I don’t think people intentionally hold back in their lives. Not at first, at least. I think it’s a slippery slope that begins with one decision at a time.
- “Oh, I won’t tell my partner this bothers me because it’s so small and not worth it.”
- “Oh, I won’t go back to school because the kids are still small and I need the money.”
- “Oh, I’ll start that blog tomorrow. Now’s just not a good time.”
- “Oh, I’ll just have one more chocolate croissant. I’ll start that diet tomorrow.”
I must confess. I’m guilty of the last one.
Then one day the issue reaches full manifestation and you find yourself waking up and saying, “Where has my life gone? How have I been so blind to this status quo misery that I am now painfully aware of?”
The signs were there all the time, boo boo. You were just too busy to recognize them.
Here are three signs that you are holding back in your life:
1) You have ideas, dreams and goals, but right before you’re about to begin, you take a deep breath and youuuuu … hesitate.
You start thinking and, before you know it, you’re caught in an analysis paralysis. Every fiber in your rational mind is calling out the obvious reasons why you should NOT proceed. Any of these sound familiar?
Sounds nice, but …
- “I don’t know what to do or where to begin.”
- “I don’t have a detailed enough plan of attack.”
- “I am not qualified.”
- “I do not have sufficient funds in my bank account.”
- “I do not have the time or space to add that on my plate.”
- *Insert Reason You’re Not Acting Here
2) You see everything in black and white.
What words would you use to describe your everyday life? Bleak? Monotonous? Painfully boring and predictable? Or have you even given any thought to how your life is right now? Are you always in go, go, go mode?
I once had a co-worker who was terribly unhappy with her job with the company. And it showed. She finally ended up quitting. A couple of months later, she popped back into the office to visit and I almost didn’t recognize her. I mean, she looked exactly the same, except … she wasn’t. She was glowing. She said, “You know what, Tish. I see my life in color now. When I was working here, everything was so black, white and gray. It was only when I left that the colors made their way back into my life.”
3) You apologize way too much. For stuff that needs no apology.
Are you a “I’m sorry, but …” and then you proceed to insert your opinion type of person? Do you feel yourself shrinking when you’re speaking? Or speaking really fast so that you get it over with? Or soft so they don’t really hear you? Or throwing out a “Never mind” after a little back and forth because it’s just too overwhelming to explain your stance? Or just not saying anything at all?
If any of this resonates with you, congratulations.
You are now aware of what’s going on in your life. The question now becomes, “What you gon' do about it, boo?”
Awareness is a tricky thing -- once you know better, you pretty much have to do better. It is virtually impossible to go back to your ignorant bliss. You can’t unsee it.
Where do you begin?
Here are three practices to incorporate in your daily life to help get you started:
1) Ask for help.
Therapy. Life coaching. The point is that oftentimes it helps to get outside perspective and ideas. Also, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. We are all doing the best we can with what we have. There is no shame in it. I’m of the mindset to do anything that will get me ahead of the game. Faster.
2) Make a list of things you want to try. And go for it.
It’s your version of Eat, Pray, Love. I’m not saying quit your job and travel, but if the spirit moves you, do you, boo.
3) Start journaling.
Journaling is a powerful way to get in touch with yourself. Don’t have much time? Set your timer for 10 minutes and put pen to paper. Or open up a Google doc and have at it. Let your truth spill onto the pages unapologetically.
There’s a fantastic saying in Spanish, “No dejes para mañana lo que puedas hacer hoy.” *LaTisha’s Loose Translation: Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
As I wrote in Intro to Rock Star Goal Setting, “You have something inside of you to share with the world. And, don’t get it twisted. This doesn’t mean that every single person in the world is the next Beyoncé. Nor should you want to be. Your world could consist of your family and friends. Or it could mean selling out Madison Square Garden. The definition is up to you. The point is that you have something inside of you that you are born to share — a message, a song, a painting, a book, a business, etc.
I’m gonna ask you for a big favor.
Please stop robbing us of your genius because you’re scared. Or worried. Or whatever it is that makes you second guess, hesitate, and put yourself on the back burner.
Stop that shit.
You’re a rock star. It’s time to own it.”
Need more ideas on where to begin?
It would be an honor to jam with you. Hit reply and let’s chat about creating a plan for you to stop holding back and to finally take center stage in your own life.
I’m cheering you on. Loudly.
From the Front Row,