Overcoming Your Barriers to Weight Loss Success
by Dr. Frank B. Smoot, MA, DD
If there’s one thing ALL of us need to understand, it is this: The only reason we aren’t already where we want to be in life is that we can’t see the barriers that are keeping us from getting there. We humans are smart critters. If we can clearly see what needs to be done, we can do it. And we are remarkably good at getting rid of the barriers we can actually see. Unfortunately, it’s the barriers we can’t see that are–right now–keeping us from getting where we want to go.
Two more crucial things to understand: All of our barriers are learned, and none are “valid.” They are only as real as we, ourselves make them. But unfortunately, we have learned to make them real, and so we unwittingly give them the power to stop us in out tracks by our own inability to spot them and challenge them. And as long as these barriers remain unseen and unidentified, they will hold us back forever–creating in a life filled with frustration and unfulfilled dreams instead of the successes we truly deserve.
If These Barriers Were Not Blocking Our Progress, We Could Fly Like Eagles To The Destination Of Our Dreams!
So the obvious solution is to learn how identify and then remove/replace the barriers that are currently blocking us. The problem is that we are “inherently incapable” of seeing our own barriers—just as we can’t see the back of our own head. If we can’t see them, there’s no way we can replace them with something better.
We remain blind to our own barriers for several reasons. On some level, we know that these barriers exist. We also know (on some level) that they are of our own making…that we are not “victims of life. ”
But since we can’t see our barriers for what they really are—illusions, groundless fears, and outright lies—we believe that they’re real. So, for us, they become real. Worse yet, since they’ve been part of our lives for as long as we can remember, we unconsciously fear that they always will be with us—that we’re “stuck” with them forever.
And something inside us simply can’t deal with the thought of that.
So Off We Go – Into “Denial Land”
– Where Most Of Us Will Stay
We’ve been blind to our own barriers for so long that we are not only unable but now unwilling to see them. The people closest to us (who may be able to see our barriers) have learned not to talk about them to us. And even if some objective third party (like a therapist or counselor) should bring them to our attention, our knee-jerk reflex is to run, scream, hide, or make a beeline back into denial.
In short, we most often “can’t hear it” because…we really don’t want to. What I have found, after decades of experience, is that the most effective way for many of us to identify our personal barriers is through the use of written self-assessments (i.e., as part of a course, class, or therapeutic coaching or counseling process.
Why is writing such a good “gateway to the unconscious?” Because it is the least threatening way to approach self-exploration. The entire process is under our own total control. And for that reason, we do a much better job of telling the truth–at least as we see it. I use this technique very effectively with my coaching clients, as part of the homework I give them after every one of our phone sessions. I find this approach to actually be more powerful than the “live” counseling sessions I used to do as a licensed psychotherapist. In fact, I have yet to see any other process that works as well for self-discovery—especially when the writing assignments are being done with a skilled coach or counselor.
What You Can See, You Can Fix!
Only when we have identified the barriers to our success can we then take the relatively easy step of removing them, or even converting them into something that will help us instead of hold us back.
And once we’ve done this, we start to discover that we possess a level of freedom, energy, clarity, and passion for life that we once had scarcely had dared imagine possible.
And once we really understand that the quality of our own live—of our own future—depends on identifying our barriers, then we see these self-exploration activities and exercises in a whole new light. Now, instead of mere “assignments,” they become tools. Friends. Vehicles to transport us where we most want to go.
The key to it all is to really, really understand that we’re going to stay stuck right where we are unless and until we do the work of identifying and removing our own personal barriers. Otherwise our dreams will never be anything but…dreams.
Yours in total health, Dr. Frank