A Note About What’s Holding You Back

2019 was a really rough year for me.

Circumstances were getting the best of me. My husband and I had been in a rough financial spot for several years, but at least I had a good job—a well-paying job. It was so well-paying that we were dependent on my income, and I had convinced myself that it was the job, and only the job, that would keep us afloat.

I’ve shared about this before, but it’s worth sharing again because of how easy it is to fall into the same patterns over and over. Even now that I’m on the other side of the experience and I can retrospectively see how I was creating my own hell, that doesn’t mean that I’ll never do it again.

I had convinced myself that without the job, then…

  • we’d lose our house
  • we’d have no income
  • we’d have no health care
  • we’d never be able to replace the income
  • we’d never be able to earn as much again
  • we’d never be able to afford health care on our own
  • I’d never be able to earn a living doing anything remotely close to what I really want
  • I’d never be able to find a job with the same level of flexibility as I had

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.

Do you see a pattern in those statements? First, none of them are actually true. Second, they are all incredibly limiting. Third, they all ignore my own (and my husband’s) innate capabilities. And forth, they all have one thing in common: FEAR.

Fear, of course, has its place. It keeps us from making rash decisions that risk true harm. 

But it’s like Elizabeth Gilbert says, fear can come along for the ride, but it can’t drive.

When you think about going after what you want, especially when it comes to something BIG like finishing your book manuscript, what’s holding you back? No matter the reason (excuse), it’s likely your personal version of fear.

Have you convinced yourself that if you focus on finishing your book manuscript, then…

  • you’ll upset {whoever you write about} and damage relationships
  • you’ll neglect {insert other important responsibility here}
  • you won’t be able to handle such a huge project AND everything else you have going on
  • you’ll never have the time you need to do it justice
  • you’ll never be able to afford {choose one: that editor, that conference, that workshop, other}
  • you’ll never get an agent, so why bother
  • you’ll never get published, so why bother
  • you’ll never make any money, so why bother

If anything on that list sounds familiar, let me ask you a question:

How do you know it’s true?

You may already know the answer, but I’m going to be super obvious and spell it out for you. The answer is: You won’t know whether it’s true or unless you find out what happens when you take action.

Look, there’s never a good time to go after what you want. It will always be hard. It will always be uncomfortable. There will always be uncertainty. There will always be doubt. There will always be haters. There will always be someone to tell you you’re making a bad choice.

None of that matters.

The only thing that matters is who’s behind your wheel: is it you, or is it fear?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *