By Isaiah O’Connor
a 3 1/2 minute read
Today I am starting a new series of posts titled “What is holding you back” I am going to explore several things that can hold you back when it comes to starting and growing your business. Now while there are physical realities that can hold you back for a time, those really just speed bumps along the road to success. Because these things are tangible it is much easier to create a plan to overcome them, using and persistence.
However, in this series, I am going to be focusing on the intangible things that all of us face, often on a daily basis. Things like fear, pride, a sense of victimhood, falling into a comfort zone, being a perfectionist, or so succumbing to envy, greed, and laziness. These things are much harder to combat and will be the subjects of the series.
Some of these come from the world view we were taught in our formative years and are so entrenched in us that change is hard and painful. As the saying goes “Old habits die hard.” This is especially true when the changes you need to make are ones that clash with the culture and ideals of your friends and family, no matter how well-meaning. As an example, many people think that the best way to go through life is to go to college, get a degree, find a job at a steady company, collect a predictable paycheck and stay there until you retire. Hopefully collecting a decent retirement of some sort. When you decide that you are going to buck the system and launch out on your own you will be beset by friends and family worried about you and how you are going to survive, and why can you not just get a real job. This pressure is immense especially as they are doing so out of love and care, not hatred.
Others are very shameful and you do not want to admit to anyone even yourself that you deal with them. This is especially hard for businessmen and entrepreneurs as we know that for our clients we need to appear in full control and professional at all times. We also do not want to show any weaknesses to our competitors. This can cause us to try to cover up our failures instead of dealing with them.
A few of them are hard to overcome because they can be a double-edged sword, both something you need but if used incorrectly can cause great harm. Take fear, for example, Being fearless is often seen as a good thing. But if you have a small child you will quickly learn that a child with no fear means more then a few trips to the Emergency Room. So there is a healthy sense of danger that is good so that you do not take unnecessary risks while also not letting fear paralyze you.
Then there are the ones that are personality traits, things we simply have an affinity to. Things such as perfectionism is often a character trait, and while it can be useful, it can also lead to a full stop when it comes to growth. A lot of time is wasted in perfectionism, time that could be used to do things that cause growth.
Lastly, a lot of these are driven by our emotions, especially the emotion of fear. These often come unbidden, and if not faced, have the ability to paralyze us from taking the necessary actions to grow ourselves and our business. You need to be able to master your emotions, which is to direct them to good use, not just become an ice-cold robot. We need emotions, they are what drive us, to be who we are, but at the same time we cannot let them run completely wild. This is of course much easier said than done, especially in times of stress.
To wrap up, I have seen many people struggle and fail because of these things. The first thing that I am going to tackle is by far the biggest one, and most interconnected to the others, and that is Fear.
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