|Fences in Your Mind
from Living a Five Star Life
by Betty Mahalik
|Iâ€™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 through the eyes of a bunch of Claymation chickens trying to break out of their chicken-wire world to escape their fate at the chopping block. Their freedom leader, a feisty little hen named Ginger, comments profoundly in one scene: â€œthe fences are all in your mind.â€ She reminds her fellow chickens (and us), that a bigger obstacle than the physical fences theyâ€™re surrounded by are the mental fences that hold them captive.
Itâ€™s been a good reminder for me on those occasions when Iâ€™ve been dealing with my own mental fencesâ€¦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 donâ€™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 questionsÂ is: â€œHow do I limit myself and how can I stop?â€ 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, weâ€™re willing to resort to amazing measures to break out.
|I challenge you to take some bold, even outrageous steps to break free of your mental fences. If itâ€™s procrastination, declare a â€œfreedom dayâ€ and take action on everything youâ€™ve been putting off: from cleaning your office to making phone calls or responding to emails youâ€™ve avoided.
If itâ€™s self-doubt, sit down and write out everything you value and why itâ€™s important. Then challenge yourself to eliminate anything that doesnâ€™t absolutely reflect your values, or add something that is a profound statement of who you are.
|Recognize that your mental fences can only keep you stuck as long as youâ€™re looking at them. They can only contain you as long as youâ€™re not taking actions consistent with your vision. Go ahead, take the action youâ€™ve avoided and leap into a future filled with possibilities. And remember, the fences are all in your mind!|