A barrier is something that obstructs, or stonewalls progress. A barrier to exercise can be reasons or excuses we come up with to not exercise.
We all have them, and we all know people who are better equipped for managing them. These people have had success with the heavy lifting it sometimes requires to change, (and I do mean heavy lifting!) The good news is…once a person finally realizes they’ve had success with a change, they develop confidence and feel they can move mountains. Since this is the topic for my next post, let’s get back to today’s focus…trying to heave away some of the barriers which might be getting in the way of the start of a regular walking plan.
To begin, we need to identify the barriers. Find your barriers to exercise with this quiz courtesy of Harvard medical school. If you already know what they are, take a minute to compile a list in your mind or on paper.
Alright, for the next step, let’s use some imagery…let’s compare the barriers to a stone wall. (Bear with me, it’s just such a perfect analogy.) When you look at this picture, what comes to mind? What are some of the characteristics of this wall?
It’s certainly a beautiful structure, but I don’t think beauty was it’s sole purpose for creation. The mason who built the wall probably thought more about making a structure that was solid, protective, and immoveable.
Like the stones in the wall, each barrier becomes hard and set in our mind. Over time, the barriers build up, one on top of the other, until eventually, they become an insurmountable truth. (See what I mean about the analogy thing?) For most of us, the path of least resistance is to accept the wall, especially if we don’t have the mental energy to climb over or go around it. Let’s face it, sometimes we get comfortable with the wall, because it serves it’s function to protect us – from experiences that may have been unpleasant in the past. Keep in mind, those stones didn’t get into place overnight.
Time to visualize …take a moment to close your eyes. In your mind – see the stone wall. Scan the individual stones and see your barriers labeled on them. Choose one stone and zoom in closer on it’s barrier. Focus on it, make it clear. Now imagine your self pushing it – with your arms and legs, tug it and yank, give it a good fight until finally…you move it. What do you see? That’s right, it toppled away and YOU did it. Take another moment, with closed eyes, and absorb this picture in your mind…breathe deeply and look joyfully at what you’ve created… an opening. You moved one stone and now you have an opening. Breathe deeply and feel your success. Celebrate it, pat yourself on the back or give yourself a hug.
As you open your eyes, reflect and explore the experience…how does it feel to be open?
Congratulations! That was amazing.
Now, keep this picture in your mind. See it before you go to bed at night. Dream of yourself dancing or walking through the opening.
This is your first step in overcoming a barrier.