We build walls to keep some things out and to keep others in. They can protect and serve us and they can limit our freedom. The images I’ve included here are from one of the remaining sections of the Berlin Wall. I particularly like them just because here we see the wall transforming into a site of creativity, an expression of individual freedom. Here the wall has ceased to be a wall at all, it’s just the memory of one, a memory that itself has been reinscribed and reinterpreted in a myriad of ways.
You might have noticed that in my last post I announced the launch of my new blog, Strategic Futures with its first piece, a topical post on the leadership contest in Australia. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for several years now. Publishing work on politics and strategic affairs is not new to me. Over the last 7 years I’ve published numerous articles in academic journals which have to go through rigorous peer review. But I’ve also written numerous pieces, good ones I think, that I’ve done nothing with. I’ve sent them to a few friends and even included links to them on my sites, but nothing out in the open.
Launching the new blog was significant in this case because it required passing through or getting around a wall of resistance. The thing is, when I’ve reflected about this before (probably in earlier blogs as well) I’ve noticed that many of the experiences that I dream about and the goals that I strive for will require encountering some of my biggest fears. Resistance seems to come up as a kind of self-protection as I approach these fears. Mostly it’s protection from things like being embarrassed or making a fool of myself, not being good enough, being on stage and not being able to perform. And yet, I know that on the other side of the fear is in fact my life, that is the experience of feeling alive.
Everyone has their own tricks for moving through resistance. However, often I find that you can’t rely too heavily on one strategy for too long. So this time I tried something new, well with a twist anyway.
Modelling the behaviours and mindsets of those who have achieved what we want to achieve for ourselves is a pretty solid strategy for performance in pretty much any domain whether you’re an equestrian, a writer or a monk. But this week, it didn’t have the right resonance with me and I didn’t have a clear model to look to (an essential ingredient!). Instead, I switched the emphasis of modelling by assuming responsibility for being the role model myself. In particular I focussed on being the role model for my son. I have to say, once I looked at it from this direction I discovered new buckets of determination, energy and mental focus which came from becoming clear on the actions I needed to take. I still felt the fear, but with this new focus I found a powerful and crystal clear emotional anchor that was based not in the stories and beliefs that supported my old fears but in the dynamic power of life itself that lay on the other side.