“Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge.”
- Don Henley
One of the keys to reaching your goals is to block emergency exits and seal escape hatches. It is tempting to retreat to safety and comfort when challenges and difficulties present themselves. To avoid turning around and abandoning your goals, you must make going forward not only more compelling than going back but also the only option.
When striving towards a goal, you must focus on what you want to obtain and avoid the impulse to go back to what you know and to what is comfortable. Here I find the analogy of burning bridges most fitting. If you burn the bridge that continues to manifest itself as comfort, the usual, the go-to or the crutch - there is no other way than forward. By removing this option, you are forced to focus on how you can make your mission successful.
Sometimes you need to burn bridges to stop yourself from crossing them again, meaning the elimination of the escape route creates a compelling reason to focus on the goal and to keep moving forward. However, it is important to keep in mind that before you decide to burn your bridges, make sure you have the supplies and tools necessary to achieve the goal. Something like quitting your job might sound like a good way to close the escape route, but it might also be a fast way to bankruptcy if you don't have resources to carry you through. Creating a savings account or having a journey job (a job that is a stepping stone to what you really want) allows you to take the risk of leaving your current job without creating undue risk.
Sealing an escape hatch to increase motivation and create the desire to press on where you might otherwise give up is totally different from throwing caution to the wind and taking undue risks. Reaching your goals still requires prudent planning and managing. All goals contain a certain degree of risk, but it isn't necessary to create undue risk and stress by not properly planning and thus lacking the necessary tools and supplies to achieve your goal. Take risks, but calculated ones. Don't be careless or foolish and simply hope that everything will be okay. You can't eliminate risk but you can plan for it. Don't just jump in without thinking through the process and having a solid plan for moving forward.
The most important thing is to believe in yourself and your vision. YOU are your most compelling reason to move forward. My bridges have been and still are unhealthy spending habits, taking on too many projects, neglecting my health in exchange for more work hours and confusing my proclivity for coaching with mentoring. Many of these bridges have at some time or the other been burnt and rebuilt and burnt again.
Remember that you’re human and you will sometimes find your feet marching their way back to a comfortable bridge. You will make mistakes and you will slide back into old habits. By having a clear goal and giving yourself the chance to really know yourself, you'll feel when you’re starting to move backward and immediately correct your course.
Question: What are some of your bridges?
“Born and bred in Arima, Trinidad and Tobago, I'm fearless, fun-loving and determined and I've chosen the moniker of arts for social change advocate. I am passionate about the arts, with a belief in my power to coach and that my purpose on Earth is to connect people.
For Common Good and East Yard
Artist/Personal Branding Coach:
The I AM Experiment
KF by Kevon Foderingham
Marketing and Communications Consultant