That’s the question I want you to ask yourself today.
What is holding you back from doing something incredible? What’s holding you back from chasing your biggest dreams?
We are all born dreamers.
But something out there is causing us to keep our dreams and ambitions locked up – buried deep down under layers of fear, comfort, and responsibility.
We were born to create. To move. To discover. To explore. To help each other. To inspire greatness in others. To spread the virus.
Yet, for one reason or another, we’re not doing what we truly want. We’re not fulfilling our true purpose.
So let me ask you again: what’s holding you back from doing something incredible?
To travel across the world? To be your own boss? To build a leaner body? To perfect a new recipe? To master a new skill?
The answer to this question can set you free…
Is it fear of failure?
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” ― Paulo CoelhoIs fear of failure holding you back from doing incredible things?
Fear, as an emotion, is powerful.
It can cripple the mind of the strongest man. If allowed to flourish, fear can destroy dreams. It can paralyze the mind and the soul. If allowed to thrive, it will grab hold of its victims and keep them forever locked up inside their comfort zone.
But fear is just that: an emotion.
And it is the way we perceive this emotion that determines how it affects us.
So start by asking yourself a very simple question: what is it about failure that you truly fear?
Get to the root of that question.
Are you afraid of messing up? Of looking like a fool? Being judged? Doubted? Are you afraid that you don’t have what it takes? That you’re not good enough? That you’ll waste your time and money? That nothing good will come of your effort? That you’ll actually have to put in work? That you’ll have to get out of your comfort zone?
Whatever it is, know this:
Without failure there is no success.
Read that again.
Failure is necessary. It is part of the journey. You can’t reach success without first experiencing failure.
This is a law of nature. Every man and woman must abide by it.
Something has to be broken down before it can be built up.
Something has to die for another thing to live.
You need to change the way you perceive failure. Accept it when it happens. Embrace it. Understand that it’s just part of the bigger picture. And realize that every failure (for the most part) gets you a little bit closer to success.
If all else fails, just pretend you’re not afraid. Eventually you’ll cease to be afraid.
“There were all kinds of things I was afraid of at first…but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be afraid.” Theodore Roosevelt
Is it fear of success?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” ― Marianne WilliamsonPerhaps it is not fear of failure that’s stopping you, but fear of success.
Success, like failure, is a process of change. And it is this change – or the divergence from the norm – that instills fear inside us.
As a society, we’re simply too comfortable. Even the thought of changing – even if it’s for the better – makes us uneasy. It paralyzes us into inaction. Into indecision.
Just think what would happen if that business you were dreaming about begins to flourish. What would happen to you if you were to really lose all that weight? If you were to really step up and take that one year trip around the world?
As crazy as it sounds, success can be scary. Here’s what Mary M. had to say:
“Fear of success can be crippling, since the sufferer takes few risks, and makes only safe conservative choices.
It could be that the person does not feel that their success has been earned or it could be that they fear outside forces may take away their success. The person can also be paralyzed with indecision.”
Start, again, by digging to the root of the problem.
You need to find it before you can address it.
One useful tactic, according to Mary, is to…
“Change your thinking from “I’m afraid of success” to “I wonder what it will be like to be successful”…..from fear to curiosity.
Curiosity is a powerful tool to drive us…….what is the worst thing that can happen?
By curiosity I mean actually doing what it is you are fearing because you want to see what will happen……it’s a call to action.:
Let your curiosity guide you.
Is it lack of time?
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” ― Zig ZiglarSo maybe you think lack of time is the issue?
I’ve already talked about why I think ‘lack of time’ should never hold you back from building a better body.
It’s a BS excuse.
You may say that you don’t have time to do incredible things, but the reality is that it’s all in your head. You think you don’t have the time.
You solidify this thought in your head to the point that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that sucks the best parts of life out of you.
Go ahead and do a quick analysis of how you spend your time.
For the next three days, take detailed notes on how you spend your time. Put everything on paper. Track everything to the smallest detail.
Then, with your compiled data, sit down and take a look at how you’re spending your time. You’ll quickly discover that you’re already spending time doing something less important.
Like my mom says…we all make time for what we deem important.
Is it lack of imagination?
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” ― Albert EinsteinPerhaps you’re lacking the imagination?
What incredible things can you really do in your life?
Start off by creating your incredible list.
The idea is to find things that challenge you both physically and mentally. To find things that force you to venture outside of your comfort zone. To find things that make you face your fears and explore new boundaries.
If you need ideas, feel free to check out my list of incredible aspirations. [Note: make sure to drop some ideas for me in the comment section!]
Is it because you think you’re too old?
“Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” ― Leroy “Satchel” PaigeSo you think you’re too old to do something incredible, eh?
Let me introduce you to a few people who might change your mind.
After her husband of 39 years passed away, Nola Ochs decided to start taking community college courses…at the age of 95!
Mary Armstrong, great grandmother of nine, celebrated her 90th birthday with a 12,000 ft skydive.
Bert Killbride set a world record for being the oldest scuba diver in the world…at the age of 90!
These people didn’t let their age hold them back.
They did incredible things because they believed they could.
Remember: you’ll never be as young as you are today.
And it’s never too late to start living the incredible life.
Is it because you don’t want it bad enough?
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” ― Randy Pausch
Perhaps it’s not any of the above.
Maybe you just don’t want it bad enough.
Maybe you like the idea of being your own boss. Or the idea of going on that long trip you’ve been thinking about. Or the idea of starting to learn that new language.
But doing these incredible things requires work. Effort. Time. Courage. Sweat. Persistence. Sacrifice. Grit. Tears. And the willingness to do absolutely whatever it takes to get it done.
You will face brick walls along your journey. But those walls are there for a reason. They are there to keep out the people who don’t want it bad enough. After all, only those who are willing to put in the work should be rewarded.
If you’re struggling to get past those walls, perhaps it’s because you don’t have a purpose.
You don’t have your why figured out yet.
And without a strong reason to push you past the hardships of your journey, you’ll find it extremely difficult to keep moving forward.
Use the motivation toolkit to help figure out your purpose.
So What’s Holding You Back?
So what is it?
What’s holding you back? Do yourself a favor and get it out of your system. Leave it in the comment section below. I’m actually quite curious to know what’s preventing you from doing something incredible.
Remember: life is awesome, but it’s short.
Perhaps it’s time to make the most of it…
I’ll be on vacation for the next three weeks visiting family back home in Serbia and potentially scratching some things off my own incredible list. I will have limited access to my email and I’ll be holding off on blog posts until I come back. See you guys soon!