You Don’t See The Truth
The most common and self-destructive way to hold yourself back is by avoiding the truth.
The truth is you do not know what you want, and you are too scared to figure out what that could be. You may like feeling safe, and you are too anxious to explore anything outside that realm of comfort. On the other hand, it could be the complete opposite case—you thrive on escapism. You run away, travel, try everything and anything once. However, you do not allow yourself to get close enough to get hurt. You may claim you like the “freedom” but what you really like is the non-commitment.
Another common and probably the most common way people hold themselves back is with displacement. They shift their focus to their hobbies, love life, friends, exercise, anything to avoid what is really bothering them. This can be extremely dangerous because you are constantly just filling one gap with something else rather than fixing anything. You are keeping yourself busy, which makes you feel healthy and productive. As positive as that is, you are still avoiding your real problems. By displacing your issues with something else you become in danger of lying to yourself. You will find yourself constantly saying “everything’s fine” rather than admitting to yourself what is really going on.
Whether it is fear of change, escapism, or displacement there is no “right way” to avoid the truth.
You Have A Timeline…And You Worry You Won’t Make It
There is nothing wrong with goals and plans…but I do have an issue with “timelines.” Timelines secretly trap and restrict us. Timelines can make you feel like you need to have your dream job or own a home by 30, and if you don’t you have failed in some way. Or you need to be married and you need to be on the path of having a family.
These timelines make you panic instead of trusting your own instincts or trusting the process of your success. You are believing in the story society sold you, about what your life should look like rather than believing in what you really want your life to be.
You become scared to dream or to try something new because the clock is ticking and you don’t have the time or luxury to go for what you really want. You are scared people will judge you for switching careers, or being an artist instead of doing some stable 9-5.
People make you believe you are at the age where you should be an “adult.” Apparently being an adult means growing up and giving up on your dreams. Your dreams should not have an expiration date.
You Have The Idea But You Are Not Willing To Put In The Work
As Paris Geller would say, “I can scare the stupid out of you, but the lazy runs deep.” Most people do not want to put in the work, because work is a lot of work. Nothing easy is worth it. Again a huge factor that holds people back is their fear of what other people think.
Their anxiety of failing, letting people down, or thinking they won’t be good enough. They psych themselves out before they even try. Most of the time it is over before it has had the chance to start. Especially in this new social media millennial world where we have a fear of posting something unedited or getting under 100 likes.
What other people think has dictated our measurement of happiness. Our thoughts have been replaced with substanceless affirmations from strangers off the internet. We are so focused on what is “trending” right now rather than what is becoming. This generation is obsessed with instant gratification. Without instant results, we aren’t willing to put in the work.
We live in a world of influencers who don’t have an original thought on their minds. Everyone is just another copy of someone else. We are all too afraid to be ourselves, because what if that does not get any likes?
Fear Of Failure Scared You Away…And It Shouldn’t
There is comfort in routine. There is this powerful ease of doing only what you know you are good at it. It is strong to try the unknown. Failing is not weak. Fear of failure should not get in your way. What truly can get in your way is the fear of not challenging yourself. Without challenging yourself, without change, you are forever just running in circles, not moving forward.