Why Is This Problem So Hard?

Try a simple experiment (no safety goggles necessary). Pick any unlocked door.  Stand close to it.  Now see if you can pass through it within a five-minute time period.

Did you succeed?  Yes?  Congratulations!

This experiment was ridiculously easy right?

Now try a second experiment.  Find a concrete wall.  See if you can walk through it within a five-minute time period.  (Please note that it’s cheating to use a jack hammer.) 

How did this experiment turn out, probably not nearly as well as the first one, right?

The results of these two experiments seem obvious, don’t they?

Yet how many times in life do we live in frustration and failure as we repeatedly try to walk into the “concrete walls” of our painful thoughts and beliefs instead of searching for a “door?”

I ask this question because I’m a seasoned veteran at walking into “concrete walls.”  (Fortunately, for my body, these walls have tended to be metaphorical and not real.)    For example, the repetitive thought, “I have a speech impediment and therefore I will NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH” was a “concrete wall” that I spent years walking straight into.

Our minds can do crazy things when it comes to “concrete walls”, like telling us that going through the “concrete wall” straight ahead of us is the ONLY WAY TO GO.  Or our minds might even get trickier and paint an image that looks like a door and a knob on the “concrete wall” and tell us, “You SHOULD be able to open this.”

My “door” at last appeared when I stopped walking into my “concrete wall” long enough to look around and listen to others.  I noticed that contrary to the belief I had been walking into as if it was a “concrete wall,” people understood me and were glad to be around me.

Have you ever had held a belief that was highly painful, only to discover that once you started looking around that there was a “door “standing open for you, as an invitation to look at your painful belief in a whole new way?

It started to appear that there was approximately one person in the world who thought the sound of my voice was a barrier as rock solid as a concrete wall and that person was me.

Everyone else seemed to see my voice as a “door.”  Sure the “door” had an unexpected shape, but people saw a “door” nevertheless.  So by finally looking around, I noticed that I had the option of walking through this “door” and cherishing the sound of my voice as a great gift, instead of arguing with the “concrete wall” of my insecurities.

May you notice when you are attempting to walk through a “concrete wall” and start to quickly look around for a “door.”  Finding the “doors” really does make life much easier.

Game of the Day

Do you feel like you are straining against a “concrete wall” somewhere in your life?

What would it be like to search for a “door” instead?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com. 

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2 responses

  1. This is how I felt about my reading challenge (dyslexia)! I put it in the brackets for a reason. Once I saw it is not who I am, rather what I have, I was able to work with it and not try to change it. Thank you Jason for putting the wall (differences) into writing and giving all of us a voice.

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