If you’ve seen the movie Chicken Run, then you are familiar with this rather unique message told by a bunch of Claymation chickens. Eager to break out of their chicken-wire world, the conflict of the story revolves around the plight of several chickens as they attempt to avoid the dreaded chopping block. Their leader, a feisty little hen name Ginger, comments profoundly in one scene: “The fences are all in your mind.” She so vividly reminds her fellow chickens (and us), that bigger than the physical fences they’re (we’re) surrounded by are the mental fences that hold them (us) captive.
Below is a perfect example of a mental fence that existed for years…
Roger Bannister was the first to conquer the sub 4-minute mile, which was deemed by many (mostly experts) to be physically impossible. In fact, prior to 1954, very few runners were able to even come close to 4 minutes. It’s safe to say that there was clearly a mental fence or barrier that existed, thus preventing most runners from accomplishing this particular feat. That was certainly not the case for Roger Bannister. In 1954, eager to overcome this long-standing barrier, Roger Bannister finished the mile in a time of 3 min. 59.4 sec. Interestingly, by 1957, sixteen other runners had run a sub 4-minute mile. Why? Because the psychological barrier was removed and they knew is was possible.
Here are the questions I invite you to ask yourself as you continue on your own personal development journey.
1. What are your mental fences?
2. What is the cost of maintaining these fences (physically and mentally)?
3. Are you willing to let go of your perceived realities (fences) and attempt to conquer them?
If you answered “yes” to question number three, I have a simple equation that will assist you in this process.
VISION + ACTION = FREEDOM
Your mental fences can only keep you stuck as long as you’re simply looking “at” them. As soon as you begin to establish a vision and take actions consistent with your vision, I can promise you that your fences will disappear.