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How Labels Hold You Back

What is keeping you from success?

We like to blame external factors for holding us back, but what if those barriers are irrelevant? What if the only person powerful enough to stop you is you?

Often, we actually create the barriers in our lives with the labels and definitions we give ourselves. Those self-imposed labels catalyze many of the failures that we cannot move beyond. It’s also how we limit ourselves to our comfort zones, rather than getting back up and continuing on with a broader outlook.

When I first graduated from chiropractic school, I took a job working with my own chiropractor since adolescence. After three months, I knew it wasn’t for me: His office was great; he was great. And I was miserable. I didn’t want to see the same white walls of my office every day. I wanted to travel and see the world. I wanted to be more active in facilitating the Access Consciousness classes I had grown to value so much. But that life I was envisioning wasn’t going to happen as an associate chiropractor.  

So, I started contemplating quitting and working for myself; and that was when I came face-to-face with all the labels I had imposed on myself: I thought, I didn’t know how to run a business. I didn’t know anything about business. I wasn’t creative and you have to be creative to be an entrepreneur. I didn’t know how to get clients. I wasn’t capable enough. I wouldn’t be successful. And I would definitely fail. Every thought was about what I didn’t know, didn’t have or didn’t embody. I was stuck. I was miserable at the office, but I was also totally uncomfortable with the idea of quitting and leaving the security of a well-paying job behind for the unknown.

It took me two more months to work up the courage to give notice. I don’t do misery well, and I figured I would rather fail at doing something I knew inspired me than be miserable and safe. So, I told my boss that I was quitting, which was one of the most uncomfortable things I have done. The only thing more uncomfortable was living with the choice afterwards. What 25-year-old with little money in the bank and student loans quits a good paying job? I had just broken out of my comfort zone and away from the labels I had given myself in a big way. On the positive side, I had no choice but to get to work, so I couldn’t spend too much time focusing on my discomfort. 

I have spent the past seven years creating my business—and it has been an adventure! Here are some of the tools I learned to use when I would come up against labels and barriers: 

  • The only one powerful enough to stop you is you.

Knowing this helped me tremendously. Every time I would hit a wall, I realized I was the one creating it. And if I created it, I could uncreate it.  

  • Ask questions.

When I would hit the wall or think I had failed, I would ask questions to open up a different possibilities: If not this, then what else could be possible? How does it get any better than this? What is right about this that I am not getting? What would it take for this to be a success?

  • Uncomfortable isn’t wrong.

It is a new possibility. It is change. Celebrate it.

  • Choice.

If you would really like to choose something, then choose it. You can always find an excuse, if you need one. Sometimes there is no amount of coaching or facilitating that can get you there; you have to choose to walk through the door!

Sometimes, the difference between success and failure is one more step. Never quit. Never give in. If there is something you truly want to do, do it and keep going. Do whatever it takes to keep moving forward. And remember these tips to help you along the way! — Dr. Andrew Gardella

Dr. Andrew Gardella is chiropractor who has worked with Access Consciousness since 2011. He graduated from school magna cum laude with BAs in biology, psychology and cognitive science and then received a Doctor of Chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic. He travels the world, speaking and facilitating Access Consciousness, Right Voice for You, 3-Day Body and Energetic Synthesis of Structural Embodiment classes to help people be their best versions of themselves.

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