I was fortunate to have the opportunity recently to address a Hispanic Leadership Seminar hosted by the Metro Orlando Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The theme was BREAKING BARRIERS but I didn’t fully grasp the importance until I had the opportunity to interact with some of the community leaders who stayed afterward to chat. One in particular shared with me that she hoped her son would one day talk about her like I talked about my mom.  She shared that she was a single mom and her 13 year-old-son had amazing potential but her fear was that growing up without a strong male figure in his life is affecting him.  She emailed me a picture of her son and I immediately saw deep in his eyes a confidence waiting to jump out. This got me to thinking. I thought of you – of us – our obstacles and challenges and how sometimes we just can’t shake the doubt – the fear – the barriers that keep us from moving forward.

False Negative Beliefs (FNB) is the technical definition. Simply put there are the tiny thoughts that whisper “Lucas you’re not good enough, smart enough” or “you’ve made too many mistakes to be of use to anybody so why try.”  The FNB’s will eat away at us if we let them. They will paralyze us and sometimes the false negative beliefs keep us from our true potential. Sometimes we feed the belief and it becomes true; it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy through circumstances, through pain or continued struggle.

So do you want to break barriers?  Here are FOUR THINGS we can all practice that I think can help if we are willing to try.

1. Look at what you’ve accomplished already.  I know you’ve had obstacles and barriers that you’ve overcome before.  So use past victories as an anchor and as a foundation that will position you for future victory.

2. There is no Spoon. Remember that line from the movie The Matrix?  FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.  Remember that next time a twinge of doubt or hesitation crosses your mind.  Michael Jordan said it best during his Hall of Fame acceptance speech.  “Never say never”, he said, “because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.”

3. Remind yourself of some good examples of barrier breakers. I think of Kellie Wells, U.S. Olympic Bronze Medalist who lives in Clermont Florida. This young athlete has had plenty of barriers and leaps over hurdles for a living.  She tells herself she’s not racing others – she’s racing herself.  Wow – if we could fully comprehend that imagine how empowered we would be. It’s no longer about getting that promotion above someone else at work, or having the best car, the latest style of clothes or the best house. It’s no longer a competition with other people – it becomes a competition within ourselves to bring out the very best that we were meant to be.

4. Want to win more than you are afraid to fail.  This one is critical and at its root is faith itself. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.  When we decide to overwhelm negative thoughts with positive ones  – false negative beliefs have no power.  

So remember this when thinking about the barriers that hold us back – When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream. – Paulo Coelho