Fear is the highest fence. Dudley Nichols
We build too many walls and not enough bridges. Isaac Newton
The obstacles you face-are — mental barriers which can be broken by adopting a more positive approach. Clarence Blasier
Walls, barriers and fences are physical structures that hold things in, keep things out or separate things. They are used to hang signs that display messages, such as “stay out”, “no trespassing” and “private.” They can be virtually impenetrable, serving defensive purposes, protecting us from attackers. They should be used as tools and conveniences to make life more manageable, safer and enjoyable, not to isolate us.
There is another aspect walls, barriers and fences. In addition to the physical version, there are the mental equivalents. They too separate, isolate and defend. We use them to hide behind, protect our secrets, keep enemies out, and to minimize our exposure to risks, imagined and real. In many respects, our mental barriers may do us more harm than good. Hiding behind barriers minimizes our growth and development.
Comfort zones fall into the category of mental walls, barriers and fences. We hide inside them, thinking that they protect us, minimizing our exposure to unknowns, risks, and things that make us uncomfortable. When we were kids we hid behind our mother’s skirts. Sometimes our mother would move and cause us to have to face the fear that stood before us. Many individuals are too dependent upon their comfort zones, their place to hide, their place to escape life’s challenges. Many individuals live too fearfully and too timidly.
Comfort zones do serve their good side. We need a place to go and feel secure. Our comfort zone is our home sweet home. We feel comfortable there and feel protected from the fears of life. Too much of a good thing sometimes becomes more harmful than it is good. Many of us hide inside our comfort zones in similar fashion to what we were doing when we hid behind our mother’s skirt. If we spend too much hiding, we will miss out on life’s adventures and the growth and development that come with it.
Such things as mental barriers, self-erected fences, defensive mechanisms, walls of isolation, stunt our growth and development. We will not become what we are capable of becoming. In some cases we will have personality and psyche issues that need counseling. Many of us presently have self-image and self-esteem issues that are directly related to having too many barriers that have separated us from life. We can easily spend too much time hiding and not enough time being and doing.
Challenge: Are you too dependent upon barriers to hide behind? Are you too comfortable in your comfort zone? Remember there is little growth and development that occurs when you are too safe and secure and not being tested and challenged. There is the need for balance, for safety and security, but also, the need to take some risks, face the unknowns of life, and be willing to venture out from behind your protective barriers.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5, 6
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
The biggest barrier anyone can ever have is the barrier that separates them from God. We are made to have fellowship with God. The world pulls us away from him. To separate ourselves from God is to live a life doomed to failure. We will be like a fish out of water. Fish are not designed to life out of water. God will give us the strength, faith, and courage to overcome life’s barriers. He will empower us and sustain us to grow and develop.
Prayer: Help me to not hide behind barriers. Help me to have the faith and confidence to live life.