What Is Actually Holding You Back?

Do you have a dream?

Most people have a dream of where they think they'd like to be in 5, 10, or 20 years. Something that they are aspiring to, something they are working towards, some place they want to see themselves in.

That dream is probably a bit of a stretch goal, not really something that is achievable overnight. There are probably more than a few steps in between here and there.

Photo via  Flickr

Photo via Flickr

One thing I often ask myself and others is, "What is actually holding you back?"

This isn't a rhetorical question. This isn't one of those inspirational questions that's supposed to make you realize that you only have yourself to blame for your lack of progress. That's not always helpful, because frankly it's not always in your control.

Instead I look at it as a serious question, with an answer that is hopefully specific and addressable. When I take stock of where I am in life compared to where I want to be, there are often very obvious actions that can be taken, and it's up to me to realize what's in the way of me completing them. Is it a lack of a specific skill? Or maybe not knowing who I should ask to help me? Perhaps, I'm just being lazy, and the only think stopping me is actually me. That is a possibility.

The reason why the answer to this question is so important for you and me is because it gives us a sense of control over your situation. Instead of "I'm not moving forward, and I don't know why," we're able to say "I'm not moving forward because of [whatever your reason]." Then when we realize this, we can take the initiative to address that reason head on, or know that we're not working towards our goals because we've decided that there are more pressing priorities. And that's ok, as long as we know it.

What's holding you back from your goal? Is there anything, even something small, that you can do this week to work through that and make it to the next step? Are there people who you can connect with that will give you a helping hand? Or is it just one of those times in your life when you need to focus on other things besides your dreams? Take a moment to figure out what's holding you back and if there's anything you want to do about it.

- Ryan

Ryan BonaparteGoals, Action