The One Thing You Must Do to Achieve Break-Through Results

I often meet people who are stuck in one area of their life or another. They want a break-through, but they can’t seem to get traction.

The One Thing You Must Do to Achieve Break-Through Results

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/RainervonBrandis

Contrary to what they think, it’s not about having:

  • More money;
  • More time;
  • The right contacts; or
  • Better luck.

Instead, it almost always is about overcoming an invisible barrier that exists in their own head.

The barrier isn’t something external. It’s something internal—something they have created in their own mind.

Years ago, I heard a speaker talk about a research project conducted by a marine biologist. It seems he put a barracuda in a large tank. He then released smaller, bait fish into the same tank. As expected, the barracuda attacked and ate the smaller fish.

Then the researcher inserted a piece of glass into the tank, creating two separate chambers. He put the barracuda into one and new bait fish into the second. The barracuda immediately attacked.

This time, however, he hit the glass and bounced off. Undaunted, the barracuda kept repeating this behavior every few minutes. Meanwhile, the bait fish swam unharmed in the second chamber. Eventually, the barracuda gave up.

The biologist repeated this experiment several times over the next few days. Each time, the barracuda got less aggressive, until eventually he got tired of hitting the glass and stopped striking altogether.

Then the researcher removed the glass. The barracuda, now trained to believe a barrier existed between him and the bait fish, didn’t attack. The bait fish swam unassailed, wherever they wished.

Too often, we are like the barracuda. The barrier isn’t “out there.” It only exists inside our heads.

Think how many other barriers have turned out to be only mental obstacles:

  • The sound barrier. Pilots didn’t think it was possible to fly faster than 768 miles an hour (the speed of sound at sea level). Then Chuck Yeager officially broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947.
  • The four-minute mile. Runners didn’t think it was possible to run a mile in less than four minutes. Then, in 1954, Roger Bannister ran it in 3:59.4.
  • The two-hour marathon. Endurance athletes didn’t think it was possible to run a marathon in less than two hours. Now several athletes are on the verge of breaking Geoffrey Mutai’s world-record of 2:03.02.

The reason why most of us don’t accomplish more is because we set our goals inside our mental barriers, where it’s safe. (That’s why it’s called “the comfort zone.”)

But if you want to get unstuck and start getting traction again, you have to set your goals on the other side of the barrier. You don’t have to get crazy, but you do have to stretch yourself and push past the invisible barrier in your head.

This is the secret to achieving break-through results.

Question: What goal do you currently have that is outside your comfort zone? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • http://twitter.com/VancvrSam Sam McLoughlin

    good stuff Mike. needed to hear that!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Sam. I hope you are doing well.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Agreed Sam – it was a healthy dose of mental floss!

  • Tamara

    Public speaking is totally out of my comfort zone. So in the spirit of continued platform preparation and practice for future public speaking, I’m preparing to add an audio podcast to my blog ministry for women. An achievable goal is year end, but hopefully sooner.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Good for you. Keep pushing!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Excellent, Tamara. From someone who spent most of her life terrified of being in front of people, I can assure you the more you push yourself out there, the easier it becomes. Keep going!

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        I couldn’t agree more. I used to be terrified. Now I can’t wait to get in front of an audience. The key for me is not focusing on me, but focusing on them. What are there needs? How can I help them? How can I get them to go to the next level?

        • Judy Huf

          Wow! This is soooo encouraging. I am a humble house wife and mother who is on the brink of Phase 2 of my life (my boys are nearly grown). I was wanting to share what I have learnt through the years with younger mothers but don’t feel gifted as a speaker and get really nervous in front of an audience. It is so encouraging to hear that professional speakers like yourselves were terrified about public speaking initially. Maybe there’s hope for me yet!  :-)

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          Yes, exactly. The change in focus from me to others has made all the difference.

        • Lee

           Michael, this is such good news! If an insecure, average guy like you can do it, then anyone can do it!!

    • Dastrick

      Wow I can so relate to this. I’m in the same boat as you. I’ve done some presentations and stuff at school and even after 2 years of doing that I would et nervous and totally bomb it.  I was thinking about adding some audio to my blog as well to help me get started in that area. Thanks for sharing this. 

      • http://www.dalecallahan.com Dale Callahan

        I am going to have to agree with all these also. I was so shy and an introvert that my mom still does not believe I travel around talking to groups. I now prefer to be in front of hundreds of people as anything else I do. Not sure what happened or how it happened – but nothing is as much fun as sharing your story and connecting with people to help them where they are. Hang in there, start small and keep at it. 

  • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

    This is a profound truth reminding me of the scripture, “As a man thinks so is he.” It’s a helpful reminder that we’re often our own worst ally; however, change of heart and mind is possible.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Amen, Tor. That’s one of the most important verses for me.

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    Great illustration. This reminds me about elephant trainers who ties a rope around a baby elephant and when they become adults they no longer need a rope because the elephant still thinks the rope is attached.

    This year I plan on getting out of my comfort zone by public speaking on the topic of leadership and how it relates to building a successful online platform.

    Great post Michael!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I like the elephant story. I have not heard that.

      • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

         It’s a good one. I heard the story from a leadership lesson before.

      • Kerry Wilson

         For an “expert on leadership” you are remarkably unread! This is a classic story repeated often in all sorts of venues.

        • http://www.facebook.com/tracey.moore.5036 Tracey Moore

          I was just wondering, was this meant to encourage, uplift, or inspire? A little encouragement and appreciation goes a long way.

    • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

      Having heard you speak, Dan, I know you are on your way.

      • http://www.facebook.com/howard.drive.5 Howard Drive

        John you got the problem now its time to work on this!

    • Jim Martin

      This is a great story Dan.  Glad you shared it.

  • http://twitter.com/TJFruichantie TJ Fruichantie

    Thanks for sharing this Michael. I used to think the barriers were “others” or simply “out there”, but I’m learning more that the barrier is me and my thoughts. It’s encouraging to listen to you and others like you.

    One of my goals to push outside my comfort zone this year is to do more public speaking. I’ve done it a few times, but usually take 6 months or longer breaks. Looking forward to the challenge!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Speaking regularly (without those 6-month gaps) will really help, TJ. Consistency and practice is the way great communicators are made.

    • Jim Martin

      TJ, you make a great point in your comment.  So often the barriers in our minds are vague and hard to pin down.  (“others” and “out there”).  This post is such a great reminder that the barriers really are in our own minds.

      • Mark Henderson, PhD

         Yes, some barriers are really “just” in our minds — but that is the exact problem! Locating the problem in the mind (or in the left kidney, for that matter!) does nothing to generate the breakthrough. This is a pseudo-insight that sounds profound but, in fact, creates nothing. Michael, what do you propose once you realize “it is all in the mind”??

        • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

          When my wife was a kid her sister told her she was cross-eyed. She believed it and wouldn’t look anyone in the eye. Then she saw photos of herself and realized she wasn’t cross-eyed at all. So she believed that and stopped acting ashamed.

          Later, and for years, she believed that she had to work hard to gain God’s acceptance. Then she learned she already had acceptance because of what Jesus did a long time ago. Totally changed her. Why? She believed it. The result was peace, calm, joy. I was amazed. That was 15 years ago.

          ‘The Art of Possibility’ by Rosamund and Ben Zander is a whole book on the power of your outlook and assumptions. My kidneys have no outlook, assumptions, belief, or will.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          Let’s get specific, Mark. (Thanks for volunteering.) Where do you think you might be stuck? What is the mental barrier you think might be holding you back?

    • Sherry Hardage

      I do a lot of public speaking, and one day it was just easy. I realized that I had begun to see the people “out there” as friends. I could easily tell a funny story to friends, and know they’d laugh. So telling a larger group became easy when they too were friends.  As a result I could tell a story with the same fun and enthusiasm as I’d always done with people I felt comfortable with. They’re just people, and if you can psyche yourself into seeing them in this friendly way, they cease to be scary. Plus I would recommend ToastMasters to you. They will give you good suggestions to improve your style and delivery as well as give you a place to practice on a regular basis. 

  • Wanda

    Great post!  I can clearly see that my “invisible” barrier is not having enough time to do the things that are necessary if I am going to realize my goals.  I get so hung up on thinking I need huge chunks of time to be able to accomplish something, instead of taking the minutes here and there that I do have available.  It is amazing how much “time” I can waste being in a funk because I don’t have enough time!  Craziness!!  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Good for you, Wanda. Just that epiphany is a break-through of sorts!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Haha. So true!

    • http://twitter.com/AnnieMueller Annie Mueller

      Wanda, that’s one I’ve struggled with too! I’m still learning that 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there can add up to quite a lot. I’d prefer “huge chunks of time” but just not always possible.

    • http://www.facebook.com/tracey.moore.5036 Tracey Moore

      Wanda, this is an issue for me too. I need to learn to utilize little bites of time that are available. I need a total paradigm shift.

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    Great post, Michael.  Often the barrier is our own ego, low-self esteem, or sense of perfectionism.  We’re too concerned about what others will think about our work.  Once we learn to break this barrier, we have greatly improved our chances of breaking other barriers.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I’ve been there! We can easily be held hostage by what we fear others think. Most of the time, what we project isn’t accurate.

    • Jim Martin

      Dan, you have identified the barrier that was in my head far too long.  “What do others think about my work?”  I often allowed that to keep me immobile.  

  • Dave

    Running after the cartiladge is thin :-)

  • Fivecats

    Actually, I’m not sure the analogies work.  You’re discussing creating an internal change in thinking but then use three analogies of physical events (flying and running).  

    I agree with your overall thesis.  It’s just the last examples that don’t work for me.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Fivecats,
      I get what you are saying, but don’t you think internal change has outward manifestations?

      I think the last three examples Michael gave were internal, falsely held beliefs, about barriers that could never be broken. However, some people learned to get past those internal beliefs (This time could never be beat!) and the results (external) followed. People who believe that a record won’t be broken don’t waste anytime practicing/training to beat that record, right? I think it start with the internal barrier.—I love Stephen Pressfield for stuff like this!

      If my internal barrier is that, “I’m not really a writer! No one is going to buy my books—who are you kidding?” However, if I am able to overcome that barrier it might manifest itself in to a physical result—a book that speaks to people!

      What do you think? Thanks for your comment!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your comments. But here’s the thing. There were no physical barriers in any of these examples. They only exist in someone’s mind. They are no different than the barracuda thinking that there is glass between him and dinner!

  • http://www.greatwords.net/ Leslie Rowe

    I want to quit my self-employed job where I spend all day freelance writing for other people and businesses and instead write from my heart, passion, experience, and spirit. Gee, is that so much to ask? Instead, I cash their checks and keep churning out copy that sells. For them. And the boredom and tedium are about to choke (sound of air being cut off from lungs…). And yet I really, really, like their checks. Hmmm.  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Nothing is wasted. What would happen if you started creating your own products and marketing them? You could ease into it. That’s what I did. Thanks.

      • http://www.greatwords.net/ Leslie Rowe

        Haha, that’s what I get for my not-yet-slayed “all-or-nothing” mindset. Yes, indeed, I could squeeze time for both. Thanks for reminding me. 

        • http://www.greatwords.net/ Leslie Rowe

          (I’m laughing at myself, by the way)

        • Kingtubbo

          I work in a corporate environment where I write for others. Like you, somedays it feels as if I just churn out copy like a machine. I’ve wanted to write more creatively for some time, but could never find the time, the avenue, the audience, etc. Sometime ago, Mr. Hyatt published a piece about the power of incremental change. I started to make little changes — exchange an old routine for 1/2 hour of writing time, set up my home for part-time work — but the biggest change which took only a minute or so was that I firmly decided my desire was worthy of  the work it entailed. Godspeed on your future endeavors.

          • http://www.greatwords.net/ Leslie Rowe

            Thank you. I just joined a writing critique group which I hope will spur me on with personal accountability and challenge. I think my real enemy is not time, but a defeated mindset. I’m pretty confident in my writing from a technical standpoint, even creatively since my clients are mostly repeat clients. But the whole public, platform, self-marketing required to get out there, that has me hiding behind my fabled schedule. I need to go re-read PLATFORM by Michael Hyatt. :)

    • http://www.chaplainmike.com/ Mike Hansen

      Sounds like you’d have a question for Michael’s upcoming podcast on quitting your job!

  • TrueFocusMedia

    This is such a great post and something we all need reminded of.  I just heard this quote today and it applies to your post.

    “It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.”- Denis Waitley

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Great Quote, Jeff! Thanks for sharing!

      • http://TrueFocusMedia.com/ Jeff Long

        I’m happy to share it since it was just shared to me.  It was a very timely and motivational quote.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Wow. Great quote.

  • Oneladyq

    The goal I have outside my comfort zone is: sticking to organization, and finding ways to improve it.

  • http://www.dalecallahan.com Dale Callahan

    Michael – Love the post. Yet I find being pumped to get past the mental barriers and actually working to cross the barrier miles apart. Reminds me of the post I did on the story of Peter http://www.dalecallahan.com/are-you-bold-like-peter-or-a-fool-like-peter/. 

    Seems what makes the difference in knowing you are the barrier and taking the action is something larger than you pulling (or pushing) you. That pull or drive is where I struggle – as do many of my clients. 

    Any advice on that would be appreciated;)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      What gets me going to focus on the WHY. Why is this important? What is at stake? If I have a compelling answer to that, I will step up and step out.

      • Jim Martin

        Michael, what you are saying about the WHY is so important.  Took me awhile to really get that but once that is tapped into, it makes for  compelling motivation.

      • http://www.dalecallahan.com Dale Callahan

        So true – and so easy to forget. Sometimes I have found the why one day and to keep motivated I have to put the why into a process – since I constantly forget the why;) But when I look back at what I have done – always the why overcame anything. Thanks for the reminder. 

    • BenHolbrook1

      Hi Dale,
      Good point, mostly I know what I want or need to change but its hard work and we need the motivation. I read a book by Jeff bell (when in doubt make belief) who encourages people to identify the greater good in choices, this helps provide the motivation for change & moving beyond doubt

      • http://www.dalecallahan.com Dale Callahan

        Thanks Ben — will check it out. Strange thing is I often do this for my clients – but sometimes much easier to teach than to do;) 

        • BenHolbrook1

          Agree Dale, it would be nice to have a ‘down load’ and ‘run’ button…what I’m finding is you need plenty of resolve for change. Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/jmbullis James Bullis

    It’s funny how the older we get, we sometimes find it easier to dream less.  It’s never too late.  Shoot farther than you ever dreamed, no matter where you land it’s going to be better than where you are now.

  • http://www.joeyo.org/ Joey O’Connor

    This is so true! Inspired by my friend, Scott Rigsby, the first double-amputee to do the Kona Hawaiian Ironman, I finally took the plunge and took up the sport of triathlon last year. In my late forties, I was bored with the gym and wanted a new challenge.

    After a summer of training, I did my first Half-Ironman (70.3) last September. And right in agreement with your words Michael, it is all in your mind. The body always adjusts!

    Lesson learned: You can go much further than you think you can!

    Even if you don’t run or workout, just go for a long walk today. You’ll enjoy God’s creation, feel better and sleep better tonight!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That’s awesome, Joey. I have a few friends who are into ironman competition. They rave about it.

  • Jlhalhill

    starting my own business to make a living

  • Jlhalfhill

    starting my own business to be self supporting 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Jlhalfhill,

      You can do it!

  • Pastor David

    Thanks Michael, I really needed your encouragement today.  You hit a home run.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, David. I’m glad I could be of help.

  • Leah De Souza

    Out of my comfort zone – doing more sales calls. Being more in front of my clients to get the word out about my training and coaching services. 

  • http://www.karlaakins.com/ Karla Akins

    I am able to tell myself what my “big golas” are outside the barrier but I fear telling others because I don’t want their doubt to affect my thinking. Thanks for the encouragement! We need to hear that planning big okay so we don’t think we’re delusional. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I try to make a habit of going right up to delusional and then dialing it back just a smidgen. ;-)

      • http://www.karlaakins.com/ Karla Akins

         Ooo. I like that!

        • http://twitter.com/AnnieMueller Annie Mueller

          Tell ‘em all you’ve decided to be come an astronaut. Anything you ‘dial back down’ from there will sound easy. 

          • http://www.karlaakins.com/ Karla Akins

             Good one, Annie! Except that, as a kid, that was one of my delusions. :-)

      • ajmal

        i have much lose in forex pleas some one help me in forex save my life my skype id ahmadzai222 and ahmadzai222@hotmail.com

  • http://twitter.com/lucindaslater Lucinda Slater

    Thanks for the story Michael.  This is just the sort of thing that EFT / Tapping can eradicate.  It’s those debilitating beliefs that stop us from getting out there – where we belong.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Lucinda. I know people who have had very good results with EFT.

      • http://twitter.com/lucindaslater Lucinda Slater

         Thanks for the prompt reply.  I’m on UK time so winding down for the weekend here.  Hope you enjoy yours.

  • http://www.authorcynthiaherron.com/ Cynthia Herron

    I can’t help but smile. It used to be Platform-building…but your book changed that. :)

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Nice. :)

  • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    These guys are great. I agree.

  • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    I look forward to meeting you, Laurel.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    I like “Impossible” goals. These are goals outside of our current experience. When I tell someone that I want to do something new and they tell me that it is impossible, I know I’m on to something. Currently, an impossible goal for me is to make a reasonable living from my platform. I seem to have a mental block about monetizing my content. For years I’ve been able to move forward on the free front, but when it comes to charging, I always seem to back away. Free to fee is a problem for me. It’s been great to watch you expand your platform, Michael. I hope to finally make the move this year.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You can do it, John. I believe in you. You have great content, and the drive. Keep going!

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        Thanks Mike. I’m currently taking a copywriting course from James Chartrand. She is the master of sales copy and marketing. I’m learning a whole new way to write and discovering how she took her writing blog, Men with Pens, to great heights. This course, in combination with your Platform University, has given me a whole new outlook for 2013. Exciting times!

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          Awesome, John. I’ll have to check her out.

  • Little Seagull

    to study regularly

  • BenHolbrook1

    That’s great, dream & plan big. I’m going to go back & see if my goals are delusional enough!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That’s the spirit!

  • http://www.skipprichard.com/ Skip Prichard

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post and all it stands for. So often the barrier is not “out there” but “in here.” Best wishes for a successful Platform University next week!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Skip. I’m pumped about the conference.

  • http://newlifesolutions.info/ Angeline

    Excellent stuff.. exactly what I’ve been pondering about today. 

    In 2004, I was one of the best consultants in the call center industry and helped many people set up their own centers, rendering them technology, clientele, know-how, projects etc., I had a 25 seats center by 2007, but as recession set in, I realized that many owners were shutting their centers down due to heavy losses. I decided to be smart and scaled down the number of seats, so I could survive on in the same industry. I did and still continue in the same way with a few seats and yet maintaining quality. I used to feel proud about still being able to sustain in this volatile industry. 

    Now in 2013, I realize, the people who took my help worked hard, took great risks and almost all of them own a Mercedes Benz or a Jaguar- I am not jealous but happy. Today my little son asked me how come all of them who I helped with consulting are doing very well,  while I still continue to be on the same old chair, driving the same old car. I was wondering why… and I got your email now… 

    Yes, the comfort zone is where I am at now. I do not want to take risk and do bigger projects, but maintain my reputation of giving best quality(playing safe) and remaining happy with the few seats that I opted to have. I hated sales and stuck to customer support, QC and tech support only. Others who I mentioned did telemarketing, sales and all those difficult jobs and now they are well off. 

    I feel so pathetic now. Atleast you made me think … something which I failed to do all these years… 

    Thanks Mike. 

  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    One for me is creating a written document longer than a blog post – staying focused on it, and not moving on until it’s complete.

  • Brian

    I am 65 years old.  I live on beautiful property in the sub-tropics in Australia.  My dream is almost complete, but due to a stupid second marriage and divorce   I have lost most of my 401k fund.  So I need to go back to work and earn a bit more income.

    I feel frustrated to the point of depression in my attempts to find a job at my age.

    Thanks for a really useful website.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Make a list of all the advantages your age affords. You are exactly the right age to do what you need to do. Let it work for you. If you can convince yourself, you won’t have any problem convincing someone else.

  • http://www.OneNewPerson.com/ Nick Moody

    Lizard Brain. Watch out for it!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Exactly. Lizard brain.

  • http://JaredLatigo.com/ Jared Latigo

    Great way of looking at things. I love seeing research on things like this…it always intrigues me.. 

    The barrier we put up is often because we’ve been hurt before by a similar situation, just like the barracuda example. I have this barrier when it comes to getting a job. I have worked on my own for a few years and there’s been plenty of times I wanted to give up and take a “real job.” But I’ve been hurt by some companies in the past and it’s very difficult for me to get past that and go to work for someone. 

    That said, in this situation, it has worked out well. I know that I’m likely not meant to work for anyone and called to be on my own. So sometimes those barriers can serve us in a positive way…though I feel it’s far less likely to get good results from it.

    Thanks for this illustration Michael, continuing to love your work!

  • Cherry Odelberg

    The invisible barrier in my head – more money, more time, more education, more skill- ain’t it the truth?  Timely reminder of what I spent 4 hours and 1,000 words writing about this morning. Gotta go with William Borden’s “no reserves, no retreats, no regrets,”  from here on out. 

    • Jim Martin

      I appreciate your first sentence Cherry.  Reminds me that we just adding to the “more” list, don’t we?  I can identify!

  • Soumangue Basse

    Thanks Mike.. I needed this today..I’ve had a lot of Mental Chatter that has not been productive to me the last few weeks…Take ACTION now..

  • http://dreamjobprogram.com/ Drew Tewell

    When it comes to goals, I have no problem going big. Like I’ve mentioned, my goal is to land a book publishing deal this year through growing my platform. And, my dream is to become a NY Times best-selling author.

    Where I get stuck is the discipline and focus. But I’m getting better. Thank you Michael for all that you do!

  • Jtobrien

    Infesting story,, . However, a third party placed tha glass. I am living proof of the placement of that piece of glass. I am an MBA with 25 years experience in turning around enterprises, and I am under-employed and can not get anyone to notice me because I am too old and not young enough. Over 3000 applications with variant resumes. I have never felt so alone and lost…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You might want to listen to my recent podcast, Change Your Story, Change Your Life.

    • http://dreamjobprogram.com/ Drew Tewell

      Sorry to hear about your job search. I know unemployment can be hard, I’ve been through it recently. You can email me at drew.tewell@gmail.com and maybe we could talk. I help people get jobs.

  • http://twitter.com/saltandclay Sarah Beckman

    It’s the book!  ugh.  Now I have to really take it more seriously.  I am guilty as charged thinking “more time, right connections, more money” .  

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Busted! :) Yes, you need to write that book. I believe in you.

  • http://www.buckleadership.wordpress.com/ Justin Buck

    Great post, Mike. We create our own boundaries and barriers. Sometimes, we set good, healthy boundaries to protect things (our marriages, children, etc). Often, though, we make boundaries into barriers and refuse to believe in ourselves.

    Thanks for your constant inspiration.

  • annepeterson

    Michael,
    Loved this illustration. I had heard the one about the elephant, written below, but never the barracuda one. Not sure what I can use as an excuse when you took one of mine. Being a writer and knowing I need more direction I have used a lack of funds as the reason I can go only so far. I am breaking that barrier. Maybe some things may take longer for some, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get results. They just have to keep at it.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      My experience is that money never leads; it only follows.

      • annepeterson

        Have you ever been without it?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          Oh, my, yes. I essentially went bankrupt in 1992. I’ve many ups and down since then.

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    Can’t wait to meet you, Laurel!

  • Amy Thedinga

    Finally writing a book proposal and getting my idea in front of agents.  Taking my public speaking career to “the next level” (Hyattism).  I got all the tools I need at LAUNCH.  In implementation though, I’ve found I seem to be slightly afraid of what might happen if and when I succeed.  Will I still have the time and attention I want to give my kids?  My book is autobiographical – so do I REALLY want to share all of those details with the world?  What if I attract a stalker?  You know the usual stuff.  ;)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yep. The usual stuff. Like everything the Resistance throughs it you, the intent is to make you quit. But you are not a quitter. The Resistance is doomed. ;-)

  • http://www.danapittman.com/ Dana Pittman

    Awesome post!

  • Brad

    Simple image. Powerful insight. Whether my barrier is in my head or in my hand it is still a barrier that needs to be indentifed, isolated and resolved. Emotions are real and should not be simply discounted. I handle this by focuing on “becoming comfortable” rather than trying to make myself uncomfortable. In the same way I challenge myself to grow rather than stretch.

  • http://twitter.com/AnnieMueller Annie Mueller

    Ah, this is so true! Thanks for putting it out here to remind us. I’ve seen this in my own life: I was struggling to keep up with posting on my blog regularly; then I decided (over a process of thinking, reading, praying, researching) that I could push myself, should push myself, wasn’t pushing myself enough. I gave myself a target of 3,000 words a day. Have I made it every day? Nope, but more often than not. And I’ve found it’s no problem to keep up with blogging… Funny how I can struggle to produce a 500-word post in a day until I raise the standard of acceptability on myself. 

  • Bonnie

    Just read your comment, “Money never leads, it only follows.” That is always a major block or barrier. “I’ll do that when I have the money.” Or another: “I’ll do that when I have the time.”

    I am currently writing out goals. That is an eye opener. 

    One goal being to publish one of my 3 completed novels. I have published a short story and article, just last year. I haven’t done the online presence (except for FB) because I feel I need to write. 

    But your above comment, Michael, makes great sense. 

    God isn’t going to dump me now!

  • Jelizabethyoung

    Writing my first book. Today it feels as if the barrier is rock solid, which is why I am getting an uplift from your blog, which I recently began to follow. Thanks Michael.

  • http://zinahermez.wordpress.com/ Zina Hermez

    Thank you for this Michael, more and more lately I feel I’m going on blind faith and writing my heart, not knowing how the world will respond. I had a tragic accident at sixteen years old that left me paralyzed. I started a blog to try and encourage others with paralysis through writing about my healing and faith journey.

    There’s nothing more I want then to fulfill God’s will. I feel this is it. This is all I have, to try and help others through the pain and suffering I’ve been through. After all, what do I have to lose?

    So I’m going for it!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Good for you, Zina!

  • http://www.onwingsandwaves.com/ Kristen Hamilton

    Great post! I recently committed to helping raise funds for a special needs little girl in a different country that is waiting to be adopted.  Doing something like that is outside of my comfort zone, but I know I am made to make a difference!  

  • JViola79

    I needed to read this today. I have enjoyed writing but have held back developing my blog even more. The barriers ARE in my own head. You hit that on the head, pun not intended. It is my own insecurities which I have always battled. Today you not only gave me much to think about but the push I needed. Thank you! 

  • http://twitter.com/promobrain Mike Freestone

    Too often the goals get squashed when the hard work starts to break the barrier.  I guess that is a goal in and of itself in reaching the next level. Running is such a goal where you really need to put in the time to get to the next level…I am working on that.

  • Jason Fancy

    Awesome analogy. I was considering your question about what barriers we erect unknowingly. It made me think about my own situation.  I have started work on a book, but once in a while, I find myself thinking that it somehow just won’t get done! I have to grab myself and do the old boot-camp “you can do this!” scream. And it works. I have chewed through a rough outline and stated my writing purpose(the “why”), my writing plan(the”how”), and started the actual manuscript gathering(now is my “when”).
    Thanks again for the encouragement and challenge.

  • Kjmt

    It’s certainly a lot harder said than done.  If a barrier is invisible you don’t even know it’s there.  Saying “push past it” isn’t that helpful.   If you can identify a barrier– “I can’t do xyz…”–  then maybe.   But that’s a barrier you’re aware of.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      This might be helpful: Look at some aspect of your life where you are not seeing the results you want. Maybe it’s a relationship. Maybe it’s your career. Maybe it’s your health. Ask, am I stuck because I am hitting up against an invisible barrier in my mind. Maybe it’s a limiting belief that is keeping your from seeing the progress you want. Does it exist “out there” in the real world or is it something in your head.

  • Lrdixon

    I want to pursue a creative direction in my life and I am thinking it might mean leaving a job which increasing full of distress. 

  • Phil Rothschild

    A great word Mike. I bet you never imagined you would be “breaking through” w Platform U several years ago when you started blogging. Phil and Jennifer

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I definitely didn’t!

  • Jamesethomas2

    Talking to and recruiting individuals for my new business. I thought I was good when I did it for other companies. But doing it on my own has been a whole other mindset challenge!

  • http://www.eileenknowles.com Eileen

    Great post.  I know most of my battles are fought in the mind.  And my mind has a way of making the “what ifs” so much scarier than they really are.  I made the decision earlier today to  commit to another conference.  The conference isn’t for several more months but I  am signing up this weekend. (No turning back!)  I’m excited and nervous all at the same time. 

  • http://JackieUlmer.com/ Jackie Ulmer

    GREAT insight and analogy. And something I have learned. We can fall back into those “barriers” at many times, even after periods of success. Self doubt and “sabotage” can creep in. So, it’s important to be aware, focused and take steps to get out of the funk when it sets in!

  • http://www.lawrencewilson.com/p/about-me.html Lawrence W. Wilson

    It’s funny how easy it is to spot these internal barriers in others but how difficult to recognize them in ourselves. I’m coming to grips with one of mine right now. 

  • Steve10562

    How is Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier a mental obstacle? Pilots died trying to break the speed of sound. 

    I agree with your message, but this is a bad example.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      The reason is that because ultimately somebody had to believe it was possible before they could figure out how to do it. Everything starts in the mind. Thanks.

  • JP Nicholas

    Helpful reminder our mindset allows or limits so much of what we do/don’t accomplish. Of course Yeager, Bannister and other barrier breakers had rare gifts, personalities and training suited to their tasks. So lets be sure we’ve got the right stuff to tackle the barriers we’re going after, so we don’t hit walls n go down in flames (wondering why possibility thinking wasn’t enough).

  • Tinty

    Reading your article above and ‘the comfort zone’ article together helped me to click ‘accept’ on my invitation to study a Masters of Management – the invitation has been open for a few weeks now. While I’m rarely considered a ditherer… I have been going around the bend trying to decide what to do. Thank you!

  • http://www.ignitingsuccess.com.au/ Melissa Davis

    Terrific post Michael. You’ve given me a great ‘trigger’ word to use – every time I find myself trying to blame external factors, I’m going to say “barracuda”!  Mind you there are times when external barriers contribute to the problem too, but it’s still your own mind that works to make them tougher or more challenging than they necessarily are or need to be. 
    Thanks so much for flipping the switch for me.  My current big hairy audacious goal is to go back to the book I started writing last year and actually finish it. 

  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    My goal to be a published author is way out of my comfort zone. But then it’s not always about being comfortable or even about me now is it? Love the barracuda analogy. Time to set goals and find a way around or through those barriers. Thanks, Michael.

  • http://daveleingang.com/ Dave Leingang

    I think besides having a self-limiting belief a person can also be paralyzed due to their internal fears.

  • http://www.growing4life.net/ Leslie A

    Oh, my goodness. This is very timely. I have spent the last six months writing a novel and I am deathly afraid to finish it, because that will be what shows me if I have any possibility of success in this writing thing and I am so afraid the answer will be NO.  I have a very large barrier in my mind regarding this and I know I have to get past it if I have even a chance for success. 

  • pinksnowballcakes

    Fantastic.. read. I believe its only when we get out the Comfort zone we can see beneath the surface … 

  • Mark A Santana

    I’ve just started blogging (Thanks to your previous “how to” posts) and Im beginning to encounter barriers I wasn’t even aware of. This is a very timely post for me. Thanks!

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  • http://www.twitter.com/tonylimajr Tony Lima

    Thanks Mike! Right now I am planning to launch my own local marketing business to help local small business’s establish a web presence. I feel like that barracuda most days!

  • http://twitter.com/EFTFreedom Ben Ross

    So true, which is why i’ve made it such a focus of mine to learn how to get rid of those inner barriers!

    My main barrier at the moment is around money. I’m very close to achieving my initial goal i’ve been working on for several months and in the next week or two I have to sit down and think about where to go next.  And that will take alot of digging into my internal beliefs and barriers and starting to clear them out.

    -Ben

  • http://www.laugh-quotes.com/ Rhonda

    Wow, thanks.  This exactly what I needed to read today.  

  • http://www.sheepdressedlikewolves.com/ Andy Mort

    Thanks for this inspiring post Michael. Great illustration, and linking this invisible barrier to something internal, ie our comfort zone.  The implication being that we are collectively a barracuda – we believe together that we can’t achieve things, and our barriers are socially conditioned, not just within individual comfort zones, but within the comfort zone of the collective whole (society). We laugh at and question when people go out and do something different with their life, we don’t believe that they will succeed (often we even want them to fail)- essentially we don’t encourage one another in the pursuit of our extraordinary personal selves.  

    On the flip side, the little fish swam around everywhere, they got to where they were wanting to go and they showed one another how to get there. Interesting. Man, you’ve really got me thinking!

    Just a quick aside. Did this research actually happen? I was just thinking about it and it seems ridiculous. I couldn’t find anything about it online. Not that it matters, real or allegorical it still has the same impact, I’d just be genuinely very interested to see more about it if it were true because it’s fascinating!! 

    Thanks for doing what you do.

  • http://twitter.com/asmithblog Adam Smith

    I needed this, Michael. Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/deepexistence Stephen Guise

    Man, I am such a barracuda sometimes. Can this be a saying now?

  • http://www.sunganani.com/ Sunganani L. Manjolo

    I have a goal of earning a certain amount of money per month (think over $20,000) by the end of  6 months. It’s been a stretch. Some mental glass barriers have been taken out and there are a few more to go.

    I needed to read this post. 

    Thanks Mike

  • Jerome

    Helping 5 people earn $5000+ monthly each with the Idaho company I’ve partnered with. That’s my stretch and ‘other side’! Jerome in Boise
    Thanks Michael!

  • http://twitter.com/DrCharlieEdwar Charlie Edwards

    My glass barrier is the “more time” thing. I wrote my 1st novel as a single man. Now I’m married with many time-consuming activities and I need to write the sequel. The quiet time to focus alludes me. Thanks for the challenge Michael. 

  • Yemi

    Hi Michael, my goal is to have 6 clients on a retainership basis by end 2013. It’s outside my comfort zone because it would be much easier for me to just operate as a contractor rather than building a business and becoming an employer

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Good for you. That is a solid, clear goal. You can do it!

  • Vicki Cato

    I look forward to reading your post every day. Today’s zeroed in on my weakness. Thank you!

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  • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad Puckett

    You wrote:  The reason why most of us don’t accomplish more is because we set our goals inside our mental barriers, where it’s safe.

    I think what is so disquieting to me, deep in my soul, is that I have lived this too many times.  And like the barracuda, the change is incremental, not stark and sudden.

    Thanks for challenging me (again).

  • Rpeterson311

    I am an independent medical device sales rep. I need to break the belief that I don’t deserve to be successful and still be a great mom to move my business to the next level.

  • Philip Hughes

    It really is only “Mind over Matter”…. If you don’t Mind,,, then it really doesn’t Matter.  M/M.
    “As we think,,, we become….”
    “Thought precedes Action”. 
    “If you think you can,,, or can’t,,, you’re right,,, you will or you won’t.”
    Og Mandino’s great work, “The Greatest Salesman in the World” is also a great read on Thought, Action, and Habit.  One naturally precedes and follows the other. 

  • http://twitter.com/Colliers2 Adam Collier

    Great post Michael, I’ve noticed that people grow to feel safe inside their invisible barricades, and they then try to project them onto others.  You cant do that because _____.  

  • http://collierinnovation.wordpress.com/ Adam Collier

    Great post Michael, I’ve noticed that people grow to feel safe inside their invisible barricades, and they then try to project them onto others.  You cant do that because _____.

  • Bill Marsh

    Reading this insightful post reminds me that this is one of the key marks of great leaders. In every field–sports, sales, academics, the arts, etc–the best leaders equip their people to stretch themselves beyond thier self-limiting beliefs and achieve more than they thought possible.

  • http://twitter.com/ESCLabs_RHS Rebecca H Shaffer

    How sad it is that we are our own captors!? Thanks for this refreshing post.

  • Judy Oltman

    Finishing the last few college hours left to complete to degree and singing solo again.

  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Tracy Boruff

    I’m a big dreamer like God-sized dreams. If He’s not in it, it won’t
    happen. I always run into people a.k.a. family members who shoot the
    dreams down. It helps to put my expectations in God rather than people. The other thing is to have friends or family who believe in you and what God wants to do in your life.

  • Vanya

    Setting up a niche site–completely outside my comfort zone. But yesterday I sat down and took my first steps towards achieving this, and have scheduled time in my calendar to work on it.

  • Ather

    Good stuff Mike and indeed a very important lesson. There is so much that does not happen just because we don’t think far enough or believe strong enough. Reading this post reminds me of a post I wrote titled “The Creative Stretch” few months back. The crux was that we need to set our goals far and high enough and that enables us to become more creative to achieve them, even surprising ourselves. Here is the link:
    http://thinkingspirits.com/2012/12/16/the-creative-stretch/Thanks again for the great post!

  • keithlbell

    My goal that is outside of my comfort zone has been to publish books. I’ve written for most of my adult life, but I have kept my work in safe circles.

    Frankly, I’m sick and tired of playing it safe! And thanks to people like you Michael, I am set to go for it or bust!

  • Coach A

    Thanks Mike! I’m a Head Football coach in Texas who took over a loosing program last year…a school and a team that has given up on winning and being successful. Day by day we are making progress in changing the “Culture” and this read will be perfect for one of my daily preaching sermons….keep up your pod cast…really enjoying it too.

  • Cocoshan

    Hi Mike,
    I am a Chinese who have been doing my master for only half a year in Chicago . Currently , the goal outside my comfort zone is to try to blend myself to American culture and build up myself professionally in American business world ,even when my English still needs to improve . I have been following you by listening to your podcast for half a year ,which have benefited me a lot and inspired me a lot . I will continue following you and learn more from you .
    Thank you very much !

    Good luck with your work
    Coco Shan

  • http://www.jonathangaby.com/ Jonathan Gaby

    I think this post (in email format) will be saved for a long time. Thank you, Michael, for writing this post. See, I think that we all at times “get in our own way”. When a big idea comes or even a small thing we stay in our own zone and fool ourselves. I’m working on finding what is on the “other side of the glass barrier” and break through. 

  • http://packageyourgenius.com/ Michele Welch

    LOVE that Michael! So true. It’s our self-imposed barriers that keeps up from taking bigger risks and playing full out. Tackle those inner gremlins and a whole new realm of possibility opens up. 

    Thanks for sharing this awesome story. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tracey.moore.5036 Tracey Moore

    The goal that I currently have that is outside of my comfort zone is to do a radio interview. I have never done one, but I am pursuing that. I am hoping that I will be able to land one eventually so that I can get the message of my book, Oasis For My Soul, out to more people. However, that requires knocking on doors and getting turned down, and noone likes to experience rejection, right? So I have to try to get comfortable with rejection and not take it personally. I have been told it’s a numbers game, and I am going to trust the Lord to open doors that no man can shut. As Joel Osteen said, one more “no” will get me closer to “yes.”

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

    Finishing a project is often out of my comfort zone. I can come up with ideas, business proposals and products, but bringing them to finality is my biggest barrier. 

    I am about to enter into a season that will be ful of these barriers and I am really working on not letting that barrier be there knowing that it is not. It will not hold me back.

  • http://twitter.com/markwguay Mark Guay

    ..

  • http://twitter.com/markwguay Mark Guay

    Thanks Michael. This is such a powerful anecdote. I see the metaphor of the barracuda every year when teaching seniors in high school, which furthers my wonder on how schools can further help motivate students to not fall for what Seth Godin called The Icarus Deception. Thanks for the poignant example which I plan to share with my students. My mental barrier? Leaving the safe money of a teaching career to spend more quality time on my writing – transforming education to meet the skills needed to excel in the economy of tomorrow. Thanks again!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Mark. It’s much easier to see the glass wall in other people’s heads than our own, isn’t it? How cool to work with high school students and get them to think this way from the get-go.

  • http://twitter.com/ElizabethWatts1 Elizabeth Watts

    This is so true. One thing I am starting this week is blogging. I am a decent writer but I worry about being judged a lot. I know it is in my own head though.

  • Kristopher Bosch

    The ‘out of my comfort zone’ move is going out on my own and starting my own practice.  I am a physical therapist, and totally agree with your statements – it’s not about not having enough time, or not having the skills to be successful.  It is the fear of starting from scratch and having to support a family that is part of my mental barrier.   I want to be prepared, but I also have to take action and not get stuck in the ‘analysis paralysis!’

  • http://networkmarketingbeginner.com Diana Reid

    Simple but Massively effective! We seem to live within a set of lenses and forget that we can take the lens off! only then we can see further. Thanks Michael.

  • Liviu

    I am not nativ english speaker(as you can see!). English is my barrier in many important thing in my life.  Today I decide to learn english every day; Respect Mike.

  • http://www.acalltoaction.net/ Trevor Wilson

    We shouldn’t just try to push beyond our comfort zone — we need to smash through that sucker! Blow it to pieces!

    That is the only way to fully realize its insignificance. Like you say, we make the barriers ourselves. And it’s up to us to remove them. Brutally.

    Only through the utter destruction of our own limiting beliefs will we ever be able to realize our full potential.

    Cheers!

  • Deborah

    I am never any less awed that I continually attract to me exactly what i needed to hear/see/do in that moment.  Thank you, Michael.  I am deeply grateful for what you share and that I found you.

  • Roger Messner

    Outside of my comfort zone…leaving an unfulfilling job with an unfulfilling paycheck to a job with an uncertain monitary compinsation.

    NOT that I don’t trust you, but can you share thr reference point of the barracuda study? Thanks

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, I can’t. As I mentioned in the post, I heard a speaker use it. I don’t know it’s true or not. I couldn’t find a source. Thanks.

  • http://www.judiholler.com/ Judi

    This post is great and love the Barracuda story … so true!  I just wrote my blog post this week on Taking Risks … one of my favorite Improv rules and life lessons.  It’s all about thinking and dreaming big … thinking way outside the box and not listening to that little devil that’s called “resistance” (big fan of Stephen Pressfield’s “Do The Work”).   Thanks for the post and for all you do … always love reading and sharing your posts with my network!

    • Jim Martin

      Judi, Pressfield’s “Do the Work” was very meaningful to me as well.  You are right.  It is easy to yield to our own “resistance.”

  • http://www.borntwolead.com/ TJ Trent

    Mike,

    Your article reiterates the principles John Maxwell discussed in “Thinking for a Change”.  Thanks, this was very helpful and I needed to hear this now.

  • Ben Matthews

    “I am willing to put myself through anything; temporary pain or discomfort means nothing to me as long as I can see that the experience will take me to a new level. I am interested in the unknown, and the only path to the unknown is through breaking barriers, an often painful process.” -Diana Nyad 

    • Jim Martin

      Ben, I love this quote.  Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

  • http://bwrdesign.com/ Benjamin W Roberts

    One mental barrier I am always having to overcome is phone calls with potential clients. I always want to put off those initial cold calls for some reason, I guess because of a fear of rejection. Eventhough money is on the line it’s still hard for me.

  • Flybabymom

    I’m involved in bringing a movie to our town for screening.  It’s pushing me WAY past my comfort zone–advertising, media contacts for interviews…it’s all bigger than I am.  I have a great small team, but it’s still almost overwhelming.  And in a 2-1/2 week time frame!  Hebrews 10:35 is getting me through–“Don’t cast away your confidence, which has great reward.”

  • Sandra

    My comfort zone comprises of the fact that I realy realy realy need to lose weight,I know this for a fact!! I have such a lot I want to accomplish this year and I know that losing weight,toning up and also striving to be the woman God wants me to be is part of this,I have always had an issue with my body, at school I didnt eat, then I got married ate too much, then got divorced,didnt eat, 12 years later i have developed on and off unhealthy self image, I was praying the other day and all of the sudden, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that the reason why I cannot seem to get victory over my eating habits is that my purpose in life has somehow have to do with the way I look. Oh my word!!! I cried and yelled and praised God for that revelation, I always thought that it is because I was weak with no self control,but now I know that I am moving towards something amazing where I need to be fit and healthy, so in one day, with that revelation grasped,I have made more progress in self control than in all the years of strugling and beating myself up. Enough said, Have a great day and thanks for you inspiring e-mails

  • Kaz Maslanka

    First of all I am an artist that has a muse that forces me to make the kind of art that I make. The barrier in my head is believing that what I do will affect more than a handful of people.  (so why do it?) My work is digitally created visual art with mathematical poetry centering around a zen philosophy, embedded inside the visual work. – I imagine your advice will be to change the artwork but unfortunately muses don’t bargain well.  

  • Ndidi lilian

    Hey! I am up and jumping over this! This is too much Michael. Needed to hear this just now, really. You sure do know what to write about and how to write it and greatly inspire someone! You are a huge blessing to me and those who hear you on a consistent basis. God bless you. Love you loads!

    • Jim Martin

      Glad this post spoke to you Ndidi. I think this post is very encouraging to many of us.

  • http://twitter.com/CampClem Gina Cleminson

    Great pep talk! Very inspiring!

  • http://www.maikelkaes.wordpress.com/ Maoojelabi

    Great load of poignant truth. Used to think what we seek is the comfort zone, but clearly we excel greatly outside of it. Thanks.

  • Kaz Maslanka

    When I first started following your blog – I seriously thought
    that it was too akin to business people and too off topic for an artist. But
    the more I read the more it dawned on me that the people you were addressing
    were really not that different from me. You talked about the importance of
    influence.  It was easy for me to connect
    to this concept for the sustainably of artists are proportional to their
    influence.  When I read this latest entry
    of yours I thought that I certainly can relate since I have a mental block that
    I think is sharable.  Since my original
    question/comment never showed up on your blog, I can only assume you felt that
    it was off topic.  However, in your
    dismissal of it you confirmed my fears that my work is too esoteric for the
    mainstream.  In fact, just the question
    alone found its way to be too esoteric and off topic in your eyes when in fact
    I believe it is exactly the topic you are discussing, yet, I am surprised that you
    could not see it. I can only assume that the verbiage was in a context to
    personal or foreign to you so let me rewrite it in something more familiar:

    I have a calling in life to produce a product (A body of
    artwork) that I believe is too difficult for the general population to connect
    with and consequential will never sell.  How does one overcome the self doubt and
    continue to put tremendous effort in such a thing?

    Sincerely, Kaz Maslanka 

  • Kathryn Crawford Wheat

    Speaking to a room filled with thousands of people.

  • Mark Kaplan

    Thanks Mike.  Job #1 is be aware of the artificial glass that causes us to compromise our potential/destiny, like the Barracuda.  Most often, it’s someone that we trusted who established in our minds that we weren’t enough.  THEY inserted the glass….usually the same glass that was imposed on them.  True happiness & achievement comes to those who break the chain of negativity.  Of course, I’m talking about Self-Discovery to re-establish that inner-child who always knew he could do it. 

  • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    You’d have to give me something specific, Jesse. I don’t know how to answer in the abstract. Thanks.

  • Jbistline35

    Trying to get past what others think of me and all the knowledge I have about children in the church. I feel I am not listened too, or taken seriously

  • zcoffeegirl

    I have several ideas on writing and I long to do it…I keep asking myself what is holding me back..I have several excuses..but what is the real invisible barrier?  Failure.  That I won’t be creative enough, smart enough and will disappoint myself because it has been a desire for so long.  There I said it out loud.

    • Jim Martin

      Good for you!  You have just named your fear and even posted it here.  That alone is a huge step.  

  • Sjw2481

    That’s it? That’s your advice? Push through? Really?

    Worst advice ever!

  • Kvang71

    I agree a lot with what you had to say. However, what about those darn marine biologist? :-) I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Although I agree that we created these barriers; many times we have a marine biologist messing with our heads. Hopefully, I don’t give away my manhood by referencing the Disney film, Tangled, where she was duped to believe that the world was a really ugly and dangerous place by evil witch. 

    Thanks for your insight.

  • Debbie Norred

    I have a goal of learning to sing.  I was told at a young age that I could not carry a tune.   I believed that until God began to encourage me through different situations to SING!  So now at the age of 51 I am embarking on taking vocal lessons and it is definitely out of my comfort zone.  At times I hear that voice saying “you can not carry a tune” screaming back at me.  I will try to visualize this voice as a barrier that is keeping me back from getting to the goal of singing in tune.  With God all things are possible.  Thanks for your post it was encouraging.  I have a voice lesson tomorrow and will definitely be thinking of this post as an encouragement to keep on singing till I get to the land of “in tune”!

    • Jim Martin

      Congratulations on taking on this challenge, Debbie.  It is very encouraging to hear that you are going against an old message and are pushing through beyond your comfort zone.  Thanks for sharing this.

  • http://twitter.com/jenjedihh jen

    Hi Michael. The out-of-comfort and even out-of-sensible-planning thing i am doing is stew over several book ideas ! 

  • http://twitter.com/tellmisty Misty Williams

    This is brilliant, Mike.  :)

  • Julaine

    Writing a book

  • Kathy

    Very cool post Michael!  I love the barracuda story.  Sometimes I’m not even aware of what is holding me back.  This was a good post for me to really look at where I am and where I want to be.  Thanks!

  • Elias Lionsgateinfo

    That was an encouraging short excerpt Mike, I tend to focus on what can’t be done rather than what can.

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  • Padlinroun

    I love this concept and the bope it gives me. I’d like to learn more.

  • Gothope77

    Disney princesses half marathon this Sunday. I’m 52 and every pre race run has been a struggle…I’m not a runner. But I’m doing it as part of a fund raising opportunity to help some friends in the Dominican republic. So it’s worth it! Hope to see you there!!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Awesome!   Good luck!

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      You are going to do great!

  • http://twitter.com/robertkennedy3 Robert Kennedy III

    This is a great story.  I will probably use it at some point :-).  I was just talking to a friend the other day about the fact that we don’t accomplish certain goals because we are nervous about what others might think.  In fact, they aren’t thinking about us at all and we have made up the story in our own heads.  Time to Create a new story.

  • http://www.MikeVeny.com Mike Veny

    Great story Michael. For the past few months, I’ve been operating outside of my comfort zone. I feel vulnerable, excited, and overwhelmed, yet I am seeing more momentum and results than I have ever achieved in my life.

    Thank you for your great podcast, Platform book, and blog.

  • http://joewickman.com/ Joe Wickman

    Wow. Fantastic inspiration. Thank you, Michael.

  • AccentJim

    The mental response was also changed for the bait fish. It was no longer a victim. I imagine the experiment was more effective because they were both enrolled in a new reality.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That’s a great insight. Thanks for sharing!

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  • http://twitter.com/AnitaMathias1 Anita Mathias

    Hmm, this is less practical than usual.

    You don’t have to get crazy, but you do have to stretch yourself and push past the invisible barrier in your head.

    But how? Just do it?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      My goal in the post was to convince the reader that the barriers are often in our head. Thanks.

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  • Kimberly Contreraz

    I would love to run a half marathon in under 2 hours. My PR in the half is 2 hours 14 minutes. I know it’s possible to run my goal time, I just need to dig deep and truly believe it’s possible. Then put that belief to work.

  • James Beeman

    Michael, thanks for the encouragement to remain persistent and remove those internal barriers to personal, meaningful life goals.

  • Vhonda McElroy

    Ruling media. It’s literally a dream if mine and I replay isn’t constantly in my mind but when I wake up from that dream, it’s back to the single mom, new grad, 12 bucks an hour and I tell myself “maybe tomorrow”. I really enjoy your site and have just been introduced to it. Thanks for all the great reads!!