My chance encounter last week got me thinking about the barriers that separate us from success. How one lucky break can get us through to a dream job interview, a new social circle, a whole new venture. Singular moments where your world collides with possibility, proving you may be closer than you think to your dreams.
It’s like there’s a thin membrane that separates us from the next big level in our lives. Like that portal thingee in Stargate. If we can just break through this thin barrier, we can step into another dimension of success, using the talent and experience we already have.
Challenging The Laws Of Physics
Try this little experiment. Get a cup of water and try to float a paperclip on it. If you’re like most people and most paperclips, you will fail. It will sink to the bottom.
Now, take a second paperclip, bend the inside loop 90 degrees to form a letter ‘L’. Then place the first paperclip on this ‘L’ shaped clip and lower it gently to the water’s surface. If you’re like most people and most paperclips, it will now float on the surface.
Amazing right? How can this piece of metal float on water? It’s because of a thin membrane of surface tension caused by air pressure pushing down on the water.
How Surface Tension Keeps Us From What We Want
Like the membrane on top of water created by surface tension, you may be stuck behind a thin membrane separating you from success.
A flexible barrier caused by opposing simultaneous forces. The outside force, pushing inward, is life’s circumstances that keep you in check. Lack of time or money or knowing the right people. Things that can be solved with effort, patience, and a little luck.
On the inside pushing outward, is the pressure from your internal beliefs. You create this in your head, thinking the things you want are so far away and require huge shifts in your circumstances.
Self-limiting beliefs cause the internal pressure that forms the thin membrane separating us from our desires.
You May Be Closer Than You Think
So, what if we lessen the internal pressure? Suddenly the membrane weakens. Our thinking can pierce the pressure that holds us back. Then it’s just a matter of hustle and patience and persistence. Things we have. Things we can control.
We need to see what’s possible, and listen to the little whispers of our deepest desires. Yet most of us are afraid of our desires. They’re scary because they challenge our current circumstances. We can’t be stand-up comedians because we have families to support. We can’t be wealthy because we’re afraid of losing money in the stock market. We can’t be artists because we can’t make a living right now with our music, our acting or our poetry.
How We Self Sabotage
Those fears keep us from doing what we can do – chip away, little by little, with the discretionary time we do have.
Our desires are so scary that we actually manufacture situations so we can tell the little whispers they’re not practical.
We procrastinate little unimportant things, like paperwork and filing deadlines, until they become urgent. Then we tell ourselves that we can’t chase our dreams. We have to do these other things or the lights will go off or the IRS will garnish our meager wages.
In the end, we’re so afraid of trying and failing that we create situations that rob us of the chance to try. We tell the little whispers to be quiet and go away – until we retire, or our ships come in, or our big breaks materialize.
Little Breaks Are All We Need
Big breaks are great, but what we really need are little breaks. Little cracks in the membrane, enough to allow us to squeeze through. To taste enough success to know our talent is real, our skills are valuable, and our dreams are achievable.
Get on your feet, get up and make it happen
Get on your feet, stand up and take some action…
So get out your paperclips. Bend them, float them, and once you see how you can challenge the laws of physics, use their little pointy ends to poke holes. Holes big enough to step through – in the direction of your little whispered desires. Because your dreams may be closer than you think…