August 22, 2015

One Simple Trick to Get Out of Your Own Way.


Don’t get me wrong, I love The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but there’s a significant shift in our mindset when we move into the driver’s seat of our lives.

The greatest challenge to living to our greatest potential?

It turns out that it’s often ourselves.

Most of the time, we just need to get out of our own way.

As a teacher, I’ve watched the dreams of my students crushed by parental expectations, what society says is the right thing to do, and, of course, self-limiting beliefs.

As a journalist, nearly every entrepreneur or world-changer that I’ve interviewed in my work has come face-to-face with the suffocating fear of failure—often times right before an incredible breakthrough.

Often times all it takes to get out of our own way is just a subtle shift in thinking and focusing on the positive. Easier said than done, I know, but don’t take my word for it. Listen to Jay Stolar: “If you get out of your own way, you can accomplish anything.”

In his music video #MyOwnWay (which benefits the Love is Louder movement), Stolar spreads the message that happiness comes from how you look at your situation and your willingness to love yourself.

With a permanent marker in hand, Stolar faces the reflective surface of his mirror. He scribbles the word “Buried” and then others line up to write their deep seeded word of negativity.




“Not enough”




Perhaps you too have a word that embraces your greatest fear? Being rejected. Failing. Go ahead, write it on the mirror.

What’s my word right now? Stuck.

My wife’s severe case of Chronic Lyme Disease poured concrete over our feet just four days after we said “I do” and it’s become a daily struggle to not feel stuck. She went from running a half-marathon to sitting in a wheelchair in a matter of weeks.

For a vagabond like me, “Stuck” is a tough emotion to feel. But if I make one simple switch and flip this word to focus on the positive like Stolar demonstrates, my word transforms to “Focused.”

And for someone with a serious case of wanderlust, if I am not forced to be focused, It’s nearly impossible to sit still and focus on the present.

If you were to flip your word and focus on the positive, what would it be? Free? Beautiful?

Human? Supported? Everything? Alive? Healthy? Never give up?

As a educator, an entrepreneur, and just a guy who wants to be the best version of himself, I’ve seen my fair share of destructive criticism. There’s a whole lot out there that tries to hold you back.

Don’t let yourself join that crowd.





Author: Mark Guay

Editor: Renée Picard 

Image: Jone at Flickr 

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