Barriers to Action Article originally from June 2nd, 2017 FPC Newsletter
Written by Ky Carlson
Barriers to Action (Part 1)
Let’s discuss Barriers to Action and dig deep into how they can affect us in our personal growth and in our professional growth. If we want change, if we want different results, then we have to analyze where we are, what has got us here, and how we can move forward.
You have heard the triangle of success more than a few times. I’m want to go through it very briefly so I can show you how it affects not only you, but is affecting your patients as well. The triangle of success is this. It takes three corners to make the triangle. The top corner would be having the right tools. In FPC, we really try to make sure that we are giving you the tools that you need in order to be successful. These include the dinner talks and the skills to close at the ROF. Tools also include the skills for understanding business and budget and understanding how to bonus your staff and how to apply business principles to your practice. These tools are all necessary to be successful.
In addition to tools, in order to be successful, we also have to make sure that a person has the right strategies to implement those tools. It’s very important with regards to understanding stat tracking and other daily action item that we’ve asked you to do. It’s one thing to do them but equally important that you know how to use them. I always compare the tools and strategies to carpentry. A carpenter needs to have the right tools when he shows up to a job. He’s going to need to have his hammer, his saw, his nail gun, his drill, and whatever else so that he can accomplish the job. He also need to know how to use those tools, and that’s the strategies. It would do no good if he had his saw and he turned it upside down and tried to use it, or if he did not understand which end of the hammer to use. That’s obvious to us, but the reality is that when we get business tools, we also have to learn how to use them to grow our business. These are both very important.
The third part of the triangle is the one we’re talking about in this article, and it’s the one that can get missed. You can have all the right tools and all the right strategies and you can still not move forward in your business, you can be stuck in your life. In fact, if you don’t have the right mindset, it affects every area of your life. If you have barriers to action in your thinking that are keeping you from moving forward, the tools and strategies are useless. As we begin this discussion, I want you to ask yourself these question: What are the obstacles that I’ve faced over my life that have caused me to make decisions the way that I do? What beliefs have caused me to take action or led to inaction? What are the mindsets, the things that I’ve heard and believed about myself and about others that have caused me to ultimately not accomplish what I want to in life or what is possible?
For those that are willing, I think it could be helpful to write these things down on a piece of paper. If you’re really willing to face the truth about what might be holding you back, write it down and walk through this process with me one step at a time. My hope will be that you will be able to make a decision to think differently moving forward. If you have significant barriers in your thinking that are hindering you from accomplishing what you want, let’s identify them because that is the first step to moving forward. Don’t let your stinking thinking hold you back any longer.
I’m just as guilty as the next guy. I have things that I constantly think about and then have to overcome because they could cause me to go into inaction. They cause me to freeze, to be paralyzed. But I have learned how to keep that from happening. The ultimate thing I have found is this: it’s not the tools. It’s not my skills. It’s not the strategies and knowing what to do. The biggest factor holding people back is what are we thinking which leads to what we are doing? Most may think that actions are to blame, but the truth is, actions are nothing more than a result of thinking. It’s very important as we discuss this that you are participating in this conversation. Make sure that you are willing to truly look at your life, look at your thinking, look at yourself, and make sure that you’re not allowing mindset in your thinking to hold you back.
Let me begin by giving you some examples of some barriers in our thinking that are probably most to blame. I have found that fear is a huge barrier in thinking. The thing about fear is that we all have it. Some of us would say that our fears are rational. Others would realize that some of our fears are irrational. Some of us have a fear of heights. Some of us have fear of spiders. We’re not talking about those fears, although I’ll admit that I’m definitely afraid of spiders. We are talking about fears that keep us from doing the things we need to do to change and grow.
I used to have a tremendous fear of public speaking. I can remember when I was in college and was required to give a presentation standing in front of the class. I remember like it was yesterday because my knees just quivering, literally shaking, so much that it was evident to all who were watching me. There was no hiding the incredible anxiety and fear that I was experiencing as I was having to get up and do that. I was holding a piece of paper that was shaking as I was holding it because I just couldn’t control it. That was then. Now, I can stand up in front of hundreds of people and, even though I may have a moment of butterflies and a moment of fear, most people would not be able to see it or recognize it, and it’s definitely not going to hold me back. I had overcome that fear but it didn’t happen by chance. I had to face it.
In fact, I would tell you that one of the greatest tools you can use when it comes to fear is developing courage. Courage is being afraid and doing it anyway. Courage is not getting rid of fear. Courage is not misunderstanding the gravity of the situation. Courage is recognizing the situation, understanding your fear, facing it and doing it anyway. As you face it, and as you take on this courage, you will find that you will continue to build up your courage. Eventually, it build so strong that it will override that fear. In my case, I’m not nearly as fearful of speaking. In fact, I wouldn’t say that I have fear. As I said above, I might have a little bit of nervous butterfly before I go on, but nothing that is going to grip me or cause me to hinder my performance or hinder my ability.
That’s really key because that is something that has been developed over time just by taking action. I made a choice and I did not allow my mind and my thinking to keep me from taking action. That’s just one example of how fear can hold us back. Some people may have a fear of asking for money. Some people may have a fear of rejection from the patient or from the recommendations that they’re giving. People can have a fear of not being accepted. There are so many ways that fear ultimately can come at us. I would tell you this: fear will come at you from many directions. You may overcome it only to have it come at you from a different direction. It is an easy thing to have fear, especially when you’re doing things that are uncomfortable, things that are not as natural for you as for some people.
I understand that there are some people who are naturally better in front of others. Other people may have a natural inclination to be more alone. We all have different strengths and weaknesses but I promise you this, all people have fears. They have different fears, and that it’s important to understand. Don’t think for a second that the people who are different than you, the people that are successful at the things you fear, the people that have accomplishing what you want to accomplish, don’t think that they didn’t have fear. Don’t think that they just got lucky, that they just had a different personality. Trust me. Trust me when I tell you that on both sides of the spectrum, on every aspect of personality, every different personality type, we all have fear. We absolutely all have fears that we have to overcome. The difference you see for those that are successful is based on who is willing to step up and build the courage to overcome their fears and not allow it to hold them back.
That is the question at stake right now. Make sure that as you think about the fear in your life, you decide today that you’re no longer going to allow fear to hold you back, that you’re no longer going to allow fear to keep you from functioning at the level that is possible. Instead, write it down on your piece of paper right now. Write down the fear that has been holding you back. Decide in your mind, decide in your heart whether or not you are going to allow it to hold you back anymore. Are you going to allow fear to keep you from being able to move forward and to take action and to practice and accomplish what you set out to? Ask yourself right now? What would it look like if you broke through the fear and accomplished your goals?
So, how do we overcome fear and gain courage? Personally, my faith is as a Christian. I have found that prayer and meditation on God’s word and really trying to put more trust in Him has been a key factor in gaining courage to act. I always say that I do the best that I can and I work as hard as I can, but I leave the results up to God. For me, that’s been a great way to build courage. Again, whatever your religion, I think that you can find courage in that area.
The other thing that I would say has built courage is to actually just start doing it. I imagine this sounds hard, because you’ve got to have courage to actually do this, but it takes a step of courage to build courage. At first, it is just the sheer action of getting out there and doing the things that you’re fearful of that begins to build courage. It starts with making a decision in your mind that you’re going to be courageous, that you’re going to do it anyway. This allows you to build that courage. Then, as you take action, the courage begins to build more and more as you do it. Again, you may start small. If you have a fear of public speaking, you may need to start with just a few people, and then you build 10 people and 15 and 20 and you just continue to build. Each time you get out there you will slowly build courage
Courage is like a muscle. You can’t go in a gym if you’re not strong and just lift hundreds of pounds. You’ve got to go in a gym and you’ve got to start where you’re at and you’ve got to start doing it, but you do have to go to the gym. Courage is built the same way. You’ve got to go to the gym, if you will, figure out what your fear is, and expose yourselves to that fear with courage, in the smallest amount that you have so that you can overcome that fear in a small way and start to build courage.
If you have decided to start building courage and begin overcoming the fears you listed on your paper, it’s time to take the first step. Fold your paper in half; decide in your mind that you are going to begin the process. Now, tear that paper up into pieces as a symbol of that commitment. This will serve as an anchor memory for your commitment. Every time you face that fear, remember the decision you made and take action. Overtime, that courage will grow and you will be closer to your goals.
Remember, we are here for you every step of the way!