When you accept that you create your own reality, you realize that you’re responsible for your failures as much as your successes.
It can be a horrible feeling. And doesn’t it seem like the outcomes you desire most are the hardest ones to create?
That’s your Terror Barrier in action.
Your Terror Barrier is a deep-seated, unconscious sense of unworthiness that says your greatest gifts shouldn’t be shown to the world.
The wickedest part is, your Terror Barrier never looks like terror. If it did, you would put that fear in its place and soldier forth.
Rather, your ego knows how to put up barriers that are more like detour signs which you will naturally obey, thinking that you’re being led in a better direction.
It knows, for example, if you are a woman who puts equal importance on being a successful entrepreneur and a good mom and wife. Your Terror Barrier may then manifest as some responsibility involving your kids that you can’t say no to, in order to keep you from breaking through in your business.
That’s how one of my latest clients recognized her need to take down her Terror Barrier. During a conversation about it, she realized that earlier this year, right when she was about to launch her coaching business, her kids started acting up in school. Her attention was diverted and her launch derailed.
Or if you have a creative mind, your Terror Barrier may arise as Bright Shiny Object Syndrome – one great-sounding new idea after another. You get so caught up in the thrill of creative genius that you never follow through on any of the ideas. (I had this one, and the next one too. In fact, once I broke through my Terror Barrier, I was horrified to recognize all the ways I’d succumbed to it over my years in business.)
Your Terror Barrier can also work through your physical body as pain, disease, or the simple need to rest. For some people, it manifests as either a debilitating condition or a minor one demands constant attention by evading successful treatment.
For me, it was tiredness. My commitment to self-care was never as strong as right before a big breakthrough: “Wait – I’ve been working too hard, I need to rest!” – and there went all the momentum, attention, and work needed for my breakthrough.
Whatever your pattern, you’ll know it’s the Terror Barrier because:
- It shows up when you’re 80-90% done with the project/launch/etc. that’s going to give you your big breakthrough. (Never at the beginning.)
- It sounds like a perfectly legitimate reason to hit pause on what you’re doing (thinking you’ll come back to it, except you don’t).
- There’s a silent message or nagging feeling that you’re a bad person if you don’t stop to do this other thing.
That is, of course, if you’re able to see it. The hardest part of the Terror Barrier is how well it’s disguised – because again, your ego knows all the ways to keep you from seeing what’s really going on.
Doesn’t it suck to imagine your ego – a part of your own mind – as some kind of gremlin sabotaging your goals?
What softens the blow a bit is to realize that your ego means well. It originated from your survival instincts, and its #1 job is to keep you alive, which means preventing you from taking any kind of risk – even emotional risks. It will not let you endanger the love and validation that it equates with security. That’s why we care so much about what people think of us even though we don’t want to: To your subconscious mind, Rejection = Death.
That’s why it pulls out all the stops to create the Terror Barrier when you’re inches away from your breakthrough: You’re about to do the thing that would push you out into the spotlight and risk the criticism and judgments of others.
The Terror Barrier is a misdirected attempt to save your life.
What, then, does it take to get past your Terror Barrier?
I’d love to say “self-awareness.” I always want to advocate for the power you have inside you. But when it comes to the ego and the Terror Barrier, this is one place where I say you definitely need someone to help you.
And not just anyone. You need someone who has met their Terror Barrier and conquered it, otherwise their Terror Barrier will keep them from seeing how to help you conquer yours.
You need someone who can recognize your Terror Barrier when it appears. This isn’t some list they can reference, because your ego is unique and will try to out-trick them by using their ego too. You need someone who has the experience and intuitive sense to recognize the energy of a person stuck behind their Terror Barrier.
And you need someone who knows what life is like on the other side of the Terror Barrier, to guide you once the barrier comes down. You’ve gotten so accustomed to wrestling with your Terror Barrier that you won’t know who you are without it.
There are probably only a handful of people on this planet so far who fit these criteria. Many of them are now coaches, and you’re going to need one of them to help you re-pattern your life once you get to this side.
They will stand with you against your Terror Barrier, helping you push and refocus yourself until the barrier falls, making sure you never give up or get detoured.
But there is a better way. (Think of this as a bonus qualification for the person who can help you conquer your Terror Barrier.)
Instead of pushing, it is possible to heal the subconscious conditioning that formed the ego and its Terror Barrier in the first place, and then alter your energy so that the voice of Source naturally speaks louder in your mind than the voice of your ego.