Breakthrough! 150 150 Ben Coker


Over time you and I have experienced quite a few breakthroughs.

We’ve moved from one stage to another in our lives and our businesses.

Sometimes these breakthroughs have been a consequence of naturally moving on, but what we usually consider to be a ‘breakthrough’ is when you or I overcome some sort of ‘obstacle’ that we perceive to be blocking our progress to where we want to go.

You and I can ‘see’ and perhaps understand what that obstacle is, we can see the ‘brick wall’ that’s preventing us from moving forward, and we can see that we have to get ‘through’ it if we really want to progress.

But of course, there isn’t a physical ‘brick wall’ in front of us.

There is no ‘real’ barrier (except perhaps in military or engineering operations).

In truth, it’s ‘all in the mind’.

You see, you and I and everyone else have set up a whole series of ‘obstacles’ that, although designed to ‘keep us safe’, actually prevent our personal ‘progress’.

The frameworks and paradigms that we consciously or unconsciously set up for ourselves generally tend towards the status quo.

We know where we are, we feel safe here, let’s stick with what we have.

Sure, we also have paradigms representing our ambitions, visions and dreams that urge us to move forward.

But they are the ‘opposition’ whereas our ‘safety’, status quo paradigms are the government in power and we have to make a really strong case to overturn or break through the ‘rules’ we’ve imposed on ourselves.

This is where the ‘breakthrough’ comes in.

You and I make the effort. We decide that it’s time to move on, go over the top, and break through the barbed wire framework of paradigms that are holding us back, or the ‘brick wall’, or however we envisage the current ‘obstacle’.

But here’s the thing.

You and I can see the barrier, the obstacle, or the brick wall.

We can see it clearly, we understand it, we even know exactly what we need to do to get through it.

But we don’t know, and we can’t see what’s on the other side.

For sure, we have a clear idea or vision of what we expect to be on the other side – but you and I know only too well that although we do achieve our goals and realise our visions, it doesn’t often happen in exactly the way we expected.

You know when you’ve been travelling on a train or the subway; you get off and emerge from the station and for a moment pause, figuring out where you are and which way you need to go towards your objective.

Sure, you can grab a taxi to take you there, but again you’re never quite sure where you’re going on this ride until you arrive at your destination.

But when you and I make a breakthrough, there are no taxis, no drivers to take you forward on your journey. What we find on the ‘other side’ of the breakthrough is often not quite what we expected.

Because more often that we think, breakthroughs are themselves unexpected or unplanned.

They can result from a ‘light bulb’ moment, or a ‘doh!’ moment, sometimes as a result of an event or workshop we’ve been attending.

The ‘planned’ breakthroughs are more predictable because we’re more focused on where we’re going and have a better idea of what’s on the other side, we’ve made an effort to ‘see through’ the obstacles and have at least a fuzzy picture of what we’re going to find.

But the way the Universe works is by providing us with ‘unplanned’ breakthroughs.

You and I have our visions of who we want to be and the life we’d love to live and situations arise where a breakthrough just ‘happens’.

An event of some sort occurs and we find ourselves emerging from that station entrance with not much of an idea of where we are and where we’re going next.

We’re aware we’ve arrived on the other side of one or more of our ‘obstacles’, we’ve ‘broken’ one or more of our paradigms, but we’re not quite sure how it happened or what we should do next.

And there’s a problem.

We’ve ‘escaped’ from whatever was holding us in, but that escape route, the hole in the wall, is still open and our old paradigms and ways of doing things are working hard to drag us back.

“Come back, it’s not safe out there” they cry – sometimes quite loudly.

The resistance to change we’ve built up over our lives kicks in and it’s sometimes very tempting to turn around and return to the ‘safety’ of where we were before.

But that’s not what you and I want. One way or another a breakthrough has been achieved and we’re ‘on our way’.

But where to? Do we know where we’re going? What’s it going to be like when we get there?

What happens next?

The most important thing to do when you and I realise a breakthrough has occurred is to stay calm, take stock of where we are, and figure out which way we need to go to align with our vision of where and who we want to be.

Just like coming out of that station entrance.

Breakthroughs don’t happen unless there’s a vision or goal there in the first place.

If we are currently living the life we want, ‘living the dream’ then we don’t need to ‘break through’ anything.

Breakthroughs serve a purpose, they help us on our way, but it’s up to you and I to have a really clear vision of where we want to go, covering all the domains of our lives; because if that vision isn’t clear, if it’s confused or fuzzy, then we could end up in the wrong place, we could be getting off at the wrong station.

Breakthroughs will happen if we have a vision. We shouldn’t even focus on the obstacle, the ‘brick wall’ in front of us, because that will block or distort our vision. We need to see through the barrier and have a clear view of the other side.

And if we do find ourselves breaking through unexpectedly, stop and re-focus on what we really want, to make sure we move on in the right direction, as well as, most importantly, ignoring the ‘pull’ back to where we just came from – don’t ‘waste’ the breakthrough by going back.

The obstacles are irrelevant because the breakthroughs will come.

I’m off to review and clarify my vision.