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What’s Holding You Back?

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. – Marianne Williamson

You have great potential inside of you. I have great potential inside of me, too.

The thought of realizing this potential can be paralyzing and it can be frightening.

Fear can keep us stuck in a place where we believe we are not good enough. Fear can keep us from realizing our dreams and it can keep us from creating the life we want. Fear can also hold us back.

There have been times when my fear held me back and kept me from experiencing the happiness I wanted.

When I was a boy I loved to play baseball. My family lived in a rural community which didn’t provide Little League or youth baseball. Instead, I would play catch with my father or pretend I was playing in a big league game complete with line-up cards I would fill out for both teams (I always batted third and played first base for the winning team) and a uniform I got from a Sears catalog.

At age 14, we moved to a more suburban setting. There was finally a chance for me to play real baseball with real players. I was horrified. What if I failed? What if I wasn’t good enough? What I always wanted was right before me and I was too scared to take hold of it and live it. Instead, my fear was holding me back.

Think of fear as a wall you have built around yourself. This wall is made of bricks placed there, one-by-one over the course of many years. For each setback you have experienced, a brick has been added; for each insult you have endured, a brick has been added; for each self-limiting thought you have believed, a brick has been added.

Over time, this brick wall has grown taller and wider until it has reached such an imposing size you believe you will never be able to tear it down or scale over it. This wall is no doubt holding you back.

Just as the wall wasn’t built in a single day, it’s not likely you will be able to bring the wall down in one day either. Instead, you can begin removing the bricks, one-by-one, and then repurpose these bricks to build a path leading to where you want to go.

You may trip over some of the bricks along the way. When you do, avoid the temptation to pick up the brick and place it back on the wall. Instead, tap the brick further into the ground and keep moving forward in the direction you choose.

The Six C’s of Confidence

Making the choice to move forward in spite of your fear take courage and it takes confidence. These six C’s are meant to assist us in moving through all that holds us back. When we keep our eyes firmly on our goals, when we feel the need to celebrate even when we have only just begun, then we are on the road to creating the life we want.

  1. Clues: Where are the clues that you may be hitting some old head trash or self – limiting beliefs where it comes to your success? Do you find places in your life where you are not as productive as you’d like to be? If you were to ask others where you get stuck, what would they say?
  2. Clarity: Once you find the places that aren’t working, get clear on how this is impacting your life. Are you finding it hard to make ends meet, or fighting an addiction, or perhaps struggling with a self esteem issues? Tell yourself the truth so you can move forward. Clarity about the real issue will allow you to make changes.
  3. Challenge: Is it true? That’s the most powerful question you can ask here. You have to challenge the erroneous belief or idea. How can you challenge the ideas that are keeping you stuck?
  4. Combat: Here’s where the work takes place. You have to do the thing you have been holding yourself back from. You may have heard the expression, ‘The only way out is through.’

    Victory will come as you combat your fears by moving into action. So if you are a little bit reluctant to ask for more responsibility at work; or approach the person you have been admiring from a distance; or begin the process of staring your own business you need to make up your mind to do it anyway. It may be comforting to know that ‘you can’t feel your way into acting differently, but you can act your way into feeling differently.’ It gets easier.

  5. Commit: Who will help you keep your commitment? It’s pretty common to want to squirm out of the things that make us uncomfortable, so find someone who you can be accountable to. This is one of the main reasons people hire coaches, because creating the environment that insures success is much easier that trying to use will power. Creating the life you want, and believing you deserve that life, requires self discipline. Who will you call on for support?
  6. Celebrate: Look at how far you have come! Remember other times when you were stuck and re-visit the habits you used to get to the other side.

Learning to Break Free

After acknowledging the fact you are being held back, for whatever reason, and you start gaining the confidence to move forward, having a few specific actions to help you keep going in a positive direction can be helpful.

Editor’s Note: The Six C’s for Confidence is attributed to Success Connections. This group authored the concept of The Six C’s. I adapted them for this article.

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Posted by on October 22, 2008.

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Categories: Faith, Inspiration, Stories of Change

  • Doug Rosbury

    Yes,yes, I am powerful beyond measuring,however,
    If the time is not yet for such power to be expressed,then I will relax and do—(NOTHING).
    If such power cannot be expressed in peace, then
    in peace I will await the appropriate moment for it
    to express for without peace and fearlessness,
    no amount of power is worthwhile possessing. Why fear it? When its time does arrive, so will the peace that is to accompany it. In any case,The truest power is the restraint of power. With that
    thought, I can relax in peace.—Doug Rosbury

  • http://azerothcookbook.com Greg

    Thanks for a great article. Some people have said that their luck is in direct proportion to how hard they work and I find that holds true. When I get the right stuff done I have better luck.

    Interesting how that works.

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