The Worst Walls

“The worst walls are never the ones you find in your way. The worst walls are the ones you put there – you build yourself.”

– Ursula K. LeGuin, American 20th century science fiction writer

Image from Flickr by Eric Lockhart

Image from Flickr by Eric Lockhart

Many years ago, I was having a conversation with a fellow coach. The discussion centered on the claim of “breakthrough results” in his company’s marketing materials.

Although this phrase is often considered jargon or “consultant-speak,” he pointed out that in order for a breakthrough to occur, a barrier must be overcome.

This quote reminds us that we are the architects and builders of some of our own barriers. What makes the walls we build the worst and perhaps the most difficult to break through is the fact that we may not even know we have constructed them, or that they are actually stopping us.


In the next day or so, spend some time working with a mentor, close friend, colleague, or coach, who can help you examine and explore some of the internal walls you have built. Once identified, develop a plan and a support structure to get to the other side.