I have always been fascinated by invisible fences. You know the ones that dog owners put in their yard to keep their pet from wandering off?
What intrigues me is how these fences keep pets contained. Why don't they move past the quick jolt and then they would be free? But, for some reason, the pet is restricted by its own fear.
To me, the invisible fence is the perfect analogy for life. Invisible fences constrict and control so many people. People believe that they are not good enough, or smart enough, or capable, or that life was not fair to them. In reality the only person holding them back is their own perceived limitations.
Gary Vaynerchuk has a great quote on this topic. He says, "When you’re grateful for what you have instead of being upset with what you deserve, life gets really good."
Just last week I met a young man who, at the age of 16, was living on the street because he could not get along with his parents. He had to survive on his own to feed, clothe, bathe, and educate himself. What a tough life for someone so young to endure.
During that time, he had a choice. A choice to let life get him down and make bad decisions, or a choice to pick himself up and make the decision to succeed. Today, at 32, he is a successful young man with a wife and a beautiful little boy and a promising career ahead of him.
We all face adversity one way or another, but how we handle the invisible fence tells a lot about who we are. To get past a personal invisible fence, it may require the help of your friends, colleagues, or a support group. However, as I talked about in a previous Marty's Minute, it could be as simple as talking to yourself. Have a conversation with yourself about what is going on and how you can overcome your fear.
How do you get past the invisible fence? First and foremost you need to admit the problem exists. Then, understand the problem and how it is causing you not to be your best. Next, accept yourself with empathy and compassion, and lastly push yourself to meet your goal.
While each step in and of itself is relatively simple, though indeed not easy, with persistence, you can take steps to tear down these invisible fences in your life and become the person you are supposed to be.
Until next time…I’m Marty, make every minute count.