Are You Good At Getting In Your Own Way? By Sarah Taylor

“If everyone would just get out of my way I could live the life I want!” Have you ever thought of that?

How about: “Why are people blocking my path? Making things so hard for me?”

Welcome to the human being club! We’re sort of wired to think there is an enemy at the gates. It’s a survival mechanism. Through the centuries, it’s served us well as we cut a path through jungles and deserts and fended off saber-toothed tigers and marauding bandits and whatnot.

But this type of thinking doesn’t really serve us in our day-to-day life. This way of thinking is actually what gets in our way.

So really…maybe you’re getting in your way.

But how could that be?


I was an expert at getting in my own way. I mean I could have earned a PhD in self-sabotage by now if I had continued my “studies”. Any chance I had to play the victim, feel like others were squashing me, or become incensed by setting aside my own dreams, I took it.

If there was something I wanted to create or work toward, immediately my mind would put on its combat boots and fighting gear and go into battle.

No one understands me,” I’d say. And then I’d wallow in being an outcast for a few days and avoid writing the thing, doing the thing, being the thing I wanted to be.

Working as a stand up comedian, I’d sometimes think: “People will get upset if I really speak my mind,” before getting on stage with a new piece of comedy. That’s a sure fire way to kill the laughs! “But I’m not good enough yet”, I’d tell myself as I stepped on set to play a character that I didn’t feel worthy of playing. I may have seemed confident and capable, but inside I was a kid waiting for permission…to be.

If only my friend/mom/sister/second cousin would get their act together and stop falling apart, THEN I can finally focus on what I want and do great things!”, I would mutter, only to realize, years later, that this is a form of co-dependence — wanting to be a savior and helper while blocking my own light in the process.

Or how about this one? “If I do what I really want to do, it’ll make my friends or family uncomfortable or sad or maybe even jealous,” I’d reason with the part of me that desperately wanted to shine my big light. Hello, people pleasing! People pleasing has helped me get at least a masters degree in getting in my own way. Sure, I gravitated toward others who helped solidify this story, but it was ultimately my job to release myself from its grip and just live my freakin’ life.

Getting in my own way was the thing I was best at! It might as well be on my resume as a special skill. But the thing is, no one wants it or needs it. It serves no one.

There are so many ways we get in our own way. We think it’s “them”. We think it’s the cruel, cruel world. But really, our minds tell us stories that we’ve been sucked in to believing and then we live our lives from that place.

We think we aren’t ready or good enough or whatever enough to fully express ourselves, to be seen, to share our gifts. But it’s just our mind spitting out B.S. Really.

As a meditation teacher and someone who has benefitted greatly from the freedom that a meditation practice brings, I’ve realized the mind is — for the most part — full of crap. Yeah, our minds are fantastic tools that help us dream, and visualize, and imagine, and create, and problem solve, and communicate. It’s a powerful machine! But we clog the wheels of this fabulous machinery with the stories we create about who we are, what others are thinking, and what life is. Don’t believe everything you think!

These days, I feel free of the grip of self sabotage and stand more firmly in my power. True power isn’t held over anyone or anything. Power is actually a surrenderer to the present moment; a surrender to your heart, your soul’s calling, to what is true; a surrender to the divine force within that guides you, if you’ll only be still, and open, and listen.

So what are the stories you believe about how life is against you, how it just isn’t possible? Do they serve you? Do they help you do the things you want to do, and to be the type of person you want to be? Or do they stop you in your tracks?

Is it time to trade in some old worn-out fairy tales about how you just can’t get a break? Are you ready to be the creator of your life story?

I’ll leave you with a quote that I printed out years ago and hung on my wall. It’s served me well and perhaps it will serve you, too.

Shine your lights, my loves.

It’s there, wanting to be oh so bright.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.– Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

1sarahAbout the Author: Sarah TAYLOR is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a meditation teacher and a Master Level Reiki Practitioner, as well as an actor, comedian, and writer.  Drawing from a Buddhist background as well as the other non-dual spiritual traditions, her classes and talks are accessible and filled with humor. She was a series regular for three seasons on NBC’s “In Gayle We Trust”, can be seen in the comedy feature, “The Golden Scallop” and has made appearances on Hot In Cleveland, Bunheads, and numerous other TV shows and films. Read More… 

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