Get out of your own way… By breaking through your roadblocks!
‘Get out of your own way!’ is one of my life mottos and it basically means as the name suggests that you remove yourself as an obstruction in your path way to success.
As humans we have a huge habit of making things WAY more complicated than they need to be with our thoughts and silly little actions (or in-actions!), taking over common sense and this quote summarises it perfectly…
“The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Unless our brains get involved. Then we’ll find a way to roam the world looking for complicated alternatives”
This is the first of my ‘Get out of your own way!’ blog series and today I’m going to be inspiring you to remove mental roadblocks and push through physical ones. To encourage you to look at behavior based actions and steps by using something called afformations (not be confused with affirmations!). And help you chunk things down rather than traditional goal setting which can sometimes be big and scare you, causing procrastination (more on that in a few blogs’ time!).
“You are far too smart to be standing in your own way”
It’s true. Ladies come on, you’re better than this!
Roadblocks are something I teach on my BEST program. And if you’d like to listen to the week 20 Removing Roadblocks call in full, you can sign up for free at the bottom of this blog! It is a really practical call, explores all the different roadblocks people have and really is great for helping you get out of your own way!
But basically roadblocks stop us from moving forwards. If we break the word up, road is something that takes us where we want to go, blocks are things that get in the way.
As humans we get stuck where we are with a combination of physical road blocks (these can of course often be genuine reasons) but also mental roadblocks (the things we tell ourselves and / or we believe to be true) which can also show up as excuses as well as limiting beliefs. Sometimes though what we think are physical blocks can also be mental ones. And this is really where we can get out of our own way!
Roadblocks do one (or all!) of these things:
- Stop you reaching your full potential
- Delay you reaching your full potential
- Make your journey to reaching your potential much more difficult
- Increase your stress levels
- Keep you stuck
- Make you feel like a failure
“Man stands in his own shadows and wonders why it’s dark” Zen Proverb
Roadblocks (whether physical, mental or a combination of both) can be broken through with the right approach, mindset and actions. And with a ‘get out of your own way’ mentality, the process can actually feel quite empowering and even enjoyable! Because you’re owning your stuff so to speak and taking command of what’s going on rather than just letting things happen and being grumpy about it.
But humans (especially women!) tend to be over thinkers, do too much, have lots self-doubt, are easily distracted, aren’t objective and make emotional choices instead and talk a lot about what they want rather than GET ON WITH IT!
They also tend to have very high standards with an all or nothing mentality which is one of the most unhelpful behaviours and habits to have – which in turn breeds pressure, yet still nothing seems to get done – sound familiar?!
Also (and this is very important), when looking at roadblocks, look out for the word ‘because’ and ‘yeah but’ in particular. Because when you say you can’t do something because of something, that’s usually your belief – a roadblock in itself. Same for yeah but!
So let’s look at some road block examples and how you can turn them around…
NB: You can of course use the following exercises with ANY challenge you want to break through 🙂
“I want to exercise at the moment, but I can’t because I’ve got a lot on at work”
If someone said you could find a way to do it, you might respond ‘Yeah but…’
Therefore you have a belief that as you’ve got lots on at work you can’t possibly exercise at the moment. You are likely to think you have a physical roadblock to exercise (workload) and you accept it as a given. But is this a physical roadblock? Are you sure it’s not a mental one?!
Stop for a moment to ask yourself whether other people who are busy with work are able to exercise? Of course they are. And this is different evidence for you to consider that is contrary to your current belief.
So ask yourself ‘What are they doing to make this happen?’. (NB – 3rd party brain storming is often easier than doing it for yourself!)
- Perhaps they are exercising 3 times a week instead of 6 times a week
- Maybe they’re saying no to social media and yes to an hour’s extra sleep and getting up early to get it done
- Perhaps they are training at the weekends and not the week
- Or working out for 20 minutes a day instead of an hour a day
- Maybe they’re walking 40 minutes into the office by getting off a tube stop early
Whatever the list, this is giving you a list of solutions already to your barrier / reasons /excuses?!
“See barriers as hurdles and get over them!”
With smashing through roadblocks, it’s essentially looking at WHAT YOU WANT to do and ensuring that you make it happen by NOT BEING PART OF THE PROBLEM YOURSELF!
“If you just get out of your own way, it’s amazing what will come to you” Laird Hamilton
Also with this example you can detect another underlying belief such as ‘I must exercise perfectly for it to be worth it’ or a variant of that – the all or nothing belief I mentioned above. One of my key messages to my clients is that ‘SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING!.
When we take the pressure off to do the big, perfect and almighty, you’d be amazed at what you can still achieve with small steps and actions 🙂
Another great exercise you can do is an afformation* (not be confused with affirmation) brainstorm.
So in this example supposing your goal is to ‘Get through your busy work period whilst finding the time to exercise’.
An affirmation would be something like “I am nailing work along exercise, I can and I will watch me” – and you’d remind yourself of this statement regularly as a motivational tool. This can be really helpful to some (I love using these), but in my 2018 Sidmouth BEST retreat I was astounded to see how many women couldn’t come up with an affirmation that they could truly connect with.
But with afformations, created by a man called Noah St John, you’d literally ask yourself:
Why did I get through that busy work period and find time to exercise?
And then because the brain is better at responding to questions, you open up the brain to give you your options, solutions AND action points to help you get there! You’ll have also more than likely gone into a visual picture (as the brain searches for what you’ve asked of it!) of you achieving that goal already which is additionally helpful, yaaay.
It’s a fabulous little twist that helps your mind work better for you and perhaps you will have come up with a list similar to the one above with what others have done to make something happen. So two different exercises which can help you get a variety of answers depending on which one is most powerful to you 🙂
Here’s another roadblock example – me!
Yes even the roadblocks coach herself still gets stuck and I really needed to get out of my own way recently. And I wanted to share how I’ve done that using the advice above…
Many of you will know I have 3 kids by myself, it’s utterly exhausting (and magical of course!), and despite me making it as enjoyable as possible, I get really frustrated with my work and not achieving what I want to do.
I can be guilty of saying ‘ I can’t make this happen because I’ve got 3 kids by myself!’ and go through phases of thinking ‘I can’t do this anymore’ Or even going against myself (not helpful whatsoever!) as I hit these walls of frustration and tiredness.
So recently I challenged myself and said OK Janey, break it down. What is the work frustration really about? Because often we say one thing but mean another! How can you turn it around? Are you sure YOU’RE NOT PART OF THE PROBLEM HERE?
So to share with you, I was frustrated with my work because:
- I want to put more hours in to my work but I find it hard to work smart more than 4/5 hours a day
- I have a terrible-sleeping daughter who can get up at 2/3/4am and stay up which impacts my energy and focus in my work time
- Every evening in the week I have all 3 kids by myself after 3.30pm and for all the weekends too and it’s very hard
- I want to do more videos and write more content, but on the days I can record at home I’m often not in a good place to make them and it drives me mad!
- My brain gets mangled with all the things I have to do for work / home / kids and I feel overwhelmed with everything going on in my life and that can impact my mindset.
- I know I’m doing too much and sometimes not sure what to change and where to put my focus.
- Childcare challenges come up and as my daughter has delayed speech I am having to put a lot of focus on her both at home and with appointments
- I lose confidence when I feel frustrated because my RAS (reticular activating system) shifts it’s default to the negative and difficult when I’m in that place
- Then I think I’m not doing a good job
Now you can argue that my situation is a physical roadblock, I have 3 kids by myself. But as a mindset coach I always like to see if you can twist the narrative!
As can you see when I broke down my work frustrations it was actually home and mindset that needed the focus to clear my path to work. It would have been so easy for me to say ‘I just can’t do this because of my situation’.
But what I needed to do was to dig deep to my current challenges and then look at solutions and see how I could GET OUT MY OWN WAY.
I was feeling stuck and stagnated (huge mental roadblock right?!) and getting miserable. And then the fear and negativity slipped in as my inner dialogue shifted. This happens so very easily and one of the things I help women most with in my coaching practice.
So I switched my focus to WHAT CAN I DO and / or CHANGE. Because there is always a different perspective, new habits, better behaviours you can implement in any situation
Much better feeling already, can you see?! I did the ‘what would someone else do’ exercise And I did the afformations exercise I mentioned above too, specifically with a business goal I want to have and I asked:
Why did I achieve that goal? (play around with the tone so that you get the best reaction from it too).
And I came up with a long and extremely helpful list that incorporated things I could do at work differently and things I can do at home to help me out. That list has give me a set of action points to help me pave the way to where I want to go and has lifted my mood and mindset as a result.
Here were some of the solutions that I wanted to share because they are very different in topic yet all contribute to removing my roadblocks and I hope they help you think out of the box in terms of you turning yours around too!
- Sleep is the core of my energy, focus, work and mindset. If it means keeping my daughter up later so I lose my evenings but I get 9/10 hours sleep, then that’s what I will do (compromise in one area to gain in a MORE important area). Sleep is the number one thing I need at the moment not more hours in the day to work which is what I initially thought. You see often people say ‘ I need X!’ but actually they need Y!
- To lower my exercise sessions to 3 x a week (to take the pressure off my time). I’m doing 3 x 30 mins a week of conditioning (why I’ve created the Busy Woman’s Bootcamp – see below!) and some power walking around that.
- My daughter will be in 4 days of nursery very soon and my new au pair will do more evenings then (I needed to remind myself that this was on it’s way, as we can often get stuck in our current time zone, forgetting that there is an easier future that lies ahead which is different!).
- To work much more ahead with work so that I can give myself permission to have time off or do less brain work on my off days. (I don’t need to be super woman but I can be more clever with my time / planning for sure)
- To keep de-cluttering and simplifying my home (because the less crap you have around the less you have to deal with and the better you feel in yourself 100%!) – I read a great book last year called ‘UnF**k your habit, you’re better than your mess!’ and so I do 10-15 mins a day every day at the moment and it is helping a lot.
- To write more content and make more videos because I have a talent and voice which means I can help women all over the world and I CAN do these things when I’ve got better sleep and working more ahead with my work (solutions often link to others)
- To remind myself of my ability and all the things I am doing and have done and tell myself what an amazing job I’m doing in my current situation when many would have crumbled. Saying GO ME can be just as helpful as saying GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY!
- To take the pressure off myself by using the SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING mindset – work, writing, videos, exercise, decluttering whatever, something really is better than nothing, you’ve just got to chunk it down and GET STARTED! Getting started lowers fear and frustration too!
- Not to focus on the things I’m not doing (-yet) but to let them go. They don’t need to sit on my shoulders like a perched parrot. I actually told the parrot to effing fly away the other day and that helped me a lot!
- To JUST DO the things I need to do to make progress on crashing through this temporary and mental roadblock. And guess what the solutions that came from this exercise really helped me to make very important baby steps 🙂
It doesn’t matter what your roadblocks are, using the above exercises can help you so much. But you do really just have yo get out your own way.
A final tips for you all is to focus on more behavior based goals. Hopefully you can see with my example above that when you chunk a goal down, look for the solutions and then implement the behaviours.
“To make success a habit, set more behavior-based goals instead of outcome-based goals”
Switch things up from what you WANT to what you need to DO to get what you want.
So instead of me focusing on my business goal, my focus is on the steps that pave the way to the goal. With the exercise example, you would focus on the smaller behaviours needed to make the exercise happen around a heavy workload and as I suggested look beyond just exercise).
And then you know what you need to do, get out of your own way so you can set those behaviours in motion!
There are lots of ways I can help you get out of your own way!
If you’d like to listen to my BEST week 20 Roadblocks call, you can sign up here:
(please note I am fully GPDR compliant and you will only receive the call details and one further email)
As I mentioned, I am hugely excited to announce my BRAND NEW Busy Woman’s Bootcamp which is designed to help women GET OUT OF THEIR OWN WAY, GET IT DONE AND GET ON WITH THEIR DAY. And also primarily focuses on simple, effective food planning that are essential if you are busy but want to be healthy (more on that in next week’s blog!)
BEST is a complete roadblock beater from start to finish really! And you can now join BEST throughout the year (before it was just once a year in January). Combining practical, psychological and inspirational content, this program is simply incredible. Especially if you know you’ve got self-limiting beliefs and behaviours that you’d like to break away from!
And something I deal with most in my coaching practice is women who are in debt or not managing their money. Which is why I created the Money Manager program. Is not being on your money management a big roadblock for you like it is for many women? If so this is a great program that you can get stuck into to free yourself from unnecessary stress and chaos!
Any questions, give me a shout,
And good luck getting out of your own way!