Living Your Life Fenced In Or Free?

Living Free

Are you living free and fearlessly? Or are you held hostage by your own invisible fences that are keeping your life small?

Fences & Foxes

Fences are few in my neighborhood. In fact, solid fences are a no-no according to our Homeowner Association rules, which is why invisible fences are so popular. Yet, despite of the invisible fences, my neighbor’s two dogs, Jack and Lucy, get a thrill out of escaping from their yard and exploring ours whenever possible.

Foxes are frequently seen moseying down the street or traipsing through our back yard. We’ve even had a fox make himself comfortable on our front porch!

Don’t laugh, but a fox came bounding around the corner of our house where I was reading a book and soaking up the sunshine. In my startled state, my heart was thumping vigorously and I screamed!

Foxes have a completely different effect on my neighbor’s two dogs – or at least one of them! Lucy could care less when a fox saunters into the yard. She’s content to observe the fox from afar and go on with her business.

Jack has a completely different reaction to a fox. He sees it as an invitation to play! To him, the fox is something to be chased. He pursues a fox with great enthusiasm and determination! Jack’s even willing to endure the shock of the invisible fence in order to pursue a fox.

Once free, Jack is truly in his happy place – you should see his tail wag! After all, there’s an exciting new world to explore outside of his yard!

You & Me

My neighbor’s dogs are a picture of how people like you and me often do life. There are those who stay put and never experience true freedom or venture beyond their invisible fence.

And there are others who are so eager to chase a goal, dream, or advocate for a cause that they are willing to endure the discomfort of breaking through their invisible fence in order to pursue something compelling, just like Jack.

Another Dog

There’s another dog I frequently see on my way home that’s tethered to a stake behind a chain link fence. I don’t know his name, but I’ll call him Fido. Each time I see this dog it makes me cringe. Fido has no chance of chasing a fox should it enter his yard, or anything else for that matter!

Tethering is the practice of fastening a dog to a stake or some other stationary object with a rope or chain which definitely keeps them within certain boundaries and prevents them from potentially harming humans. If your fence is broken, tethering might be a temporary fix but certainly not a desirable long-term solution.

Sadly, even friendly dogs that are tethered for long periods of time become neurotic, unhappy, anxious, and often aggressive. Being tethered also irritates the skin of a dog’s neck where it comes in contact with the collar. Even worse, tethered dogs are also at risk for strangulation, vulnerable to other pets or humans, as well as parasites and insect bites.

I doubt many dogs would choose to be tethered over having the freedom to go where they pleased, yet I find that people frequently choose to tether themselves. Oh, they may not realize it, because people don’t chain themselves to a stake and then run around in circles in the yard like Fido might. However, they are prone to going in circles and creating a circular rut at the outermost reach of their comfort zone and never really being free.

The question is, when it comes to your life, which dog are you? Are you like…


Are you running in circles but not making progress because you are chained by your beliefs? Does true freedom feel elusive? Are you stuck in the well-worn rut at the end of your chain – the outer limit of your comfort zone? Have you given up hope of experiencing freedom?


Perhaps you are like Lucy and feeling so blasé about life that you miss the opportunities that God has been steadily bringing your way? Or maybe it’s your preference for comfort, peace, and the familiar that keeps you from breaking free. Like Fido, you too are stuck.


Always on the lookout for compelling opportunities and willing to put up with the temporary “shock” of stepping outside your comfort zone in order to pursue something compelling? Do you regularly venture out and experience the exhilaration of moving forward, the thrill of freedom?

Fido, Lucy, and Jack are all at the mercy of their owners, but you get to choose! What a blessing that is! My heart for you is that you would choose to become more like Jack every day and dare to venture out and into all that God has for you! I long for you to experience how fulfilling life is when you are living fearlessly and walking in all that God created you to be.

If you’ve been doing life like Fido or Lucy, becoming more like Jack won’t happen overnight. But like I talked about recently, doing something is always better than doing nothing, so here are a few small steps to take today:

1. Spot Your “Fences” & Name Them

What’s tricky is that invisible fences are, well, invisible! And invisible or not, they are powerful!

It’s time to run the borders of your invisible fence and sniff out what subconscious beliefs have become barriers for you. Tune into the stories you are telling yourself, the reoccurring negative thoughts, and the beliefs that are keeping you bound rather than free.

I encourage you to not just let those beliefs float around in your head – write them down! Get it down in black and white. Take in the full reality of your “fences”.

2. Test Your Fences

Once your “fences” are more visible because you’ve written them down, then it’s time to test them. Are your beliefs true or is there evidence proving them to be false?

As Jack discovered, the slight sting of the fence proved to be a small sacrifice for the chance to pursue a fox or whatever else might capture his interest.

3. Choose!

You need something to fill the void your old beliefs leave or you will find yourself slipping back into your limiting beliefs. It’s time to replace those lies with the truth. Choose your beliefs carefully and make sure they are empowering beliefs you. New beliefs are key!

Keep Choosing!

Shifting your beliefs doesn’t happen overnight. Like all good things, it’s a process that takes time. It helps to consistently look to God to show you who you are – your identity, and intentionally surround yourself with loving and positive people. Before long you’ll wonder kept you inside your invisible fence for so long.

4. Start Taking Tiny Risks

Just because you are actively shifting your beliefs doesn’t mean that you have to take some radical risks. Baby steps add up, so take a tiny step and do something just outside your comfort zone like attending a networking event with no agenda – just showing up. Or experimenting with a new way of doing a task. Even venturing out of your comfort zone and trying a new restaurant or embarking on a new experience strengthens your risk-taking muscle.

Whatever God has for you, it’s probably not inside your comfort zone! In fact, He gets excited when you choose to rely on Him and begin venturing out beyond what comes easy for you.

5. Enjoy Walking in Freedom!

Now that you’ve had a chance to experience a bit of what’s on the other side of your fence, you are free to visualize the successful you and dream bigger – even purse goals that previously seemed impossible. Plus, when possibilities present themselves, you are free to step into them. As a result, you grow, your confidence swells, and on it goes!

6. Overcoming Obstacles

Don’t fret when you find yourself bumping into your fence again. Remember, your fence is further out than it once was and you have more space to roam, but when you bump up against it you will feel that old sting. Rather than letting that discourage you, let that inspire you to get quicker to label the belief or “fence” and dig into the truth!

Life is rarely a straight line from point A to point B, so as you are seeking to untether yourself and run free, you may bump into an obstacle or two. That happens to the best of us.

Or you may find yourself suddenly held back right now even though you’ve enjoyed a season of delightful freedom in your life or work.

Those are the ideal moments to enlist the help of a coach – someone who is able to help you zero in on the thinking and beliefs that have you fenced in. They may spot beliefs that up to this point you didn’t even know where limiting you!

Armed with those discoveries you are able to experience more freedom and live and lead in a bolder and freer way!

Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 (MSG)

How is your thinking limiting you? What would be different if you were like Jack – chasing foxes and feeling free?

© Can Stock Photo / cynoclub

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.

Leave a Comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.