What’s Holding You Back? Learning to Define What We Really Want

What’s holding you back? That is a question that I have been asking myself a lot lately. It seems like life can just start spinning out of control before we know it. Most of our time is spent just trying to figure out what direction we’re pointing. Yet, we all long for more. This longing turns into passion but is quickly eaten up by frustration as the elusive “more” never comes.

What is more?

Are these things holding you back? The first thing that comes to mind when I think about what is holding me back has to be the lack of a solid definition for what I really want. The elusive “more” stays hidden because it is impossible to find what we don’t know we’re looking for. Most people I talk to who struggle with dissatisfaction in their life can quickly list all the things they don’t have. However, when I ask what it is they are looking for, what they would do differently if they could, the clamor of complaining is halted by dead silence.

Taking Control

Most of us don’t realize that we have more control than we know. Once we throw out all the excuses, issues, disappointments, and frustrations that hold us back, all we are left with is the question, “What would we change, if we could?” Our failure to ask ourselves this one question, and seek out an honest answer, is really all that holds any of us back.

Even as I write these words, my own defenses go up. It’s not that easy, this just sounds like a bunch of self-help, fake inspirational mumbo jumbo. But I have to remind myself that there is a lot of truth to the notion that the questions we ask ourselves will frame our success or failure. If all you ask is what’s wrong with the world, then all you will see are the shortcomings of a hurting and broken world. Yet, it is not enough to simply point our fingers at all the woes of our lives, community, country, and world. All these questions lead to is depression and despair. For those of us eager to take our lives to the next level, we have to be willing to set aside all the bad things that annoy us and instead focus on real actions, not just complaints.

We all really only have two options: we can stay where we are or we can go forward. Staying allows us to continue in our comfort zone, distracted by our fingers pointing at everything they see wrong with the world. Moving forward means that we have to step out, close our fists, and grasp onto the tools and talents at our disposal.

Stepping out means that our new mindset allows us to see what we can change and take action to change it. Don’t get me wrong: this is not the easy road. It is much easier to sit and wish things were not as they are. It is a much harder task to actually do something about it. But any sort of reward takes risk, hard, work, and dedication. So, are you willing to let go of what’s holding you back and instead start seeking out ways to make a positive change in your life, and, more importantly, in the lives of the people around you?