“Picture a clock lying face-up on the surface of the water,” we were told. “Now, keep your arms just below the surface of the water and punch your right arm to nine o’clock, then your left to three o’clock.” Our aquafit instructor also told us to pivot our legs in the same direction as our arms.
After a minute or so we changed the movement slightly to punch at ten and two. This engaged different muscles.
Next we were to alternate arms and punch to twelve o’clock. This was straight in front of us and our arms were still under the water. The instructor told us we’d need to get out of our own way in order to do this properly.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have to prove this concept for yourself! My mind questioned the ‘get out of your own way’ part of the instructions so I tried the exercise without moving my body. Sure enough, I was punching eleven and one even though I was aiming for twelve. Unless I pivoted my body to get out of the way I couldn’t do it.
This struck me as much more than exercise advice. There have been many times I’ve had to get out of my own way in order to achieve my goals.
Self-doubts have kept me from moving forward. Things like, “I don’t have the formal training to do that; This dream is too big for me to achieve; Who am I to charge people for my knowledge/skills? And many similar thoughts flood my mind.
These negative thoughts drown out the support and encouragement that surrounds me, effectively keeping me stuck. I become my own worst critic and biggest stumbling block.
The truth is I don’t have the skills, knowledge, or confidence to achieve most of what I have accomplished. I do, however, know the One who makes all things possible.
When I give up the idea that everything is done in my own strength, the pressure is removed. The Lord either shows me what I need to know or sends someone to help me. He has done so much more in and through me than I ever thought possible.
I am in awe of what has happened since I learned to get out of my own way and let Him work.
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13 NIV)