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INHIBITIONS – those pesky little thoughts that we allow to keep us from doing something, accomplishing something, speaking to someone, taking that risk, seizing that moment, speaking in front of a group of people, getting on that roller coaster, flying down that zip line, and the list can go on. They are also what stop us from entering into, developing, or even taking the time to be in “relationship” with others.

Another word for inhibitions would be insecurities. When the words, “I can’t…” or “I don’t…” or “no one will…” or “who are you to…” come into our thought streams, we have a choice to make. Do we allow those thoughts to cripple us and keep us on the ledge overlooking relationships with others? OR Will we jump off that ledge into the waters below immersing ourselves into the messiness of relationships.

Our insecurities are the inner screams we wish no one would hear. We do not wish to confess them for fear they make us look weak. When someone discovers them, or sees them in us, we build up a fortress that looks strong on the outside. As a matter of fact, I can hear that inner voice right now saying, “No one wants you to write about this. What if someone thinks less of you or stops caring what you are writing?”

Yes, that’s right. I have struggled with battling my inhibitions and insecurities most of my adult life. I wish I could say I have overcome them. However, whenever I get close to a success the battle rages. I have become more proficient at silencing these thoughts – but I remain humbled by them nonetheless. Why would ANYONE confess this? I must be crazy right?

Maybe. However, one thing I have learned is that being vulnerable up front (not baring all my faults, but showing others that I am who I am, faults and all) tends to shoot down the negative thoughts flying around my thought airfield. It has taken me a long time, and I am not successful at this all the time. Yet, when I am faced with the uncertainty, anxiety and diffidence surrounding me, it has become easier to climb over those emotional obstacles when I make the decision not to listen to them.

Do I still fail? Do I still make mistakes? YES!!! When I do, do I still battle with the afterthoughts that try to plague my next step forward? YOU BET YA!!!

The difference, you might ask? The difference is I embrace it now. Sometimes I need a good swift kick in the aft deck by someone that loves me and reminds me that I am slipping into the lake of timidity saying, “JUST CUT IT OUT! Pick yourself up off the mat and go back swinging!”

Kobe Bryant, point guard for the LA Lakers said, “I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.”

What would happen if today you decided in one of your relationships – to take a step forward and take a risk. Take the risk that says, “I don’t want to pretend to be something in order to impress someone. I will be myself even if that means I show I have faults.” Find a safe environment, some people you can trust. Open up about your inhibitions/insecurities and what you feel is holding you back. Allow them to speak into your life and call you out when you allow those pesky thoughts to hold you back.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please post a comment. Share this blog with someone and invite them to the conversation. What holds you back? What helps you prevail over those negative thoughts?

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