Holding Yourself Back – A Perspective on Hesitation

Overcoming hesitation

I did an evaluation of my monthly goals and progress from January 2018 to June 2018. Looked at the number of books I wanted to read and compared it to the number of books I did read. Evaluated the number of posts and words generated compared to what I wanted to achieve.

I was disappointed by some of the results yet I didn’t let it get me down. It motivated me to see what’s holding me back and to improve and re-think what I was doing so I can become better.

What’s holding me back?

When I failed out of Pharmacy School I thought my goals were out of my reach. This kind of thinking could have been holding me back from my potential.

I’ve learned since then that there may really be things out of my reach but I can gain valuable experience and personal insights on that journey.

I might be in luck and be in the right place at the right time with the right people and things fall into place without a lot of effort. Yet how many times does that happen? I wouldn’t bet my future on it.

Someone might notice your struggle and decide to help you out. Fate, for once, might conspire to help you. This could happen if we chose to have mentors.

The one thing I will bet my future on is not giving up, not giving myself excuses to let things start holding me back. Giving up removes the possibilities, even the possibility of luck, from reaching where I want to be. The possibility isn’t in my attention so I could be completely unaware of the opportunities around me that could help advance my goals or personal vision.

The point is that our goals and objectives we don’t meet don’t define us and that our journey it isn’t over until we say it is over. If we strive towards our goals still have a chance, until you give up.

From that, we can learn that we shouldn’t give up. As long as we are trying, there is an opportunity to grow, even if it’s growing in a direction that wasn’t planned or expected.

We may experience a coincidence now and then when something nice happens and it’s for no obvious reason. It can and does happen on occasion.

Yet, we have to ask ourselves if that is what we want our path to success to look like. Is taking the chance that something positive will happen from nothing really a good idea? Should we sit and wait and wish for something to happen or should we go out and make it happen?

The effort we apply

We need to want to put in some effort and keep trying to make things happen. I think of the things that start holding me back from what I want to do; these things can reinforce the feeling to give up. Once you give up, it’s over and who knows if we will have the opportunity to try again? Nothing is guaranteed.

As we continue working at our goals and personal vision, we open ourselves up to observing more of the world around us and eventually the ability to identify opportunities that we wouldn’t otherwise see.

We will be able to take advantage of circumstances of which we would otherwise be completely unaware. Even if we aren’t looking for new opportunities with respect to our initial goal, you are still improving your skills and sharpening ourselves.

We might come to find that the opportunity was always there, we just didn’t have the skills to spot it or to take advantage of the opportunity. If we had quit, that would still be the case.

But if we kept after it, we might find that we now have what it takes to turn our goals and personal vision into reality.

Working on something, even if ultimately we are unable to accomplish our objective, we will have accomplished something. We may even inspire someone to do something they hadn’t thought to do before.

Any of these outcomes is a good thing. These are things we should consider the next time we think about giving up.

Looking inward and forward

This applies to you if you give up on things from time to time. Not that I want to imply that everything is possible, it isn’t. If we are trying to walk across the ocean to a new continent we will realize that it has always been out of reach.

When conducting evaluations of ourselves, our personal vision, and our goals, we will see changes in priorities over time. Things change when we grow. There will be other times when something has simply ceased being important.

This is often noticed at major life events. Job loss, failing out of school, marriage, divorce, children, illnesses, things like that. Suddenly we will change our minds about the importance of things, and quit working on it.

This isn’t a bad thing, it shows growth and forward movement based on being honest with ourselves.

There are stories I want to write, possibly turning them into books but with work and family obligations, there’s not a lot of extra time. So I chip away slowly over time. The point is that I may not see these results for years but I never thought it was out of reach so I try not to let these things start holding me back from my potential.

Life happens, plans constantly change, goals no and ideas change and continue to change, but it will get to my goals. Why? Because I won’t give up, I never thought it was completely out of reach.

Final thoughts

Take a moment and think back to the things in your life that you have given up on. Were they small things like reading a classic novel? Bigger things like not finishing school? Was it a dream of traveling?

Maybe you started working out and it slowly faded over time and the gym pass that swings on your keychain as a reminder (I’m speaking from experience). Maybe it was from a lack of discipline, or change in goals, or another life event.

Think about those things and anything else you can remember giving up. These were once important to you, are they still important or have your goals changed and they are no longer necessary?

Write them down and look at them, make it real before you decide to give up on them. Take a moment to think “what’s holding me back?”

Now create a list of goals and a sentence for how you envision your life. Compare the two and before you cross anything off your list of goals, ask yourself why you no longer consider them important. Make sure you don’t think they’re still out of reach, but that you really are done with them.

For those which are still left, consider why you thought they were out of reach at the time. Now consider what has changed since then. Is something else taking up your time? Are you still interested in that goal or activity? Can you start again but on a smaller scale?

What was it that caused you to quit working on that goal or activity? Looking inward and being honest and confident with yourself, you should be able to answer these questions. If there’s something out there you want to do or something you want to change about yourself then this is the time to ask yourself: what is holding you back?


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Spring board for aspiring fiction writers. Using free time to write sci-fi / drama.

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