Check the Brakes

My Father’s been recovering from an operation, and I’ve been lending a hand around the house and garden.  I decided to surprise him by transforming his lawn into beautifully mown stripes.  To do this, I dusted off his antiquated but posh roller-mower and set about the task with wild enthusiasm.

The mower was very heavy – necessary to get the proper striped effect.  It had powered cutting-blades but required manual pushing to propel it forwards.  It was very hard work, but immensely satisfying.  I felt like I’d done a proper day’s work, really mown the grass and that the result was certainly worth it!

Dad was very impressed.

I casually shared with him how hard it was to push the mower and he graciously agreed.

After awhile, he not unkindly said to me, did I know about the “other lever”?  The mower has a complex safety system controlling power to the cutting blades – the only mechanism I’d noticed.  So I asked, “Which lever?”  Dad explained that the roller was also powered and had its own dedicated lever that left the brakes on until squeezed.  Of course, he was right!

I had worked hard.  I had worked with enthusiasm.  I had achieved a great result… and all with the brakes on!

We laughed… a lot!

When I’d stopped laughing, I thought that this was a great metaphor for the limiting beliefs that I sometimes have, and that hold me back, or make life unnecessarily hard work.  Sometimes in life we work hard, we work with enthusiasm, and we get great results – but the journey could have been a lot easier if we change our beliefs about what is possible.  My limiting belief here was that the roller mechanism was not motorised.  This was clearly not true.

Challenging one limiting belief per day is quite enough!  I’m currently looking for a new job, and in my 50s, my limiting belief was that employers prefer younger applicants.  The truth is that this is entirely dependent upon the role!  For many jobs, a mature outlook and experience suits the requirements perfectly.

So, if you have a thought today that weighs heavily upon your heart, it’s likely to be a sign of a limiting belief putting the brakes on your energy.  Your life could be much easier.  Find that belief that holds you back, examine that thought – and remember that it is often just enough to ask yourself, “Is this really true all the time?”  Look for another lever, and you might just take the brakes off yourself!

Now I can’t wait for the grass to grow so that I can have another go!

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