Do You Hold Yourself Back?

Do You Hold Yourself Back?

It is often said that we are our own worst enemies.  I think that to a large extent, this is true.  People often hold themselves back from doing great things because being ordinary is so much easier.

Things people do to hold themselves back:


1. Stay in their comfort zone

2. Focus on their limitations

3. Fear of being confident

I’ll now go into each are into more detail.


1. Stay in their comfort zone


People love their comfort zone.  Which makes perfect sense, because why would you put yourself out there and risk the possibility of rejection, failure or worse? Wouldn’t it be so much nice to stay in the warmth of your comfort zone.

No one can hurt you there.  You don’t feel rejected there.  It’s just so nice.

Many people go through their entire lives staying mostly in their comfort zones and live completely healthy and happy lives.  While other people feel trapped in their comfort zones because they have such a feeling of helplessness.  They don’t want to survive, they want to thrive! But living a plain life in the comfort zone is the only option for these people, because they are fortified, they are petrified, of the prospect of being hurt or rejected if they were to stray from their comfort zone.

The reality is that no one did anything great by spending their whole lives in a comfort zone.  They only way to grow as a person is to go outside that comfort zone.  If you want to be one of those people that seem to just “love life” and are so “full of life”, you need to get out of your comfort zone.

Is there something that you know you want to do, or something you’ve always wanted to do, but you’ve always held yourself back from doing it because it’ll take you too far out of your comfort zone?  Do yourself a massive favour and just go for it.  Life is too short to be afraid of rejection or failure.


Failure is a good thing, but don’t look at it as failure.  Think of it as a way not to do something.  Thomas Edison (inventor of the light bulb) said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  


2. Focus on their limitations


Do you think people like Muhammad Ali, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa or Rosa Parks ever thought “that isn’t possible” or “there’s no way that will work”?

If you want to make a change in your life, you must not focus on your limitations.  If you want great things, you need to dream big.  You need to stop using phrases such as “I can’t” or “that’s not possible”.  In order to be successful you need the best training and education available among other practical considerations, but it all starts with your attitude.

If you don’t believe that your dream is possible, then you will never put in the dedicated work required to get there.  History is full of people that beat the odds, people that proved everyone wrong, people that did what people previously though was impossible. Are you going to become another one of those people?

Don’t focus on what you can’t do or you have set yourself up for failure!

3. Fear of being confident


The greatest gift to being human is also the greatest burden…that of self awareness.  Of all its greatness, the biggest pitfall is the ability for you doubt yourself.  Doubting yourself is a uniquely human trait.  No other species on this planet has it, at least as far as I know

It is very important for you to be able to evaluate yourself, because it is impossible to learn from your mistakes if you do not evaluate yourself on some level.  But here’s the problem….too many people take their negative evaluations of their performance on certain things personally. [Enter Vito Corleone’s accent] Its just business!

Evaluation can be both negative and positive obviously. So I ask you this…when is the last time you gave yourself a positive evaluation?  I bet it was a long time ago!  I’m a perfectionist so I’m literally never giving myself credit for when it is due.  Only perfectionists know this burden, it’s the worst! But for you perfectionists and “normal people” alike, having blind faith in yourself is the difference between the best and every one else.

The problem is that ever since you were born I’m sure you’ve been told of how wrong it is to be arrogant.  I’m sure your parents told you “no one likes arrogant people” or “no one likes a gloater” or “beware of overconfidence”.  But here’s the thing…if you want to be truly great at something, you’ve got to believe from the bottom of your heart, no just that you’re capable of doing it, but that you WILL do it. 

I’m not talking about some trick you might find in a self help book that teaches you to be more confident.  I’m talking about real confidence, something that comes from deep within you, something that you know is real.

First you need to answer what it is that you want to be the best at.  If you don’t know this, then no amount of confidence in the world is going to improve your life in the long term.

Second you need to focus all your energy at becoming the best at that thing.  Get a coach or a mentor to help you along the way.

Third you need to understand that there is no such thing as overconfidence.  You either believe that you will complete such and such a task, or you won’t. In fact you’ll need all the confidence you can possible get.  However, that being said, don’t confuse confidence for a lack of preparation.  You must work very hard and get the best help possible.

You just need to let go of the notion that it is not okay to be super confident.

You’re going to upset people on your way to the top and if you’re constantly trying to make everyone happy, it just won’t be possible.  You will come across as arrogant to some people just because you’re damn sure that you’re the best at what you do.

That really isn’t a bad thing, in fact I would much rather a surgeon be “arrogant” than I would a surgeon come across as “more down to Earth”.  I’m not saying you need to go out there are tell everyone how great you are.  That just displays that you’re so under confident that you have to tell people how great because you don’t believe yourself.

It’s the attitude that matters.

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