I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13

Overcoming Emotional Barriers

Pressure is valuable to people who work with constant deadlines and have to achieve creative output in little time. Doug Marlette has learned to greatly appreciate that challenge. He says, “Some people cannot imagine drawing a cartoon every day. ‘I would be a nervous wreck,’ they say. But with practice, I adjusted to being on the high wire.”

Then Doug gives an example. He talks about the Boston Celtics’ Larry Bird and why he was so dependable when a big game was at stake: “Lots of players want to be the hero and take the last shot when the score is tied, but only a handful want the ball when their team is down a point. That’s the mark of a champion.”

It is the same with cartooning. I have learned to love a blank sheet of paper on a deadline. It braces me with its endless potential. When the game is on the line, put me in, coach!

The ability to create quality work is indispensable for anyone who wishes to succeed. But the ability to create quality work under pressure is more challenging. Emotions play a large role in our ability to accomplish great things in the world. Feelings can make or break us despite our talent, intelligence, and education. Fear keeps us from risking; anxiety causes us to choke when the pressure is on; anger distracts us from our focus. Practice, self-talk, and determination enable us to keep hitting the emotional wall until we break through it. As people of faith, we include prayer in this process of overcoming emotional barriers, asking God to partner with us as we seek to make the most of our talent, unhindered by our feelings. As we overcome emotional weaknesses, our ability to succeed increases.

– Steve Arterburn

There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect. – Ronald Reagan

Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. – J.F. Kennedy