I was talking with a friend the other day who told me about a struggle he was having in his relationship with his girlfriend. He’s been dating her about a year and really likes her a lot. He would like to see things work out between them, but he was feeling some anxiety about bringing up a subject that seemed to be hanging over the relationship.
As we spoke, I mentioned that nothing would change in his relationship, and perhaps in his life in general, until he stepped up and dealt with the issue that was stressing him. He knew what I was saying was true, but it caused him a lot of anxiety to broach the subject and have a conversation. He feared that bringing up the issue might really hurt his girlfriend and even possibly end their relationship.
I just received an email from my friend thanking me for my advice and stating that he and his girlfriend just had the deepest conversation they had ever had.
He faced his sticking point and gave his relationship a chance to move forward. At the same time, by facing his fears in this way, he also removed a glass ceiling that would have prevented him from moving ahead in life in general.
This is how life works. We continuously bump into various sticking points that cause us frustration, anxiety, fear, guilt, etc. Until we step up and consciously deal with them, nothing ever changes.
No matter what our sticking points are, we can’t rise any higher in life until we clear those hurdles. Period.
It doesn’t matter if your sticking point is an addiction, an unresolved relationship issue, deprivation thinking, financial irresponsibility, a family issue, or fear in general, you can only rise as high as that particular glass ceiling will permit.
Here’s the clincher: avoiding one particular issue – getting stuck, or spinning your wheels doing the same ineffective thing over and over – will have a generalized effect on every other area of your life. For example, failing to deal with an addiction to online porn will limit your relationships, your career, and your financial well-being. You can only rise as high in life and your current glass ceiling will allow.
Here’s the other clincher: life is filled with these sticking points. You will keep bumping into them until the day you die. The freedom that comes from successfully challenging a sticking point in your life will eventually lead to a new glass ceiling caused by a new sticking point.
It never ends.
This may sound kind of gloomy, but it really isn’t. Every time you successfully challenge one sticking point, you add new tools to your toolbox that will come in handy in dealing with the next. Just as importantly, you also gain the self-confidence that comes from knowing that you’ve handled difficult issues in the past and that you can handle whatever life brings you in the future. This is what they call “The School of Hard Knocks.”
What is your current number one sticking point?
Pause for just a moment and write it down. Is it relationship, career, money, health, lifestyle, addiction, fear, shame, guilt????
The reason you are stuck right where you are is not because you are defective in some way, but because you are either avoiding dealing with an important issue or trying to use the exact same problem-solving technologies that created the problem in the first place.
Here is what you need to clear any sticking point:
awareness that you are stuck
willingness to let go of all blame and excuses and to take full responsibility for your stuckness
willingness to step up and challenge yourself in ways that force you out of your comfort zone
new tools for your toolbox to help you deal with the challenge