What's Holding You Back?

I've been thinking a lot lately about the things that can hold us back when it comes to following our dreams and doing what we really want to do with our lives. The biggest person in my own way is me - I'm the one who talks myself out of taking steps forward, who tells myself I'm not good enough, and who worries too much about the fear of failure.

Freelancing and working for yourself is scary business, but whatever the career path it is that you want to follow, or the life choices you want to take the leap and make, I thought today I'd share some of the things that hold me back and that I want to work through in my own life, in the hopes of encouraging you to get out of your own way too...

Fear Oh fear, it consumes us sometimes doesn't it? I'm scared of so many things - I'm scared of failing, I'm scared that I'm not good enough, I'm scared of being judged. Fear stops me from putting myself out there more, for really going for the work and the clients I want to be working with, and it stops me from really embracing the confidence I want to have when it comes to my work. For me the worst fear is worrying what others may think - will they judge me? will they laugh? will they say I'm not good enough? Learning to not listen to these fears and to stop giving them any of my time is such an important step for me to take - or I will forever be holding myself back.

As a creative I constantly feel like a fraud, like I'm not good enough at what I do and that sooner or later everyone will find out - talking to other creatives though I've found that I'm not alone in this, and I'm learning how important it is for me to stand by my work every day and believe in it and my abilities every step of the way. I spoke recently about feeling the fear and not looking back and it's the sentiment of that piece that I want to take through with me when it comes to my work. 

Excuses We make so many excuses every day to stop ourselves from taking a big leap into our future. Whether because we don't think it's the right time, or because we don't think we have enough time - when we're scared and when it's unchartered waters we can always find a reason to take the easier (and less scary) path. 

I always tell myself that it's just not the right time to put myself out there when it comes to making myself more available to potential clients - but really it's because I'm scared what others will think (and no one wanting to hire me) when I stand up and say - hey, this is who I am and this is what I do. Finding ways to quit making excuses just to avoid feeling uncomfortable is something I really want to work on as like I said in my feel the fear piece, I think a little discomfort and stepping out of my comfort zone is super important for me when it comes to creating work I can be really proud of. 

Practicalities Whether it's financial, or maybe time restraints - there are so many practical reasons as to why pursuing our dreams just feel a little too out of reach. But what I've learned is that it's important to start seeing solutions instead of problems. Haven't got enough money for a new business venture or to fund a course or work experience? Then save up - quit spending on stuff you don't need and find a way to invest in your own future. I can't remember the last time I bought new clothes or makeup, as all my spare cash these days goes right back into my business. Haven't got enough time? Find time, make the most out of your breaks, your commute, your days off - your world is only as limited as you make it. If I've learned anything in my 22 years so far in this world, it's that we have to fight for our dreams and our future and invest in ourselves every step of the way.

So I've made one major goal for myself for the rest of 2014 - stop getting in my own way. I'm going to focus more on moving forward instead of worrying about the what ifs, and I'm going to embrace fear instead of allowing it to stop me in my tracks. And you? Whatever your crazy dream is, however much others may think it's too far fetched, I just want to say go for it. Find a way to build the life you want and stop holding yourself back - and remind yourself everyday that you have something awesome to offer the world.

What about you - are you like me, do you tend to hold yourself back?


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