Our family is vacationing in Park City, Utah this month. I enjoy sitting on the deck which overlooks a large pond that is frequented by ducks and geese. It’s a peaceful, quiet place to sit and ponder a meaningful life filled with passion and purpose.
The other day, I noticed the gardener mowing the enormous piece of land around the pond. What I found most interesting was how he created a boundary between the land and the pond. He left the grass and weeds a bit high between the pond and the ground around our deck. It created a “boundary” for people walking by. As a matter of fact, I’ve noticed that my children will not cross that area. Greg and I have not said anything to them about the pond and yet, this “boundary” created the idea, “do not trespass.”
This got me thinking about the “boundaries” that live within us as we walk through life.
The journey from being a child to becoming an adult is one that can be filled with lessons and advice that do not always benefit us later in life. Although these messages may be filled with love and good intentions, they can sometimes keep us from crossing our own “imaginary boundaries” into realizing our Big ideas, dreams, and goals.
Some of the messages we received from childhood are harmless. For example, my grandfather used to say that if your hair was wet at night after a bath, you shouldn’t go near the door or window. He would say, “You might catch a draft of cold air and get sick with a cold.” Guess who will not go out at night with wet hair? Yep, you got it!
Other childhood messages can keep us “stuck” within our “imaginary boundaries.” Maybe you were told you are “not good with numbers” or “you are such a dreamer, get out of the clouds!” These messages can become our story over time and keep us in a tight space mentally.
How we begin to perceive ourselves at a young age tends to follow us into adult life. For most of my adult life, I never really thought of myself as creative. I did not think that I was very good at art (drawing, coloring, painting) and really have no early childhood memories of doing these activities. Up until I reached my early forties, this was my reality. Through my work with women, I’ve come to realize that creativity does not always mean drawing, coloring, and painting. I now realize that I’m very creative in many ways. Being an entrepreneur is one of the most creative paths you can choose. Everyday you make decisions that grow and shape the business through a creative, problem-solving process. I’ve crossed my own “imaginary boundary” and it feels good. I continue to challenge myself in many ways so that I can feel plenty of open space around me.
How about you? Do you have any “imaginary boundaries” that are keeping you from crossing over into a life filled with passion and purpose? Do you find yourself listening to the old messages from others that may be holding you back from reaching your potential? Is there something new that you would like to accomplish but you are not sure if you can? Many people are so afraid of failure that they cannot take the first step forward. This is where it’s essential to have a personal board of advisors, a mentor or coach that can champion you, challenge your thinking about your “imaginary boundaries” and help you move into action.
We are capable of so much; yet, many times we accomplish so little based on our own limited thinking from past messages. Do you have boundaries that you are fearful to cross? It’s important to see our lives as open territory with many options available to us. Remember: It’s not trespassing if you cross your own boundaries.
I will leave you with a quote from Nelson Mandela: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
© 2008 Joy Chudacoff
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