Who or what holds you back?
If you really want to know the answer to this question, you should get the premise to this question clear. Now, let us even assume that something or someone is holding you back. We will delve into that later. But the presumption here is that you want to move from your current state to some desired state. So, first you need to identify what is that desired state that you want to be in and then comes the question of who or what is holding you back.
Then, what is the desired state that you want? As for me, I want to lead a good life till a ripe old age, love others as much as I can, laugh often during the journey, learn as much as I can and also leave a legacy, by teaching others. I have arrived at this philosophy which I have adopted for my life after deliberate thought and reflection. Breaking it down, I want a simple love-filled life, want enough money to address my needs (needs to be defined though), and my dream is to teach young people various skills that help them develop their own potential.
And there is actually nothing that holds me from reaching the desired state right now. I can become a teacher or a mentor or a coach for others. Then why am I still not in the desired state? I will address this shortly.
Now, what is my current state?
I am healthy. I am married. I have a small kid. I have a large extended family. I have a circle of friends. I have a good job at a good MNC. I earn enough for my needs.
With this current state, I should be able to effortlessly move to my desired state. Moreover, given that there is nothing that stops me from reaching my desired state, why do I still crave for that desired state? Why have I not tried full heartedly ever to reach that state. What is stopping me?
I have thought about it a lot. And I have come to the conclusion that there is primarily one impediment that holds me back from reaching that desired state. And it is not only applicable to me. It is applicable to all of us who hold ourselves back from our dreams. It is a small thing actually. But it takes a large proportion of time and space in our mind. It is ingrained in our mind. It is an emotion. It is fear. Fear holds me back. Fear holds you back. It holds most of the people from taking the steps towards their dream. It paralyzes us from taking action and moving forward towards our dream.
Fear takes many forms. Fear of failure in professional goals, fear of rejection in love, fear of financial difficulties, fear of being a social failure and many others. It is such fear and many other fears that hold us back.
Imagine yourself when you were a kid. Boy, weren’t you fearless? I bet you were. Everything was a new experience for you. You were game for everything. So was I. We tried anything that we fancied. We did not hold ourselves back from anything. But through our lives as we grow, we keep gathering experiences - good as well as bitter. We learn to avoid risks. We look for immediate positive payoffs in everything that we do. We avoid actions with negative repercussions. Though nature has ingrained fear for our own safety, we take it a bit too far. In the process become failure averse. Whenever there is a small chance of a failure, we back out of fear. And this becomes ingrained in our adult psyche.
Fear - so, this answers what is holding me back. Fear of losing a comfortable life that I am ensconced in. Fear of uncertainty, fear of 'what next', and fear of the unknown is what is holding me back.
That answers the ‘what’ part of the question. Now the ‘who’ part. So, who is holding you back?
It is not someone or something out there. There is no one else who holds you back. Not your wife, not your child, parents, family or society. It is ‘You’ who is holding you back. You do not really need permission from anyone to do whatever it takes to achieve your dream. You just need your own permission to do that you want to reach your goals. Give yourself that permission and soar high without fear!