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As a recent university postgraduate, I finally decided to follow my heart and start a YouTube channel that I believe will significantly help me to live my dream of being a motivational speaker, educator, life coach, mentor, and other types of change agent. Also, in the quest for self-development and that of others, I started a business page on Facebook that is designed to change the lives of people by helping them to change their negative or limiting mindset. I was motivated by a philosophy I penned many years ago when I was faced with many barriers to self-development: “I’d rather die with my dreams unfulfilled than allow my dreams to die while I live.”
I was certain 2019 was going to be the year that I got all the courage I needed to upload my first set of videos, but I again got cold feet. I had so many excuses, but I decided that if I am currently encouraging mindset change and helping people in their quest for self-development, I could not accept those excuses again this year. The excuses were ‘valid’ and included the need to lose weight so that I do not look very plump in my videos, and that the phone I have can’t take great videos, so I would start as soon as I got a high tech camera or phone – although I know that may not be any time soon. Excuses, excuses, excuses.
We are often faced with obstacles when thinking about or trying to move forward in life. Here are a few of them:
Human reason – many persons are stuck in life and are unhappy and miserable because they are afraid to see the bigger picture. They reason to themselves about a particular obstacle; something that is blocking them from moving forward and believe that there is no way out. More emphasis is placed on the obstacle itself, than the solutions to removing or getting around it. This may be due to fear. Like I said before, excuses are made into ‘valid’ reasons not to move forward. Being in denial is another form of human reasoning. The people around you and the ever-present voice in your head may blatantly hint that you need to change something about yourself, but there can be no move to acquire personal growth if you do not think it is necessary to change.
Living by sight – this one is similar to the first one but there is a slight difference. Human reason can make the individual feel that there is no way out of a current situation, while living by sight may cause you to settle for what you see and not attempt to reach for what you really want. Some people will never move from the stagnant state – a bad relationship or a less-than-satisfying job – because they fear the possibility of instability. This is really a state of mind. If you want to get out of that stagnant state of mind, spend more time thinking about what you may gain; the possibilities for growth, and eventual satisfaction, rather than what you may lose if you decide to step away from that position.
Negative counsel – there is nothing more frustrating in your journey to move forward in life, than when you come upon a roadblock, to have someone giving you advice which amounts to you accepting defeat. This will not be of benefit to your already tired mind. These negative suggestions are likely coming from persons who are also having difficulties realizing their own dreams and purpose and truly believe that they are imparting good counsel. Good counsel would advise that you pay no attention to human reason, follow your heart, and to live by faith and not by sight.
The absence of goals – You will not reach anywhere if you do not know how you will get there. Plain and simple. So it is with personal growth; you must know what you want to accomplish and then make plans on how you will go about it. Many persons hesitate to form and write their goals because they don’t think it is necessary or they don’t know how to do it. It’s not a huge task. Just write anything and everything that comes to mind when you think about how you want your future to look. Then write down small steps that you think you can take to start making a move towards the goals. These steps could simply be a phone call or a visit to a website to gather relevant information. It becomes easier with practice.
There are several more obstacles that you can face in your quest for self-development. Do not hesitate to seek help (good counsel) in making the right decisions for your personal growth and to press forward to your purpose. Stand on the truth that has been placed in your heart. My mother used to say ‘who feels it, knows it’ – although I am sure she did not mean it in this context…oh well. Every individual knows what they want in order to live a happy and satisfied life. This will not be attained by human reasoning, negative counsel, other’s opinions, or focusing on mistakes and failures of the past.
Like me, people have been making many and repeated excuses when they should be taking steps towards their self-development. Other people and circumstances have been blamed for thwarting personal growth. There is never a good time in the future to do something to make yourself and your life better than it was yesterday. Stop and think about it for a bit and just start!