Cutting the Ties that Bind You

Taking the Leash Off

Here’s what’s on my mind today: removing the ties that bind you, and unleashing your potential. Here’s where it’s coming from. Most of you who know me well know that I have 3 dogs whom I absolutely adore. It’s funny how your own kids become independent, and suddenly you treat your dogs like your babies!

So, when I walk my dogs at my own home, they must be on leashes. They will take off otherwise. However, when we’re at our cabin on our property, they are free to jump and roam wherever they please. We take the leashes off and let them be dogs.

I realized there was an analogy here for our own lives as humans. Whether we know it or not, we tend to put constraints on ourselves and get pigeonholed into doing things just because we’re supposed to do them.

Developing Our Inner Hard Drives

I got to thinking about my twin sons in particular, who are juniors in college and declaring their majors and really starting to seriously think about what they’ll be doing with their lives. There’s bound to be doubt and fear there, which is totally normal for 20 year old kids.

But I’ve been talking to them recently about this internal hard drive we all have that we’re not born with at all. When we’re little, we’re not afraid to do much, much to our mothers’ chagrin. Somewhere along the lines we develop these internal hard drives that make us fear making mistakes. It’s like it wants us to avoid being wrong at all costs, or avoid leaving our comfort zone.

The truth of the matter is, growth and comfort don’t usually belong in the same sentence or coexist together. They don’t get along. When you are uncomfortable, that’s when you tend to grow the most. You must not be afraid of failure.

Failure is Not the Opposite of Success

It’s also important to keep in mind that failure is not the opposite of success. So many times we think we’re successful because we might not have failed. That’s not always true. It’s those mini failures and picking ourselves up that really do help us be successful.

Back to those constraints that hold us back. Another thing I like to tell my boys about is the importance of expanding your mind and thinking outside the box. Look at your natural gifts and see if you can pull them in a different way to scratch that itch you might be feeling. One of my sons just told me the other day that he’s afraid of sitting in a cubicle for the rest of his life, but I told him NO WAY! Listen to your heart, think outside the box, and don’t follow your hard drive when it leads to this fear.

An opinion is just an opinion – it’s a thought inside someone else’s head. When you care about someone else’s opinion, you’re caring about a figment of their imagination. My challenge to you today, if you’re struggling with something in your way, is to unleash that puppy inside of you. Remove the tie that binds you, remove any constraints holding you back, and don’t pigeonhole yourself into doing anything.

Unleash Your Inner Puppy

I’ll leave you with this thought…Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you have to do it forever. I’m not telling anyone to quit their job here. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t trap yourself into something you’re not supposed to be doing.

If you have any thoughts about removing the ties that bind you and unleashing your inner “puppy” please share them with me! I’d love to hear about them.

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