Welcome back. This week we’re going to be talking about the Invisible Fences in our lives. What I call invisible fences are things that stop us from developing the life we want to live.
About ten years ago, we had the opportunity to live on some property with three other families. One of the other families was having an invisible fence put in because he had a dog that would not always respect people’s boundaries. We were driving out the back gate and my son asked what was going on. So I told him and explained all the dog stuff. He said, “I guess we all have an Invisible Fence.” He obviously thought at eight years old that we had Invisible Fence in our yards because none of us had fences in our yards. When I heard it, I said, “We sure do.” Not because we had an actual Invisible Fence in our yard, but because of the ones in our heads. Those keep us from accomplishing the things we set out to accomplish or be the people we want to be.
This is one of the greatest obstacles for most people because we don’t know what we don’t know. Most of us haven’t spent the time developing a manner of living which requires us to look at ourselves. We just bebop through life saying, everything’s good, everything’s good, everything’s good. Then when it’s not, we don’t know what to do. So I wanted to take a little time today and just explore some of the Invisible Fence we all put up have in our lives.
Number One: Take Responsibility For Our Self
This may not be the number one reason that we have Invisible Fence in our lives, but it is the biggest I think. What we don’t want to do is to say I am responsible for any outcome that I like or don’t like. One of my favorite statements is, “If it’s always everybody else, it’s probably not everybody else.” That’s a very telling statement. If I blame everyone else for my problems, THEY are always going to be different people. If I change jobs and it’s everybody else’s fault, then I changed jobs again, and it’s still over buddy else’s fault. It’s probably not everybody else.
When you choose to take responsibility for your life, everything changes. You take charge of yourself when you stop requiring people to make you happy. When you decide you love myself for who you are, you become comfortable and available to others. If you want to pursue a career that you feel fulfilled in, you take responsibility for the outcome. Taking responsibility for yourself, your feelings, your job and your relationships gives you freedom. As long as it’s somebody else’s fault, we give them control over our lives.
When we finally take responsibility for our lives, the freedom that comes with that can be overwhelming. We’ve never experienced that kind of freedom and power before. So many of us spend our time blaming everyone else from the other political party, to the other religious affiliations, to other countries that we don’t have any idea what the freedom of making our own choices is or feels like.
Next Is Fear
Living in fear is an awful feeling. Our addiction to news and social media multiplies the fear that we have today. We are fearful about everything that goes on around us, from the news, to our sports teams, to gas prices, and wars. It’s no wonder psychotherapy and counseling are growing as fast as they are. Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” That wasn’t at the start of World War II. It was his first inaugural speech. He didn’t say that fear was gripping us because the Nazis were running through Europe like wildfire he said it was because we had lost our economy. That saying still holds true today. The only real thing that we have to fear is fear.
We make up most of our fears. We fear what we’re told we should fear. You need to fear losing your job because those people are coming to take your job. You need to fear that other political party because those people are bad people. The best acronym for fear is false evidence appearing real. If you think about what you fear, it’s exactly what you will see in everything. Don’t hear what I’m not saying. If you have an abusive spouse, that’s a legitimate fear. If you live in an abusive home, that’s a legitimate fear. There are legitimate fears, but we make most of what we fear daily up.
When we fear walking in to a customer’s office to make a sale, that is false evidence appearing real. When we don’t record our next podcast, that is false evidence appearing real. If I don’t send out my warm letter about my business opening, that is not actual fear.
So what can we do to unblock that which is not fear? Think about what you do right before you stop in fear. Now work around that block. Realize that going through the fear will strengthen you and eventually break down the fear barrier, stopping you. Also, you can back off the news and social media feeds. Those will drive us all into fear.
Number Three: Living In The Past.
We Fear the Future and we regret the past. A lot of us are more like Uncle Rico in the movie Napoleon Dynamite than we really want to admit. “If I had a time machine, I’d go back to 1982, and we’d win state.” Not a direct quote, but close. I call it the if-I-had train. If I had bought Bitcoin in 2010. If I bought Apple in 1994. You know how it goes, if I had taken this job, if I had married this person, if I had, if I had, if I had. Regret is a Many-Splendored Thing. I can live life over-and-over and never change where I am today. You can’t go back and change the past, but you can start right now and change your future.
This is tough because many people who are addicts are functioning addicts. They do not know addiction is holding them back from a better life so they continue with the status quo. Again, I am not a counselor or a psychiatrist. I can’t diagnose or guide you to seek help. This is an opinion based on my experiences.
I had a guy in my life who was sitting at home and playing an online card game instead of going to work. He was spending between $500 and $1000 a week doing this. He had two young kids. His wife’s working overtime to keep their heads above water. He ended up getting a divorce because he’s addicted to online gaming. But he couldn’t see it. The problem with addiction is that we don’t know what we don’t know. I had another guy who stopped at the convenience store every night and bought a twelve pack of beer. Still has a job, a home, and a girlfriend. Just needed to drink to wind down after work.
Addiction May be the number one Invisible Fence in many people’s lives. How many times have you realized you have been scrolling for 2 hours looking at Facebook or Instagram or TikTok or Reddit? Every time that little ding on the phone goes off, we pick it up and look at it. FOMO, Fear of Missing Out for those of us over 50, has become dopamine addiction. As a coach, I want to ask if you could practice JOMO over FOMO. Jomo is the Joy of Missing Out. JOMO gives us the freedom to put the phone down and take part in life. Start small and work your way up. Maybe 15 minute at first. You can watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix. It explains how social media works and what you can do to not overuse it.
One thing I can’t do as a coach is tell you what an addiction is. And no person who’s ever gotten over an addiction can tell you what your addiction is because it’s not what they do. You have to come to a realization yourself if you’re addicted to something.
So let’s start right now and deal with it.
First, we could take responsibility for our lives. That’s the biggest thing we can do. If we don’t want to live in fear, we can decide today that fear is False Evidence Appearing Real and move beyond the blocks holding us back. Everything takes time, but with an excellent coach and a plan, we can take responsibility for our future. What one step can you do today to take back the power in your life?
Sometimes taking responsibility means getting help. If you need a counselor, that’s okay. Get a counselor and get the help you need. If you’re healthy and don’t need to look at the past and just want to move forward, get a coach. Which is why coaching is growing as fast as counseling. Coaching starts with a positive looking point of view. Coaches don’t start with your past and help you decide why you’re the Way You Are. Coaches are going to start with today and move forward from this point.
If you think you may have an addiction, get some help. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous. There’s CGAA for Computer Gamers Anonymous. OLGanon for Online Gamers Anonymous.
The power is in your hands. You are the one who can make this happen.
That does it for episode 2 of the Recapture Your Life podcast. Thanks for staying with me all the way to the end. Please remember to like and subscribe. Every like and every subscription move this podcast up a little in the algorithm so we can reach more people would this message. The next episode will be about determining your values. Talk to you in 2 weeks.
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