We have all seen it thousands of times. Most of us have done it hundreds of times. That is walking a dog on a leash. Why? What is the leash for? Easy, it is to control the dog. We want the animal to walk with us on our terms in order to keep them safe and to make the walk more convenient for us. This sounds harsh but we have all probably experienced that time when they are off their leash and not being cooperative, not very convenient. Dogs will vary on their response to the leash. Some will calmly walk at your side and never pull. The leash is simply a security for the human, a just in case kind of thing. Some will pull the entire time and leave no doubt that without the leash they would be gone. Most fall somewhere in between. Most are good most of the time but occasionally they will get excited about that kid on the skateboard or that fat squirrel that just ran past and they will try to take off so you yank the leash and pull them back in line. This works great for dogs and their owners. Both get a little exercise and no one gets hurt, not even the fat squirrel. The problem comes in when the leash is on us, not the dog.

I don’t mean it is a problem if you wear a leash literally. If that is your thing have at it, no judgment here. I am referring to a figurative leash. The things in your life that control your decisions and actions. Just like a leash controls a dog. Many of these controlling factors are invisible or camouflaged as other things. Some of them are obvious. Things like family commitments or work responsibilities are easy to see as altering your behaviors. You can’t run off to Jamaica at a moments notice with that cute blonde because your boss and wife would probably not be too happy about that. Those types of restrictions are hopefully fairly clear. It is the small things that are affecting our daily life that can be harder to see. For instance if you have an underlying fear of public speaking you may subconsciously avoid situations that will put you in front of people. Even if that means sabotaging your career. You may justify this behavior by finding an excuse for not doing what you need to do but it really is the fear that is pulling that leash.

True self-analysis is the best starting point for figuring out what is on the other end of that leash. In most cases, it is your own fears that keep yanking you back. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of rejection, fear of acceptance. So many little fears that pull you back every time you start to make progress. The most common symptom of fear in your life is blame. I find that the people who blame others the most for what is happening in their lives are the people who are most afraid to do what they know they need to do. I once heard stress defined as “the tension caused by not doing what you know you need to do”. I like this. We all know things in our lives that if we gave them a little more attention would make huge improvements. Our health is a huge one. Just a small change could make a huge difference but we ignore it and blame our circumstances or our genes. Take a good look at yourself and what you could do to change things. Sure some of us have “bad” genes or unfortunate circumstances but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve. Look at where you are and figure out the first step to moving towards where you wanna be. As those fears try to pull you back recognize them for what they are and take your own leash back.

You are the only one who can take the leash out of your own fears hand. You are the only one who can take control of your life and progress. Hold your own leash and don’t be afraid to let yourself run a little. Just maybe not to Jamaica. Happy Adventuring.

Keep Evolving ~E