If you’ve spent any time at all in the land of "not in charge" then you understand right away that some things that seem like restraints are actually impassable barriers in disguise.  What’s the difference?  A restraint is something that holds back effectiveness until removed.  A barrier is something that more permanently blocks success.

For example, a restraint might be that in order to actually succeed you’re going to need to get clarity on what a win is.  A restraint might be that in order to succeed you’ll need to narrow your focus so that ALL your energy is being poured into the things that lead to a win.  As long as your efforts are being diffused between a variety of targets your success is restrained.

What might a barrier be?  How about the situation where the mission you’ve identified as your calling or dream is actually rejected out of hand by the only people with votes?  And you’ve done your best to plead your case, but it hasn’t changed their minds.  In fact, it only becomes more obvious that if all you need to move the world is a lever and a place to stand…you don’t have either one of the critical elements.  I’d say that’s a pretty big barrier!

Of course, there are other barriers.  For example, you might have the wiring to focus on a particular target and find yourself operating in an area where the niche just doesn’t exist.  Can we know the difference when we’re in the middle of it?  Only sometimes.  Usually it will take the wisdom of a trusted friend who is outside the situation.

One of the most helpful books I’ve found on the subject of wrestling with the questions is The Answer to How is Yes by Peter Block.  Fascinating.  And very discerning.

Wisdom enables the the ability to unmask barriers posing as restraints.

Barriers Posing as Restraints