Don’t let your ideas die on the vine.
Many creative people spend all their time coming up with ideas, but not enough time putting them into action.
This is like planting grapevines and never harvesting the fruit.
Like grapes, ideas have their own time of peak flavor and freshness. Wait too long to harvest the fruit of your labor and instead of savoring your success, you’ll just end up with sour grapes.
Fences in Your Mind
I’ve watched the movie Chicken Run at least a half-dozen times. Just beneath the surface of its simplistic look and story line lie a number of wonderful messages told by a bunch of Claymation chickens trying to break out of their chicken-wire world to escape their fate on the chopping block. Their freedom leader, a feisty little hen named Ginger, comments profoundly in one scene: “The fences are all in your mind.” She reminds her fellow chickens (and us), that bigger than the physical fences they’re surrounded by are the mental fences that hold them captive.
It’s been a good reminder for me on those occasions when I’ve been dealing with my own mental fences…those created by self-doubt, uncertainty, fear. Can you relate? Where have you fenced yourself in mentally in recent days or weeks? Perhaps your mental fence is procrastination, a deadening habit that keeps you stuck. Maybe yours, like mine, is related to self-doubt, and the on-going internal noise it produces that keeps you immobilized. Perhaps yours is the belief that you don’t deserve success, so you sabotage yourself to avoid having to find out how successful you could be. There are a million variations of the theme, but the result is still the same: we stay stuck like the chickens in the movie.
One of the key questions is, “How do I limit myself and how can I stop?” Those limitations are never external. They always live inside us. The antidote to being trapped by our mental fences is to create a compelling enough vision that, like Ginger and her flock of chicken friends, we’re willing to resort to amazing measures to break out. The formula:
Vision + Consistent Action = Freedom
I challenge you to take some bold, even outrageous steps to break free of your mental fences. If it’s procrastination, declare a “freedom day” and take action on everything you’ve been putting off: from cleaning your office, to making phone calls, to responding to emails you’ve avoided.
If it’s self-doubt, sit down and write out everything you value and why it’s important. Then challenge yourself to eliminate anything that doesn’t absolutely reflect your values, or add something that profoundly reflects who you are.
Freedom is just the other side of action.
Recognize that your mental fences can only keep you stuck as long as you’re looking at them. They can only contain you as long as you’re not taking actions consistent with your vision. Go ahead, take the action you’ve avoided and leap into a future filled with possibilities. And remember, the fences are all in your mind!
“Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.
Don’t wish for fewer problems, wish for more skills.
Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom.”
– Earl Shoaf
Reposted from: Positive People Power!, Austin Texas Photo credit: Fenceguide.com