A barrier is a limiting belief or assumption that limits us from reaching our full potential. Examples include public speaking, losing weight, asking for a promotion, or making investment decisions. Barriers are related to three categories:
Self – These are barriers related to how you see yourself and your attributes. Examples include ideas that give you the impression of being ‘not good enough,’ ‘not smart enough,’ or ‘not athletic enough’ are examples. These barriers prevent you from progressing and trying new things as you are afraid of failing or not reaching your goal.
Others – When you lack information about other people or situations, you are likely to make assumptions. These assumptions can change how we interpret accurate information. An example is you may assume someone has nothing in common with you because of how they look or dress. This can make it challenging to have an open conversation as your mind is already closed off before you begin talking.
Environment – This relates to the world around you. We have ideas of what is ‘normal,’ as observed from our life experiences. When someone from a different background does things differently, you may treat or think of them differently. An example of this is generational differences between teenagers and seniors. How often have you heard the term ‘kids these days’?
Barriers limit our ability to see the world openly. That said, many of us find it hard to discover and address our barriers. We all have barriers, most of which are shared by friends and family. Barriers are not necessarily bad; some are a big part of what keeps us healthy and safe. The critical point is to become aware of these barriers so you can address any that may be holding you back. Research from Pennsylvania State University has shown that over 90% of things we worry about never end up happening. Perhaps we can worry a bit less and dedicate that energy to other things.
The word ‘Worry’ comes from the middle English word wyrgan WHICH MEANS ‘to strangle’.
The idea of living in a home with a stranger instinctively raises many questions and concerns. However, knowing that others have the same fears as you, and are just as concerned about you as you are about them, means you are not alone. Let’s look at the most common mutual barriers.
Privacy – Everyone needs time alone; it is normal and healthy. Many people are afraid companion housing will not allow for privacy or time alone. However, a properly structured companion home will provide all the privacy and time alone that you and your companions desire. When sharing a home with like-minded people, you begin with a basic mutual understanding of the importance of personal space and privacy.
Safety and security – Not knowing another person naturally raises your guard, particularly if sharing a home with him. This can be mitigated through background checks, interviews, and taking the time to get to know a person. Statistically, over 85% of people living in companion homes end up feeling safer than living alone. Living with others increases the safety and security of everyone. As a family, you are looking out for each other.
Compatibility – Finding a suitable housing companion is often not an easy task. However, putting in the effort to find a great match is more than worth it. Finding a housing companion is a form of matchmaking. You will need to know what qualities you value most. The intent is to find someone you can enjoy living with rather than someone who is just tolerable enough. Finding a compatible housing companion involves evaluating your lifestyle as a whole.
Cleanliness –Without proper structure, different views on cleanliness are a common cause of conflicts. These conflicts can be avoided by clearly explaining and demonstrating your expectations around cleaning. The majority of companion households report chores are completed more regularly than when they were living alone.
Understanding your own barriers can be very helpful when considering a companion housing lifestyle. Just knowing what your own barriers are can open new opportunities for you. This exercise will help you better understand yourself.
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