Fences in your Mind

Excerpt from Living a Five Star Life by Betty Mahalik

I’ve watched the movie Chicken Run at least a half-dozen times. Just beneath the surface of its simplistic look and story line lie a number of wonderful messages told through the eyes of a bunch of Claymation chickens trying to break out of their chicken-wire world to escape their fate at the chopping block. Their freedom leader, a feisty little hen named Ginger, comments profoundly in one scene: “the fences are all in your mind.” She reminds her fellow chickens (and us), that a bigger obstacle than the physical fences they’re surrounded by are the mental fences that hold them captive.

Where have you fenced yourself in mentally in recent days or weeks? Perhaps your mental fence is procrastination, a deadening habit that keeps you stuck. For some of us, it is self-doubt or the belief that we don’t deserve success, so we sabotage ourselves to avoid having to find out how successful we could be.

Stop and ask yourself: “How do I limit myself and how can I stop?” Those limitations almost always live inside us. The antidote to being trapped by our ‘mental fences’ is to create a vision that compels us, like Ginger, to resort to amazing measures to break out. The formula:


Take some bold steps and break free of your mental fences. If its procrastination, declare a “freedom day” and take action on everything you’ve been putting off: from cleaning your office to making phone calls or responding to emails you’ve avoided. If its self-doubt, sit down and write out everything you value and why it’s important. Then challenge yourself to eliminate anything that doesn’t absolutely reflect your values, or add something that is a profound statement of who you are.


Recognize that your mental fences can only keep you stuck as long as you’re looking at them. They can only contain you as long as you remain inactive. Go ahead, take the action you’ve avoided and leap into a future filled with possibilities… the fences are all in your mind!

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Thanks for the share, WK!