3 Ways You're Holding Yourself Back (& How to Fix It!)
We all have goals, right? We all have things that we want to accomplish in our lives, or experience for the first time, and we all have ways that we want to feel. If I asked you to picture your ideal dream life, you would be able to do it, right?
So why aren’t you living your dream life? And before you start getting down on yourself for not being where you want to be, I just want to say that this question is not meant to make you feel bad! I just want you to really think about this question, digging deeper than just “I don’t have the money,” “I don’t have the time,” “I have to do/have/be X, Y, and Z before I can do it,” etc.
I want you to think about your beliefs. Think about those things that you are telling yourself (and you believe!) that are holding you back.
When I thought about this question, I realized that, among many things, I was scared to move forward because I didn’t want to fail, I was scared to take action for fear of looking or seeming stupid, I was trapping myself under the weight of all these labels that I believed that I had to represent, and I believed that as long as I was always doing something that I’d be making progress (or, at the very least, I could use me always being busy as an excuse for not making any progress).
Do you relate to any of these?
Today, we are going to tackle three things that are probably holding you back mentally from being who and where you want to be, and better yet, I’M GOING TO TELL YOU HOW YOU CAN MOVE PAST THEM!
So take out your pen and paper and let’s get this party started!
You’re scared to fail.
Just a guess, but I feel like a decently large percentage of the population is scared of failure. Or some other variation that includes being scared of being judged or not measuring up or feeling like you’re not enough. We’re stuck with this limiting belief that if we fail then that means that we’re worthless or that we’re not enough.
Maybe it was a past experience that taught you this (for me, it was a kid named Tyler in my middle school class that made fun of me for getting a question wrong when participating in class), or maybe this belief is all you’ve ever known. Either way, I think that it goes without saying that this limiting belief can undoubtedly hold you back! So the million dollar question: how can you get past this?
THE SOLUTION: Big Step
The way to move forward when you’re scared to fail is to TAKE A BIG STEP FORWARD. I know that this might sound a little counterintuitive and that you might be thinking, “Well, if I take a big step forward then doesn’t that mean that I have a bigger capacity to fail?!?!”
Well, yes. But that’s the whole point! In order to get past your fear of failing or moving forward, you need to move forward and have the potential to fail!
Why a BIG step? Can’t you just take a little baby step and see how that works? Sorry but… nope! You know the quote that’s usually plastered in classrooms that goes something like this: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Well let me tell you, there’s actually some wisdom in this age-old adage! When you take a BIG step you are 100% fully getting yourself out of your comfort zone and into the world! This is what you need to kickstart your forward-moving progress! And if you take a BIG step (or set a big goal or a big target), then even if you don’t reach it fully, you still would’ve made major progress compared to if you just set a tiny baby goal and then easily met that.
Wanna hear some truth? You are powerful. You have so much potential. But if you’re scared to really dig deep and see how far that potential reaches, then you’ll never ever discover how capable you are.
So take that big step. Reclaim your power. And if you fail? Well then dust yourself off and keep taking those big steps.
You are keeping yourself stuck in a box.
When you think of yourself, what do you think of? Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? How about athletic? Are you a mom? A student? Are you shy? What about outgoing?
Now STOP!!! Why? Because those are all labels!
Labels aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but in a way they act like an imaginary box that is keeping you from expanding.
I used to think that I was never a baseball hat person and that i couldn’t pull them off very well. I know that his may seem like a kind of dumb example, but bear with me!So, back tot he story — I stayed very well away from baseball hats for the majority my life until one day, I forgot my hat at home and my friend offered me a baseball hat to wear. I looked at the hat in her hand with a face of literal disgust. Who was I to think that I could pull off a baseball cap when I never could before? But with a lack of a better option and a very strong desire to keep my face protected from the sun, I took the hat and we began our walk.
My friend didn’t know about my whole ‘I-don’t-wear-baseball-hats’ label, but partway through the walk, she looked over at me and said, “You pull that baseball cap off way better than I ever have, I should just give you that hat honestly!”
*insert the sound of a car screeching to a halt* What? Did she really just say what I thought she said? Yes. She did.
“Really?” I asked her. “Yeah, it looks really good!” she responded.
Much more conversation later, she gave me her hat and I opened myself up to a new world in which I could pull off and wear a baseball hat. Labels no more!
I know that this example might be a little bit simplified, but I hope that you get my point. We are who we think we are until we proves ourselves differently.
One more time so that it can really sink in: We are who we think we are until we prove ourselves differently.
We do this every day with a whole range of labels. What are you telling yourself that’s keeping you stuck in an imaginary box? Are you telling yourself that since you’re a busy student that you can’t start a successful business? Are you telling yourself that since you’ve always been kind of curvy compared to other people that you can’t start trying to be healthy? Are you telling yourself that since you’ve always been a naturally lazy person that you can’t change the habits of a lifetime?
THE SOLUTION: do YOU
Write down all the labels that you are telling yourself.
(For example, some things on my list would be: athletic, perfectionist, not a math person, not flexible, etc.)
Keep in mind that not all labels are necessarily bad, but consider each one and think about if it makes you feel like you need to act in a way that isn’t true to what YOU want or how YOU want to be.
Which ones are holding you back? Which labels are restricting your world of opportunities? For example, my belief that I couldn’t pull off baseball hats was restricting my world of opportunity because I was discounting a whole style of hats from the world!
So, in a nutshell, do what YOU want to do. Don’t do things to fit a label that you think others have put on you or that you want others to perceive you as. People will always have their varying opinions (if they even have opinions at all). so don’t do things for other people. Do things that will make you feel good.
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You believe that being busy will get you somewhere.
Raise your hand if you’ve believed this, whether it was consciously or unconsciously. *whole stadium of people raise their hands*
Don’t worry, I raised my hand too!
Sometimes when we’re working on a goal or a dream and we’re scared of making true progress (see belief number one) or if we just genuinely have a gajillion things to do on our to-do lists, it can be easy to fall into the routine of filling every waking moment of our day with something and using it as an excuse for either not achieving something or believing that being busy is achieving something.
But let me tell you, if you are not taking action towards your goals, then what you are doing is not productive. I know, I’m sorry for the tough love moment, but if you are not prioritizing what you need to be doing and, instead, are filling your time with other things, then you are never going to get anywhere in the pursuit of your goals.
I’m not saying that it’s your fault. We all have things that are must-dos (like work tasks or family matters), but this is a matter of prioritization. You have to want to achieve your goals enough to (even during a very hectic day) make them a priority in your schedule and find ways to accomplish your tasks anyways.
So how can we fix this?
THE SOLUTION: IMPACTFUL steps
List out your top goals and tiny, simple, impactful steps that will help you reach them. When you break your big, large goals into more achievable and actionable steps, then you can actually take steps to reach your goal rather than continue doing busywork that just keeps you, well, busy.
So write those impactful steps down! What is one thing that you can do today to move you further towards reaching your goals? Now go do it! Stop letting your time be taken over by things that aren’t important to reaching to your goals. You accomplish what you prioritize. Prioritize yourself.