In my book, The Truest Story Ever Told, I talk about how to write your own true tale with your life, you have to be willing to engage risk and adventure.
Often before you can even set out on the adventure that is calling to you, there is a “threshold guardian” standing in your way – barring your departure. They are the voices (real people or in your inner-monologue) who say “No.” You can’t or shouldn’t do this because: it’s not safe, you’re not qualified, it’s too risky, you might fail, you might get hurt, you might wish you hadn’t.
Sometimes the Threshold Guardian comes in the form of friends and family members or a teacher or a boss or some gatekeeper in an industry, group or profession in which we would like to contribute. Sometimes the Threshold Guardian is our own psychological baggage we haven’t defeated.
The challenge is being able to see clearly enough to distinguish between a Threshold Guardian and a person who is not trying to block you but is indeed trying to help you make the right journey (the one that is meant for you and not the journey meant for someone else).
Two questions might help resolve whether you are dealing with a Threshold Guardian or an Ally for your pending journey.
- What is the motive of this person’s input? To help me, protect me and help me write my authentic story or is their input disguised and really about their own doubts, insecurities and need for control?
- Is this person someone who has wisdom in general and/or knowledge specific to the domain of your adventure?
We all need help and wise counsel along our way. It would be foolish to ignore it, even if it seems to be slowing us down in pursuing the Calls to Adventure laid down for us.
On the other hand, it would also be foolish to never get started because someone disagrees with us or challenges us or says, “they just want to make sure we are safe.” We need to identify those that are Threshold Guardians and deal with them swiftly. But we don’t need to be so rash that we dismiss every warning, signal or sage advice that comes our way as being some obstacle being thrown in our path. Some are just that and other’s are blessings that will truly help us advert disaster. Knowing the difference can sometimes be the challenge. Our paths will be best alighted through maturity, humility and asking the right questions.