You know about paper tigers; those things that threaten us but have no potency. Paper tigers are the people or situations that are all bark, no bite. (If you’ll allow the image of a barking tiger.)
But do you know about paper walls?
If you’re pursuing a bold idea you likely have them, and they’re far worse than paper tigers.
Paper tigers we can ignore. Unlike their real counterparts, they cannot harm us.
Paper walls are different. Like their tangible counterparts that we live and work between, paper walls don’t appear threatening and so they fade into the background. Just as real walls channel our daily movements, paper walls channel our energies.
Paper walls exist to distract us from what we were made to create. Their sole purpose is to hide our dream and redirect our energies elsewhere.
To be sure, paper walls, like paper tigers, are thin. But they are abundant and powerfully guide my path. Every time I turn aside from engaging in a creative project to do a lesser thing—perhaps to check email ONE. MORE. TIME.—I’m allowing a paper wall to direct my path. Every time I think I don’t have what it takes, a paper wall diverts me from diving in anyway. And every time I mindlessly just do what’s next, without carving out time to think, plan and pray, a paper wall keep me mindlessly doing what I’ve been doing.
There is no doubt. I’m surrounded by paper walls. But what I am meant to create—and what you are meant to create—is far too important to be channeled by paper thin distractions. For the sake of that bold idea, maybe we should tear down our paper walls and create cute tigers from them instead.
What paper walls are keeping you from what you were meant to create?
A version of this post originally appeared on learygates.com.