Each and every one of us has a dream or a goal. Whether it’s recreational, professional, or personal, we’re lost without having something to work towards. Unfortunately, many of us give up before we really even get started. Here are 8 things that are holding us back from reaching our full potential. Which are you suffering from, and how do you address them?
- Fear: It’s scary to start something new. It’s scary to put ourselves out there and open ourselves up for failure, but we lose a lot more when we let our fear keep us from trying. Ask yourself what you’re REALLY scared of. Personally, I’m not scared of failure; I’m scared of wasted time. To me, the idea of wasting any portion of time is terrifying, and because of that fear I’ve rushed decisions that should have been given more thought and given too much thought to decisions that should have been rushed. Identify what it is you’re afraid of, and then ask yourself why. If you can’t come up with a good answer (or even if you can) brainstorm ways to push past this fear and get started. You won’t regret it.
- Self-Doubt: Ugh. It shows its ugly head again. Will Self-Doubt EVER not make one of these lists? Probably not. It’s a serious problem for so many people out there that it would be unfair not to discuss it. We’re plagued with the fear that we’re not good enough, but the question I pose is who decides what ‘good enough’ is? And who do they think they are making us feel inadequate? Too often it’s our own inner voice that whispers negative thoughts day in and day out. Tell that voice to go to hell. You can do absolutely anything you put your mind to. Every single person out there had to start somewhere.The difference between all those people and the few that are living their dreams? The ability to conquer their self-doubt and stop limiting themselves. Wake up every morning and think something positive about yourself. Set a small, obtainable goal, and feel the pride you deserve to feel when you complete it. It’s time to love and support yourself. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish once you do.
- Unrealistic expectations: What’s the quickest way to quit working towards your goals? Set your expectations so high that the chances of you meeting them are nonexistent. Not only will you feel like a failure, but the negative emotions associated with feeling like a failure will more than likely make you quit, MAKING you a failure. It’s a vicious circle that is easily avoided. BE REALISTIC. My overweight, out of shape derriere isn’t about to up and run a 5K in a matter of weeks, but did that stop me from trying? Oh, no. I’m far to stubborn for that. And when I felt like I was dying in the first mile of training? Oh yea, I failed. I’ve since adopted more realistic goals, but the physical pain of that initial failure is still fresh in my mind.
- Lack of Support: I am fortunate enough to not have this issue. My Sweetheart supports me in every crazy endeavor I come up with, and his support is invaluable. Especially when I’m feeling down and need a little pick me up. However, for the sake of our list, lets assume that he didn’t support me. It would make reaching my goals 10X harder if I was having to fight him AND myself. So, don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for support, and try not to take it personal if some of them aren’t as supportive as you would like. There’s nothing wrong with turning to people with similar interests for support as well. Most likely, they’re in as much need for support as you are, so don’t hesitate to reach out to the people around you.
- Unfair Comparisons: I honestly believe that unhappiness and discontent stems from comparing our lives to other people’s. This is a sadistic practice that should be avoided at all costs. Seriously. I should have labeled this one JUST comparisons. Who cares if Sallie Mae has already completed her degree, or John Doe has been running Marathons since he was 16? Remember that YOU have things that other people want as well, and your accomplishments are just as impressive as the next persons. Don’t worry about anyone else, just worry about your own goals and your own progress. It’s important to remember here that the destination should only be half of your focus: the journey is just as important.
- Other Obligations: Lets face it; unless we’re still kids in High School, we have a lot of obligations that simply MUST take priority over our hobbies. Which kind of sucks- but welcome to being an Adult. You’re trapped. Don’t pass go, don’t collect $200, AND go wash your dishes and make sure you have clean underwear for work tomorrow. My best advice for this is to just do your best to make time for your goals while keeping up with your other obligations. Evaluate if any of them can be postponed or at least reduced at all. I’ve had to start using some serious time management skills, but now that it has become habit I feel like I’m getting a lot more out of my day-to-day life.
- Lack of Patience: Me, me, me, mmmeee! My gosh I swear I have the patience of a three-year-old sometimes. I want what I want, when I want it, and by golly if there’s going to be any type of delay then just forget about it. It’s a hard life to live. Patience is something that I’m really having to work on with my 2016 goals. I want my weight down, my running time up, and my blog/social media sites to take off like a rocket!!! See the problem here? I’m way too focused on the end goal than the journey, and I’m way to hard on myself when I do things that aren’t directly related to reaching those end goals. I didn’t publish a blog post AT ALL last week. Literally because I was so upset with myself for missing the initial deadline I set for my FIRST post of the week, so I in turn didn’t post anything. It makes perfect sense, I know (insert eye roll here). Basically, be patient with yourself. If you really want something you’ll make it happen, but it’s going to take time and a lot of effort.
- Negative Feedback: To anyone, an I do mean ANYONE, that belittles your dreams and goals, please politely tell them to go to hell. If you’re too nice of a person for that (sadly, I’m one of them) then politely accept their feedback and then refuse to discuss your goals with them again until they’re able to keep their negativity in check. Also work on your need for other’s feedback. If you can get to a point in your life where you only really care about your own opinion your happiness will increase in leaps and bounds-or so I’m told. I’m still working on this little bit of advice.