Aug. 18, 2021

Defeating the Threshold Guardians

Defeating the Threshold Guardians

Examine how battling and defeating the Threshold Guardians in our lives can be a fun way to look at the challenges we face - to help us see that we are in control and we do not need to let obstacles control our fate. Shifting our mindset when roadblocks keep us stuck can help us gain the confidence to not let anything stop us from living our best life. Seeing ourselves as the hero in our own life can help us fight harder for the things we want. Celebrating our accomplishments, both big and small is essential but often overlooked. It is equally important to assess and evaluate our plan when the Threshold Guardians stop us.  Do you see yourself as a hero? Do you recognize a Threshold Guardian when you see it?  Please follow this podcast on whatever platform you listen to. It really helps and join our community to discuss topics on this podcast or any other mental health fitness topics that you'd like to discuss. You can find the community through this podcast website https://www.identifyandconquer.com or you can go right to the community at https://www.changingmybrain.com This podcast is produced by the now Chronicles theme and incidental music is by Annie's Takeout. And remember, you can change your brain, if you want to, and if you're willing to do the work.

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Transcript

During the hero's journey of any story, a work of fiction, biography, or even the story of our own lives, we encounter Threshold Guardians. Our paths are riddled with them. And when we encounter them, defeating them tends to become our focus. Sometimes this focus can cause us to become derailed from our actual goal, but sometimes it makes us fight harder to achieve.

The existence of a Threshold Guardian makes us realize how much we actually want, whatever it is we're trying to accomplish. They help us realize that nothing can stop us. Their goal is not to derail us. Their goal is not to hold us back. They're there to challenge us. The question is, do we know them when we encounter them more importantly? Do we see them for who they really are? And do we celebrate the victories when we defeat them? 

 The first and most important point when discussing Threshold Guardians is to understand that we are the heroes in this journey. If you don't see yourself as the hero that most assuredly needs to change, perhaps once you understand the presence and purpose of the Threshold Guardian, you'll acquire a different perspective and a different relationship with the struggles in your own life.

 Understanding their presence and purpose should in turn, help you better see yourself as the hero. Some people live their lives in guilt and shame and feel they don't deserve good things. If this is you, then you are not a hero in your own eyes and you need to take care of that first.

 Work on seeing yourself as a flawed human being like the rest of us, worthy of making mistakes and worthy of recovering from them and going on to have a life you desire. If you're not a hero in your own eyes, you cannot be a hero in anyone else's. And if you're not confident as you navigate your own hero's journey, then the Threshold Guardians will get you every time.

 We are so much more capable of identifying and defeating these Threshold Guardians when we believe we are the hero. And when we believe we deserve to pass through the various thresholds, when we don't believe this, the Threshold Guardians will cause us to simply turn around and walk away. We won't even try. They will easily intimidate us and convince us that we don't belong here. And that we are not good enough to pass through whatever threshold it is we are trying to pass through. 

 Why do we talk about this archetype, like it's real and alive in our own lives, and don't just leave it in the fictional storytelling?  Because my goal is to teach you to see your life as an amazing adventure, to give you the tools, to see things differently, and to play this game, see life as a game and an adventure.

Seeing yourself as a hero, maybe even a superhero, and seeing the struggles and the challenges that we have in our lives as Threshold Guardians, actual “beings” that we can conquer. It just makes it a lot more fun. So, from this point on identify your struggles simply as Threshold Guardians on your hero's journey, create a plan to defeat it, activate that plan, conquer the guardian, and move through the threshold. Celebrate the defeat and the advancement and journey onto the next adventure. Doesn't that sound way more exciting than blindly going through your days and letting life happen to you. 

 So, what is the Threshold Guardian anyway? The Threshold Guardian is a force, whether it be a person, an action, or lack of action, a thing, an event, a skill - basically, anything that stands in the way of us being able to move on to the place we desire to be.  In a lot of cases, it's not even difficult. It's only perceived as difficult.  But that in itself can be enough to stop us. Especially when we are intimidated enough that we stop moving, we stop making progress towards achieving that goal. A Threshold Guardian challenges our commitment and causes us not only to question our abilities, but we can also start questioning our worthiness.

This in turn can cause us to question everything about ourselves. Perhaps we might even start listening to those judging and belittling voices in our head, those negative and mean things that our own brains say to us. We believe what the Threshold Guardian is trying to make us believe and we believe our own brain is becoming a willing accomplice.

In a lot of cases, we walk away in defeat feeling a little bit worse about ourselves and feeling a little disappointed in ourselves. And for some people, this defeat and walking away might happen each and every time they're trying to reach a goal each and every time they take a step to fulfill a dream they have.

This causes us not to be able to break through and even try something beyond our comfort zone, the Threshold Guardians, no matter if they are big or small, they stop us every time we question our worthiness. And every time we question whether we are capable of something or not, they are victorious when we decide that challenging ourselves and trying to reach for something better is just not something we're capable of doing.  But you are capable.

We all are. I want to talk about worthiness for a minute. I want to make it clear that we're all worthy. No one on this earth is more or less worthy than another person in any situation. I know there are people that act like they are, and there are times when we being humans, we have a tendency to think people are more worthy than we are, but we are all the same here.

No matter how much money someone has, what color, religion, or ethnic background. No matter how many degrees a person has or whatever standard you use to compare yourself to others. Alone in the stillness and darkness of the night, without our trophies, degrees, or bank accounts, we are all the same. 

We all have insecurities. We all have things that we struggle within our lives, whether it's apparent to those around us or not.  Every single one of us has insecurities and question ourselves. Don't convince yourself that you are the only one struggling and therefore you are not worthy of whatever it is you have convinced yourself you are not worthy of having or achieving.

 As we go through life other people will have accomplishments that we don't have. Those are the people that don't let Threshold Guardian win. I know, in some instances there are opportunities presented to them that they were able to take advantage of opportunities that you may or may not have been given, or maybe you were given those same opportunities, but you were too scared to go for it.

That's when the Threshold Guardian is at work and is winning. These reasons are real. And the fact is we all don't have the same opportunities presented to us. Some people forge their own path and make things happen. And other people don't even know where to sit. Some people have opportunities seemingly fall in their lap, being the right place at the right time, It seems. But if you ask them, I'm sure they will see things differently and they will tell you, it was not that simple. 

We hear about people being overnight successes, but when you ask them, they're going to tell you, it took more like 10 years. So, their overnight success was 10 years and overnight. We all know that no one is going to knock on our door and ask us if we want “this” or “that” - insert here, whatever it is, you're talking yourself out of. Whatever it is you're afraid to go for. No one is going to knock on your door and give it to you. 

The fact is we don't all have the same opportunities, but we can all try really hard to get access to them because no matter what, we are all entitled to reach our dreams. There are people with accomplishments that we don't have because they didn't let the Threshold Guardian scare them away.

It didn't cause them to question themselves resulting in giving up, walking away and going back the way they came. They most assuredly encountered Threshold Guardians along their way, but they stood up strong and they pass through the challenges and advance through the threshold. Some passed through smooth coming out unscathed, they were prepared and they were ready to go  But others, they fought and they battled their way through, spent an exhausted on the other side, but victorious nonetheless, either way, they made it and they're off to their next adventure.

Hopefully taking a minute to recognize their success and celebrating their accomplishments.  To not take the time to celebrate the little victories along the way becomes a lost opportunity of empowerment. This is an important part of life that we seem to not have enough of. 

Okay. So, what happens when we don't pass through the threats?

We can choose to stay confident and strong and attempt to try to pass through again. Or after some honest soul searching, we might decide it wasn't the right path to choose anyway, and we might choose something different. We might choose a different journey at this point. It's important to pause here for a second to see that I said “honest”, you have to do honest soul searching.

Sometimes the Threshold Guardians are doing you a favor. They're stopping you from advancing down a path you already know you don't want to go down, or you already know you shouldn't go down. Recognizing that when it happens, like when you don't get something that you think you want, like a job or a relationship, remind yourself that maybe what you think you want right now, really, isn't the best thing for you.

Stop for a minute and tell the universe. “Thank you for protecting me from whatever you're protecting me from”. And now take a minute to re-examine the direction you're moving in. However, there are other choices when defeated. We can sit in anger and resentment and we can make excuses or blame others, or we can wallow in self-pity and feel sorry for ourselves.

These choices don't advance our lives in a positive direction and they can lead to anxiety and depression, but they are still choices, nonetheless. This is where the Threshold Guardian is the true victor. It is in these decisions and these moments in life that our foundation is strengthened or where it starts to crack.

Are we choosing to build a foundation on anger, resentment, and negativity? Are we starting to think life is not fair and we're given the short end of the stick every time? Or do we start to see things for what they really are? What really happened is we were not prepared. We were not strong enough to pass through the threshold.

At that moment, we need more time or more training to be able to pass through on our next attempt. More training can be skills, knowledge, or simply believing in ourselves more. We need to take some time to ask ourselves “do we actually want what is on the other side of that threshold?” perhaps we already know why we didn't pass through.

When we don't make it past the threshold, we need to take the time to explore why. If we don't come to terms with the outcome and reach a peaceful place of acceptance, it will always have power over us. It's important to make a plan, to try again, or to move on to something else, unless, and until it is effectively and honestly processed the defeat and the lack of accomplishing what we wanted will always be there. This will become the baggage that you carry with you throughout your life. 

Let's talk about the relationship between worthiness and accomplishment. Don't think that worthiness comes from accomplishment that will only eat away at your self-esteem and your self-worth. Especially when you compare yourselves to others and their accomplishments. We cannot consider the time it took someone else to achieve whatever it is we're comparing ourselves to, or the age they were when they accomplished it, or blah, blah, blah.

Comparing ourselves to others is not healthy. And it doesn't mean anything. Plus, we can't really know what it took another person to get where they are or to get what they accomplished, especially when we don't really know that person.  We can waste our time assuming, but that never helps anybody. We all have different journeys, and we need to honor ours by not judging ourselves based on the accomplishments of others or comparing ourselves to others.

It is in perseverance and in the fight for what we want in life that leads to our accomplishments. The fact is we are worthy when we believe we are worthy. So, let's all redefine what we mean by this. Instead of relating accomplishment to getting what we'd like or getting what we want and being disappointed or angry if we don't get it, let's instead say that accomplishment is getting the outcome we were supposed to get and accepting that and what it looks like.

If we live our lives, having faith that it will all make sense in the end, or it'll all make sense at some point, as long as we're an active participant in our own life, and as long as we're paying attention, that's all that needs to matter. At this point. It might seem that the catch regarding the Threshold Guardian is that it must be defeated, or we cannot move on.

We cannot grow or gain new experiences if we don't defeat the Threshold Guardian. That its job is to stand guard at the threshold and not allow us through until we are proven ourselves. Remember by proving ourselves, I mean, proving that we are ready, not proving, we are worthy. We already established; we are always worthy.

The questions now are, do we believe in ourselves enough to go after what we want in life? Are we strong and competent enough to show the Threshold Guardian that we're ready to pass through? Do we have the tools, and have we done the work to allow us to pass through? It's our job to move on and grow and gain new experiences regardless of passing through the threshold or not.

That's the point. The importance is in realizing that when we cannot or do not pass through, it's essential to take time to examine why. Along with this exploration and examination, we need to determine our next steps. We are not meant to drift through life with others or life circumstances, making decisions for us.

We need to recognize these moments and re-examine our lives. See our life for what it really is. We need to take some time to ask ourselves, do we make a plan and try again? Do we make a new plan, admit to ourselves that this path was not the right fit for us. We need to understand why we didn't pass through. Did we sabotage ourselves? Perhaps we were already capable but scared of what came next.  Or were we truly not prepared, and we needed to gain more knowledge or skills? Or maybe, just maybe, we were trying to go to a place where we didn't belong, or we really didn't want to be and we were forcing ourselves to be.

Defeating the Guardian only means we are now moving forward in this new direction in our life. Just because we passed over the threshold does not mean it was the only direction we had. It doesn't even mean it was the right direction.  When we don't pass through our life is not over. And when we do pass through our life is not all rainbows and butterflies from this point forward.

However, as I mentioned before, once we do defeat a threshold, we need to take a minute and celebrate our accomplishment. We need to celebrate the battle. We won the challenge we overcame. We need to give ourselves the recognition and the accolades. We need to recognize that we moved forward in a positive direction simply by conquering a challenge.

These moments, and these accomplishments are important. Not taking a moment to celebrate makes all of our days the same, and it takes away from the fun game of life. There needs to be challenges and defeat along the way or accomplishments would lose their value. We are all different for a reason, our talents, our strengths, and our weaknesses all make this uniquely who we are.

Our limiting beliefs keep us stuck and keep us from battling our way clear of these Threshold Guardians. The longer we remain stuck on the same side of the threshold, unable to pass through to the other side, the more likely we are to start convincing ourselves that we're not worthy. The more likely we are to get in our own heads and start convincing ourselves that we're not capable.

If accomplishing what we want to accomplish was easy, then everyone would do it. This is why it's so important when we do accomplish something, and we do pass through a threshold when we'd conquer a challenge in our life that we need to celebrate it. It's important to recognize these moments because this is where confidence is found.

This is where self-worth is built. And if we don't pay attention and we don't celebrate these moments, then they can simply go on notice. And then nothing is really special. We need to pause from time to time and make things better. When I speak about threshold guardians, people frequently ask me, can we get help defeating them?

Can we have help? Absolutely. Now you're paying attention. No hero goes on their journey alone. Let me remind you. We are not alone here. We have leaders, teachers, peers, mentors, as well as people who rely on us and all of them are equally important in our hero’s journey. All of them will play a part in helping us fight our battles.

If we let them. They're called allies and they're important to choose wisely and to treasure them. But most importantly, we need to be willing to allow them to help us. It's also important that I tell you that on your hero's journey, these Threshold Guardians are not a one-and-done thing. We are constantly facing dragons and battling the challenges that Threshold Guardians put in our way.

I urge you to pay attention to be an active participant in your own life. To recognize these Threshold Guardians when they stand in front of you, pick your mentors and your allies wisely, pay attention and be aware of those who are out there to harm you because they are out there. Some with the intention to harm and some will harm you unintentionally. Set your boundaries and protect yourself and keep yourself on your path. Take responsibility. It's your job to keep yourself safe and keep you moving forward. Blaming others causes you to lose focus and it's not being honest. 

I was a professional speaker and a coach for about 10 years, but then I went into corporate America and got a job. Then my job became my Threshold Guardian being busy and making money distracted me. It caused me to turn my back on myself and stop fighting to reach my real goals. I was good at convincing myself that I was happy where I was. So here I am now on the other side of the battle with that Threshold Guardian.

And now I'm starting this adventure as a podcaster, as well as going back into speaking and coaching. Walking away from a job with a great salary, but that was ultimately sucking the life out of me. That's the Threshold Guardian that I defeated after that I had such a sense of accomplishment and relief and the people in my life celebrated with me that that Threshold Guardian is behind me.

Others lie ahead. I know that, but I have a team of allies with me to help me forge my way and keep me on track. So, keep in mind, the Threshold Guardian is a force, whether it be a person, an action or a lack of action, a thing, an event, or a skill, basically anything that stands in the way of you being able to move to the place in your life that you desire when the Threshold Guardian is a person when somebody stands in your way. There's always a chance that that person that you defeat once you pass them, once you go through their test, that Threshold Guardian becomes an ally or a mentor.  

To see ourselves as the heroes we are, and to see life as an adventure that takes the power and weight away from so many things, play the game and enjoy the adventure.

We all encounter challenges. And we all have different allies and different strategies to fighting our battles and passing through these roadblocks that the Threshold Guardians put in our way. But until we realize, and we recognize and see that we are in total control of the life that we live and how we conquer these challenges.  Until we realized that, we are walking dormant through life and are at the whim and mercy of the people and circumstances around us, this is not what our lives were meant to be.

Good luck in the battles with your threshold. Guardians know that the act of recognizing them gives them less power. Seeing them, creating a battle plan, gathering allies, and talking about them with your allies gives you strength. It also makes it a heck of a lot more fun when you defeat them. Join us over at https://www.changingmybrain.com on our mighty network. If you want to discuss Threshold Guardians more.  If you're looking for allies or ways to walk through your journey or strategize, we're there for you. 

My name is Wendy Pilcher, and I thank you for listening to this episode of Identify & Conquer. And I thank you for being part of my hero's journey. I hope looking for and identifying Threshold Guardians will make your life a little bit more fun and help you see the challenges in your life a little different and having a little bit more purpose.

Please follow this podcast on whatever platform you listen to. It really helps and join our community to discuss topics on this podcast or any other mental health fitness topics that you'd like to discuss. You can find the community through this podcast website https://www.identifyandconquer.com or you can go right to the community at https://www.changingmybrain.com

This podcast is produced by the now Chronicles theme and incidental music is by Annie's Takeout. And remember, you can change your brain, if you want to, and if you're willing to do the work.