I had a conversation with someone recently that reminded me of something I had written about my dog.

This person was talking about something she really wanted to accomplish, but couldn’t quite get over the fear to truly pursue it. I innocently asked if someone had once made her feel like she wasn’t talented enough in that area. My friend’s eyes widened and she said, “Yes.” So then I told her about my dog.

I’m wondering if you need this reminder today too. I know sometimes I do. (This article was originally posted April 23, 2018.)

When we moved into our house four years ago, we hired a company to install an underground invisible fence in our yard. We wanted to keep our beloved GoldenDoodle, Dakota, safe from cars on the road and we wanted to keep our neighbors’ yards safe from Doodle doody.

We put a special collar on Dakota and walked her slowly and gently around the yard, demonstrating where she could and couldn’t venture. She’s a smart dog and got the gist of the game in less than an hour.

Four years later, when she’s wearing her special collar, she knows she can’t leave the yard. Not even if a super exciting squirrel is provoking her from a forbidden tree. She’ll stand there and bark, but she won’t leave our yard.

But here’s the thing, the fence is broken. It hasn’t worked in about two years and I’m too cheap to get it fixed, because Dakota doesn’t know it’s broken.

When we put on her special collar, she still believes she will get hurt if she goes beyond the boundary.

I’m wondering if you have an invisible fence in your yard. Not your real yard, but the yard in your mind. Is there something someone once told you you couldn’t do and now you blindly believe them?

Maybe that person told you “no” to keep you safe, or because it was best for them or because they were flat out mean. There are lots of reasons people set up fences for us.

I had an art teacher in third grade who returned my brilliant watercolor with a big red C at the top. Now, more than 30 years later, I still believe I’m terrible at anything artistic. I don’t even try anymore. It’s my invisible fence.

Friend, the fence is turned off. It’s broken. If there is something you’ve always wanted to try, go for it. The space beyond the yard is wide open and it’s waiting for you to frolick.

I think I’ll pull out my colored pencils today and create something magnificent. How about you?