Over the 25 years that I have been involved with self-esteem enhancement courses, the key takeaway I have for clients is that it is the thoughts we think and act out that are our greatest asset — or our largest liability.
Past events and experiences have a way of triggering the mind to create barriers. Our minds build these barriers to protect us by controlling what it believes is safe to think, say, do, or even, believe.
I call it Barrier Thinking.
What is Barrier Thinking?
Barrier Thinking is when what we think or believe become barriers to living the life we really want to live.
Have you noticed yourself procrastinating or changing the way you present yourself just to please whoever you are with at the time? This is a result of Barrier Thinking.
Just as parents put physical barriers around their children — like a playpen around an infant to keep them safe — we too, as adults, put barriers around ourselves in the form of thinking patterns to keep ourselves safe.
But as we move forward, it may well be that these thoughts and beliefs are no longer necessary. This is why it is important to question them. Questioning your barrier thoughts and beliefs will provide a significant degree of internal freedom and mental energy — energy that can be used to focus on achieving goals and creating your dream life.
7 Examples of Barrier Thinking
There are seven barrier thoughts I often come across with clients who are experiencing low self-esteem or do not achieve their set goals.
1. Barrier Thought: I Am Not Good Enough
This Barrier Thought holds on to the belief that the person is not enough. Despite all their natural skills, education, talents and efforts, they believe that they are a failure and therefore not good enough.
2. Barrier Thought: Stuck in Comparison and Jealousy
This kind of thinking stems from looking at someone and comparing your lifestyle or circumstances to theirs, only to conclude that yours is not as good. Perhaps you think you are not worthy of the life they have or that you are not as talented as they are.
These thoughts can be as simple as “she’s prettier” or “he’s more successful” than I am.
If not controlled, this kind of barrier thinking can become repetitive, habitual, and very hard to break out of.
3. Barrier Thought: I’m Different, Therefore I Can’t Connect With Them
With this Barrier Thought, the mind finds a reason to justify why you are different and isolated. For example, “I am single”, “I‘m not sporty
For myself, growing up in Palmerston North as the only brown-skinned child in my class led me to think I was different and left me feeling isolated. These thoughts became my self-created barrier to connection.
4. Barrier Thought: There’s Something Wrong With Me
Similar to the barrier thought, “I’m different”, the thinker creates a barrier belief that there is something wrong with them. They genuinely believe that if anyone were to find out about it, then we would reject them. Because of this thought, they reject themselves.
5. Barrier Thought: I’ve Done Something That Is Unforgivable
With this barrier thought, the thinker believes that they have done something unforgivable. This deed, in their mind, is something so terrible and perhaps, against their own moral code — that even they cannot forgive themselves.
Even if God and others forgive them, they still cannot forgive themselves because they feel that they have violated their own internal sense of morality, and so, hold on to self-resentment or self-directed ill will.
6. Barrier Thought: A Painful End to a Friendship or Relationship
If you have relied on a friend, partner, or family member to give you love, approval, and appreciation — and one day they stop giving it to you, this can cause feelings of pain and emptiness.
Relying on others to provide you with a constant stream of positive thought stimulation never ends well. The affirmation from these people in your life becomes a drug; and withdrawal from that drug is a painful process.
7. Barrier Thought: I can’t do ____ because____ will happen
This barrier thought predicts that if action is taken, a dire consequence will occur. Therefore to avoid the perceived hazard one remains frozen in inaction.
Overcoming Barrier Thinking
These thinking barriers prevent us from being free and living an enjoyable life. Overcoming barrier thinking is not only possible; it is very doable.
Inquiry* is one process I offer in this programme. This will you discover that you don’t have to “let go” of the barrier thoughts. Instead, as you question their truthfulness, they will let go of you.
Once you are free from the influence of your barrier thoughts, taking action to create your dream life becomes easy and doable.
Ishani Noble helps people improve their self esteem. She is an expert at helping people overcome barrier thinking and being unstoppable in creating their dream life.
If you are interested in boosting your self-esteem or removing barrier thinking and launching yourself wholeheartedly into your next