How To Overcome Your Greatest Obstacle To Success!

    If manifesting what you want is so simple, why do we sometimes feel so stuck?

    Click the PLAY button to hear an audio message…

    Today I want to talk about what is perhaps the GREATEST obstacle we ALL face when it comes to creating the life we desire. Then, I want to talk about HOW you can overcome it. Any ideas what this obstacle might be? (Someone has their hand up in Texas 🙂

    Well here’s a metaphysical clue …

    We know that the apparent “outside” is just a refection of what’s going on in our inner world. If we’re suffering in terms of our health, our relationships, our finances, it’s because of something we’re doing (or not doing) internally.

    So our greatest challenge then is WITHIN ourselves. And this brings us to the power of our EMOTIONS.

    The interesting thing to notice is that ALL the negative emotions we experience from apathy through to grief, from grief through to fear, from fear through to lust, from lust through to anger and from anger up to pride … all these negative emotions can be viewed as manifestations of one more basic emotion –

    … FEAR.

    In “A Course In Miracles”, it’s said that all emotions boil down to just two – love and fear. In the perceived absence of love we experience fear in the form of some negative emotion.

    So ultimately, our greatest obstacle to creating the life we truly desire is fear. Fear is what holds us back from our dreams. Fear is what keeps us bound up. Fear is what paralyzes inspired action in the direction of our goals.

    How would you like a way to ELIMINATE fear from any and every area of your life?

    Well before we get to that, it’s CRUCIAL that we first recognize WHERE we experience fear in our lives if we truly want to free ourselves from it’s grip.

    I have experienced first hand how the mind tries to deny fear by creating all kinds of clever justifications for it. Well, if we truly want to be free of fear we need to be honest with ourselves and see fear for what it is without trying to deny it.

    So what is fear specifically?

    Fear is the perception or belief that you cannot cope with a threat, real or imagined. Fear is an immobilizing feeling. The belief with fear is that something bad or even terrible is about to happen. There’s a sense of impending doom. You feel you’re not safe and want desperately to feel safe again.

    I know the feeling all too well!

    In Traditional Chinese Medicine, fear relates to kidney dysfunction. Having gone through some pretty major health challenges when I was younger that severely affected the health of my kidney system, fear is something I happen to know something about!

    In fact, these health challenges are what inspired me to begin my martial arts, Qigong and meditation training. More recently, when I slipped back into some old reactive patterns of fear, it’s been my Qigong and meditation training that have helped me turn things around once again.

    So, this is a topic close to my heart and I’m happy to share with you some of the things I’ve learned and am continuing to learn about overcoming fear.

    I’ve been a martial arts fan ever since I saw Bruce Lee in the movie “Enter The Dragon” as a kid. I was just so impressed with his Kung Fu skills. He came to America from China and made a name for himself as a martial artist and a movie star.

    If you’ve seen the movie “The Life Of Bruce Lee” you’ll have seen how Bruce was tormented with a recurring nightmare.

    In his dreams he was forced to fight his personal demon … what seemed like a giant monster towering several feet above his head, seemingly impervious to his blows (… and Bruce could hit pretty hard – he was famous for the explosively powerful “one inch punch”).

    For me, the martial arts and specifically, Wing Chun Kung Fu, has some important lessons for us all about how to deal with fear.

    Before Bruce developed his own martial art Jeet Kune Do, he practiced a form of Kung Fu known as Wing Chun under the instruction of my teacher’s teacher, Wong Shun Leung. Wong Shun Leung was a seasoned fighter who tested his skills regularly on the streets and rooftops of Hong Kong in the 1950s and 1960s.

    As you can imagine, the “fight or flight” fear response must have been pretty common for these “no holds barred” bare knuckle fighters. Yet Wong remained undefeated throughout many years of street combat.

    What was his secret? And more importantly, what can we learn from this rather distasteful, over-hostile metaphor?

    Much of Wong’s success was based on his training and understanding of Wing Chun’s principle of “lat sau jik chung” or forward energy. Wong had systematically trained his energy and reflexes to have “forward focus” and to “attack instinctively” in the potentially terrifying context of real combat.

    His hands and feet would always be “looking” for a gap in his opponent’s defense. The moment a gap appeared, he would strike immediately and follow up with a relentless attack to finish off his opponent.

    Most of Wong’s fights were over in less than 60 seconds and most of the time two or three punches is all it took to knock his opponent out cold.

    Now I’m certainly NOT advocating violence or even aggressive behavior as a way of overcoming fear (except under exceptional circumstances). From a metaphysical standpoint, we know that acting out against others just ends up hurting you. Not a good idea!

    What I am saying is that Wong’s approach can teach us a lot about fear and how to effectively overcome it …

    First of all, one useful way to look at fear is that it is allowing your energetic structure to collapse and withdraw.

    In other words, when you feel fear, you have perceived something that you **believe** is a threat and you begin to withdraw your energy. Unfortunately though, by withdrawing your energy and awareness from the source of the perceived threat, you allow your energy to collapse and compress in on itself even further.

    Since your energy is now collapsing even further, this makes the perceived threat appear even more real … and so the process loops getting stronger with each cycle.

    This is how fear can be self-perpetuating.

    We said before that fear is the **perception** of a threat, real or imagined. Whether that threat is reality or illusion depends on the nature of the situation. Maybe the feeling of impending doom is based in reality, as in the case of the bare knuckle fight. In that situation, the threat of getting knocked unconscious is VERY real!

    In the case of a phobia there may be SOME threat that’s just been blown out of proportion. In another situation however, the threat is not real at all! Consider that a possibility at least.

    Whether the threat is real or not, Wing Chun offers some great practical advice for dealing with fear …

    … Systematically re-train your mind-body and your energy to come FORWARD. Instead of allowing your energy to collapse in on itself, push it back out again to meet the source of the old fear.

    Interestingly enough, Wing Chun’s first form, Sui Lim Tao (translates as “Little Idea” = reduce your thinking) is routed in a standing meditation posture (Zhan Zhuang) that allows the practitioner to practice the principle of “relaxed forward energy”.

    But how does the non Wing Chun practitioner develop “relaxed forward energy”?

    Simple. You can practice the same principle wherever you experience fear in your life.

    Ask yourself, what is the source of the fear? What are you believing that you lack? What are you allowing your energy to withdraw from?

    Practice re-training your energy to come forward in those situations. Practice. Practice. Practice. This works great in the form of visualization, mental rehearsal as well as in real life situations themselves.

    In typical Kung Fu movie style, ask yourself who do I have some “unfinished business” with? 🙂 When you face your personal demon in combat, the old Wing Chun adage makes for good advice …

    “Meet what comes, follow what goes and attack instinctively!”

    In my experience, what’s actually behind the fear is often totally insubstantial. Maybe you’ll find the same. But of course, the only way you can know that for yourself is to jump in with both feet and go check it out!

    In doing so you’ll find yourself infinitely safer, but also much more awake and aware.

    Be happy,

    Matt Clarkson
    The Mind-Body Training Company

    P.S. “One who knows the enemy and knows himself will not be endangered in a hundred engagements.”
    Sun Zi

      One Response to “How To Overcome Your Greatest Obstacle To Success!”

      1. Phil says:

        Matt,

        I don’t know you, and I don’t know if I believe or can relate to one iota of what you said, (except, maybe, that I am a big Bruce Lee fan too) but, I want to tell you,…

        You have a VERY soothing way.

        Whether I agree with you or not, I LOVED the lilt and sound and flow of you talking.

        I felt very good listening to you.

        Now, I don’t know what you can ‘take away’ from that, but I thought it worth mentioning.

        As for dealing with fears, I have some quotes that I often read and re-read, and they invariably lessen whatever fears I may be experiencing. In case you’re curious, here they are:

        “We create our own heaven or hell. Your thoughts can imprison you or set you free. Complications, conditions or people do not upset you, but the way you think about them causes your upset. Freedom is not possible until we discipline and retrain our minds.” – p. 124 of Choose To Live Peacefully by Susan Smith Jones, Ph.D.

        “If you say, “I just can’t help the way I feel,” you will only make yourself a victim of your misery ~ and you’ll be fooling yourself, because you can change the way you feel.
        If you want to feel better, you must realize that your thoughts and attitudes–not external events–create your feelings. You can learn to change the way your think, feel, and behave in the here-and-now.” – from The Feeling Good Handbook by Dr. David Burns

        “When you feel frustrated or upset by a person or a situation, remember that you are not reacting to the person or the situation, but to your feelings [beliefs] about the person or the situation.” – from The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

        “I can’t emphasize this strongly enough… If you haven’t been able to feel how you want to feel and haven’t been able to get yourself to do something you want to do… then you are being victimized by your own disempowering thoughts, beliefs and attitudes.” – Mike Brescia, President, Think Right Now International

        “Other people can neither make us miserable nor make us happy.” – p.3 of Choice Theory by William Glasser, M.D.

        “If you are feeling less than peaceful and confident it is because you are believing something that causes you to feel this way. Consciously or not, you are buying into a disturbing evaluation, and it isn’t necessary. A disturbing belief or evaluation blinds us to an always available constructive and uplifting one. Dispel and replace the poor belief with a more constructive one and your mood will rise. How you feel follows what you come to believe.” – PMI

        “Let nothing disturb you, nothing affright you.” – Mother Theresa

        “Your greatest difficulty is not some circumstance or anything external. Your challenge in any difficulty is finding and fueling an inspiring, uplifting feeling. The challenge is to somehow BE more of the person you want to be; to FEEL what it is like to triumph over difficulty. Prove it to yourself. In any difficulty, if you will find some idea that will allow you to have a good feeling you’ll realize you’re bigger than the difficulty and you’ll handle it somehow.” – PMI

        ”Your suffering is the pain of holding onto that which no longer serves you.” – Kahlil Gibran

        “Entertaining or justifying a painful thought is just as dangerous to your well being as is touching a hot stove. The only difference may be the time it takes you to realize the consequence of each.” – PMI

        Phil

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