Breaking Through the Wall

Sep 13th, 2019

Breaking through the wall is where there's something that we want to begin doing (e.g. blogging, sewing, hosting a project, etc.), but the fear of failure is keeping us from taking that first step. Sometimes the wall is cardboard and we can easily get ourselves to punch right through it. Other times it is a fortress of stone. It all depends on what it is that we are overcoming, and the level of insecurity it shines on us.

For me and many others, the biggest walls are the ones that expose us to the world. The things that bring us under the scrutiny of our peers.

This post is my attempt to break that wall into blogging. I can't think of a better way to do that than talking about the problem that currently plagues me.

What's interesting about the wall is, once you break it and reveal the other side, the fear and mystery essentially dissolves. There was a wall I faced while launching this very website. I was worried about if it was worth it, if it would actually help me or even potentially hurt me. There's no place to hide once it's done. People can look at it and will internally decide whether you are good or bad.

However, as usual, I was worrying too much. I doubt anyone has even laid eyes on this site besides myself and my girlfriend, who I make look at it (thanks babe), but our brains will always find a way to get us to stop doing things. Our brains don't like change; our egos don't like having their false reality challenged. They constantly come up with very sneaky ways to convince us that not doing the thing is the obvious choice. There's a great book on this topic I highly recommend called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. If you want to dive in on how our brains resist working and changing, this is a good place to start.

Maybe the walls aren't around what we want to do. Maybe the walls are around ourselves. They create a bubble where we hide from thoughts or ideas that challenge us. When I add a project to Github, it is no longer perfect. It now can be viewed by others who can say what is wrong with it. When we think about it objectively we realize this is a good thing, but our fragile minds are not so thrilled. It's our job as humans to expose our work to the criticisms of the outside world, or we risk iterating over our ideas of what is right for so long that the disconnect is too large to grasp. Then we won't be able to properly understand any criticism. We're in too deep.

I'd like to end on a positive note. Walls are meant to be broken (or is it rules?). Every time we break one down we get stronger, and the next wall doesn't look as scary. There are all different kinds of walls, I just so happened to speak about my biggest wall. This can be different for you.

I'm challenging you to take a minute and think:

What walls are stopping you from doing what you like? What are the underlying insecurities you need to face to grow into the person you know you want to be?

This got self-helpy rather quickly, so I'm going to quit while I'm ahead. This is me breaking through my wall, now it's your turn.