just an invitation for you to overcome them, rather than a reason to abandon your dreams”.

I was interviewed on 3 Talk some time back by Noeleen Maholwana and touched on the issue of negative inner voice and the mentality to consider barriers as challenges to be overcome.