What’s Holding You Back Isn’t What You Think

Published on November 24, 2015 by

When a speaker asks a group, “What is the biggest thing that keeps most people from pursuing their l dreams?” the answer is almost always “Fear.”

Fear seems to be behind a lot of things without us even knowing it. The salesperson doesn’t ask for a clear “Yes” or “No” from the prospect because they’re afraid they’ll get a “No.” An employee doesn’t tell their manager or the V.P. what they really think because they’re afraid of the consequences.

A family member doesn’t set boundaries with another family member because they’re afraid of conflict. Someone says “Yes” to a friend when they want to say “No” because they’re afraid saying “No” will make their friend think they’re selfish.

I could go on and on and on.

But would you beleive it if I told you fear isn’t really the problem

Here's the real problem:

A lack of self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence.

It’s the feeling of not being good enough in some way.

For instance, why in the world does someone stay in a job they don’t love? It’s rarely for the reasons they think.

It’s almost always because they don’t believe they can really do better. That’s another way of saying they don’t think they’re capable (another form of “good enough”) of landing a great job—one that pays more and one where they feel valued, challenged and excited.

So they tell themselves they’re overwhelmed, depressed or the job market is down. They say they lack a certain skill or experience needed to get a better job. But then they don’t do anything to fix that.

What they never think is “I need to grow my self-esteem and self-worth and self-confidence.

(Side Bar: Smart companies help their employees with this. They provide workshops, “lunch and learns,” webinars and coaches to help their employees grow personally and not just professionally.)

But this really isn’t about people staying in jobs they’re not passionate about. I’m just using this as an example to illustrate how self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence dictates what we do or don't do in life or at work.

What holds people back from changing their life isn’t fear. Fear is just the result of a lack of self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence.

If you're strong in these areas, you take consistent action what you want because you can handle the mistakes, rejections and failures that will come your way.

When it comes down to it, we don’t have money problems, career problems, conflict-avoidance problems, assertiveness problems, relationship problems, weight loss problems, happiness problems, peace of mind problems, anxiety problems, depression problems or life purpose problems.

In truth, we have challenges in how we think about ourselves, how view ourselves and how we feel about ourselves.

So what do you do to grow your self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence.

The truth is that before you can grow in these areas you have to have a big enough “Why” to do so. You have to have a reason to do the work. You have to see it as the “problem” behind everything else you thought was the problem.

You have to see the incredible opportunity and rewards of growing what is overall termed your "Self-Concept."

Does knowing this help? Does it explain some things in your life or the life of someone you care about?

I really want to know what you think Leave a comment and I’ll respond. And while you’re at it, please share this with a friend or on social media.

And if you want to go deeper into everything I’m talking about, get my book Seven Secrets to Enlightened Happiness: Your Guide to the Life You Were Meant to Live.” You can get it here: Seven Secrets to Enlightened Happiness

P.S. Take five minutes to listen to this five minute interview of me on a morning radio show on how to simplify happiness and create more of it in your life now: http://kootenays.myezrock.com/blogfeed/2015/11/16/lets-get-happy

3 Comments

  1. Bob Buckley

    Alan - I read this over my morning tea and your writing totally blew me away. What you write about fear is very, very powerful. In truth, it's the fearful thoughts that restrict the way we show up in the world. This: "In truth, we have challenges in how we view, think about and view ourselves." is the real truth. Thank you, Alan. With love, BB

  2. Steve Pederson

    Nailed it! You said, "It’s almost always because they don’t believe they can really do better." What went through my mind, in addition to that, is that they don't believe they deserve better, which ultimately comes down to the self worth issue as well. Thanks for this enlightening perspective!

    • Alan Allard

      Steve, as always, thanks for stopping by and for your comment. Yes, not believing we deserve better is often at play.

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