We have a Chocolate Labrador called Rolo. When he was a puppy we put him in a secure pen at night with a heavy duty piece of metal holding the two fences together.
He is now 6, and huge!
Today, Rolo has a bigger kennel behind the same fences. We no longer have to secure the pen for him, the two fences just rest against each other. Easy to move but he doesn’t even try.
He could easily get out but he has been conditioned to think he can’t.
When Rolo was a young pup, he loved to get out into the garden, run around freely and explore. Now when we put him in his pen he is content to stay there. When it comes to keeping a dog in at night this is a good thing.
But something similar can happen to us as leaders. We limit ourselves (or others) because of our past experiences.
We are not penned in with metal fences but with our own thoughts or the negative words of others. Self doubt, past failures or unwarranted criticism, if we allow it will hold us back from trying anything bold and new.
We find ourselves with objections and obstacles that stop us from even trying to get out into the open spaces, to explore new ideas, to innovate to be creative and do something that has never been done before.
When you come up against complex situations or are considering doing something you haven’t done before, push past your perceived limits.
Do not allow past experiences to be an obstacle to future plans. Push the fence and see what happens, it may not be as difficult to move as you think.