A few years ago, my husband Vince and I renovated our cute 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom Queenslander home to a comfortable 4 bedroom, 2-bathroom retreat. As part of the renovation we had these lovely timber sliding doors installed that open right up to a beautiful deck area. A great spot for an evening BBQ, relaxing with a glass of wine and bringing the outdoors in.
After the deck was finished, I had a little whinge about the safety lines across the glass – you know the little white squares to stop people running into the glass? My husband proceeded to tell me that they are a safety requirement for certification purposes and that they must be on the glass to prevent people from running into the doors. “It’s really pretty ridiculous!” I moaned. “I mean unless you’re basically blind (like our poor dog at the time – bless her), how could you possibly run into these doors with their huge timber frames?”
A couple of weeks later we were having one of those lovely evening BBQ’s. We had just come home from the gym and I was ravenous. I found my way to the fridge, rummaged for some left overs and found myself wandering out to the deck with tasty little morsels in hand. I was lost in the deliciousness of my food and deep in conversation with Vince……clearly something so important that I cannot even recall the topic!
As our BBQ sizzled away it was time for me to head back inside to get some veggies cooking – not before finishing my leftovers though! As I continued to munch on the left overs I spun around on my heel and headed towards the glass doors. And then BANG!!!.... just like that my forehead and knee simultaneously hit the glass door. My eyes started watering, my forehead and knee pulsed, and my ego smashed right through the glass into little pieces*!
Ok, so yes, I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit this, but I ran into the glass door, a mere week or two after stating the absurdity of people walking into a door! And god did it hurt, thick glass on the forehead and knee does not tickle let me tell you.
So why am I confessing this embarrassing story to you? Well it got me thinking about the things in our lives that block us or prevent us from moving forward, and in particular the huge ones right there in front of us, that maybe aren’t necessarily completely visible to us without a few safety lines to help guide us.
You see, there are a few glass doors that many of us have in our lives. These are of course different for everyone, but three of the biggest ones I see at play in my clients are “busy-ness”, misery comfort and decision paralysis.
These show up differently for everyone, but for the clients I often work with, it looks a little like this.
“I’ve got so much on, I don’t have time to do anything for myself” in other words, I’ve filled my life with so many activities to keep my mind occupied that I don’t want to prioritise myself, how I’m feeling and take the time to understand the real me and the things I ‘actually’ want or need.
“Yes you’re right I don’t enjoy my job and I wish there was something more, but it pays well”. This one is usually a pattern that is buried a bit deeper. It is often something along the lines of, I prefer comfort in my misery over being brave and pushing myself to find joy in my career. I fear pursuing a lifestyle that fills me with joy as I am afraid of what I must sacrifice or give up to get that. Being the creatures of habit that we are, the fear of the unknown petrifies us!
“I don’t know what I want to do with my life and even with all these potential options available to me, I can’t possibly decide. Can’t you tell me what job is right for me?”. This one is often a result of some life-long patterns of either a) letting others make decisions for you or b) trying to please others at the expense of your own needs.
What is it for you?
So, what is holding you back that is buried beneath the surface, what is your glass door? What are your behavioural patterns that could be negatively impacting your ability to move forward?
And most importantly how are you going to become aware that the door is there, so that you can open it and live a life full of joy, excitement, passion, fulfilment and so much more? Contrary to popular belief you don’t have to wait until retirement for happiness and living a life on your terms.
If you haven’t already done so, take some time to reflect and understand your highest order values. Your key values are one of the biggest drivers in your life. Most people don’t actually know what is important to them at the core of their being. Completing a values assessment is a great start to understanding who you are and what is of most importance to you. Once you have this foundation, it is amazing to follow this to nourish it and grow the life you have always dreamed of.
*I know you are concerned about me, but don’t stress, I managed to get away with no concussion or injuries and the door stayed in one piece too….phew!