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What’s Holding You Back? Just Get on With It Already! (Whatever it is!)

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

I’ve mentioned in the past that I tend to struggle with taking big leaps in life. It’s the fear of what’s on the other side, timing or the judgement of others that plays into this quite significantly. Strangely, it’s always been my apprehension or perception of the outcome that has held me back for so long and the outcome is never really as dramatic or disastrous as my imagination made it out to be. You would think that I would learn from this exercise, but I was still going through all the steps even though things turn out alright 90% of the time. It’s a process. Just like everything in life.

We’ll get back to that 10%.

In the meantime, my new approach to taking big leaps (and small shuffles), is to imagine all the future positive outcomes and remind myself that all I need to do is get moving. For example, when contemplating something new I proclaim, “I’m going to try XYZ and it’s going to be great. The advantages of making this change or doing this new thing is going to benefit me by (insert awesome outcome here.)” This sets the expectation that not only can I do it, but it’s going to be a great thing and I’d be a fool not to do it.

So, how’s that working out for you Courtney? Pretty well actually.

I find that approaching impending change with a more positive mindset not only gives me motivation to do it, but the stress and anxiety that comes along with making a change or trying a new thing is a lot less. I also have an awesome group of friends that keep me on the positive side of things. It is the year of the "Hype Woman!" If you've seen that post you know what I mean. Always cheer for yourself and others.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons I hesitated in the past and what I do now instead.

#1 Fear

We all know FEAR. The old, “False Evidence Appearing Real.” Yeah, that’s a thing for me. I have resisted a lot of things and missed a lot of chances because of the fear of the unknown. I’ll admit, it is scary not to know the outcome of our actions. If you are secure, why risk a good thing, right? It’s okay to stay in this place for a while but unless you’ve really reached the end of your curiosity path, and you are no longer interested in growing, you will likely start to wonder what else is out there.

Yes, you may not know anyone that has ever been down that path before but it’s okay to be the first. Or maybe you do know someone who took the same chance and is now encouraging you to come along. Take a big risk or a small, slow, calculated risk (like me…I’m the slowest risk taker, ever) and see where it gets you. You’ll find that the F.E.A.R. is mostly in your head or a result of the story you have been told all your life and you’ve bought into it hook, line, and sinker. You can change the narrative and guess what? The story gets better when you do.

While my risk taking can be glacially slow at times, I use this mindset to stand up to fear and face down my new challenges. More often than not now I’m happy I took the risk and look back with relief that I’m no longer stuck where I was.

This is also where it's good to have those friend supporters as well. We should always believe in ourselves but it's even more encouraging when others believe in us and support as well. No one has ever not benefited from a cheering squad.

#2 Timing

This is my other nemesis and trusty fallback excuse.

“I’ll just do it next week” or “The timing is just not right.”

Well, when is the time going to be right? Waiting for the “right” time will delay your progress each and every time and is the perfect excuse for never getting started.

Waiting for Mercury to be in retrograde? Your bank account to hit that magic number? The stars to align? Maybe looking for a sign? None of those are going to work. An author I was listening to said, “The time to start was long ago. The next best time to start is right now.” I took that advice to heart for a few projects I'm working on now. There's no time like the present.

We all have the same number of hours in a day. What we choose to do with those hours will make all the difference. Sitting around planning to do things instead of actually working on them will keep you in a loop. Break out of that loop.

There are a number of things on my “to do” list. For one reason or another, I have often found ways of assigning a time hinderance to each of them. Well, I just wiped the slate of excuses clean. I can’t get everything done at the same time, but I can put a little effort toward all of them. Just get started and remember, progress over perfection.

My "to do" list keeps the task I'm working on front and center. If I work on a task, I put a check mark next to it indicating it's in progress (little wins are wins nonetheless). When I finish a task, it gets checked off (man, that feels good). The checks and slashes are a visible representation of the progress I’m making. That visible accountability keeps me going.

Fear plays into timing as well. The fear of getting started. That’s when I tell myself, “Doing the things on the list is going to be great and the outcome of getting started is going to benefit me by (insert awesome outcome here.)” Sensing a theme here?

#3 Judgement

Now this is a tough one. How many of us don’t do something because we fear what other people think, do, or say about us. We don’t want to open ourselves up to scrutiny or ridicule. But really, who are they? Why are they tracking us? And guess what, they really don’t care what we are doing unless it impacts them personally. Most people are so busy that they can’t even be bothered to give your Facebook post a Like. Yes, people can be snarky but generally when someone has gone out of their way to make a negative comment about you or weighs in on the riskiness of your new venture when it doesn’t impact them at all, you have to wonder. That move says a heck of a lot more about them than it does about you. Consider the source.

If you want to try something and it impacts your family/partnership dynamic, finances, or other important life variables, by all means, discuss it with the principals involved and make sure you’re all on the same page. If others have reservations about what you are doing, take them into consideration and make appropriate changes if needed. If it’s just a matter of “their” fear, don’t let it derail you. Make every effort to ease their discomfort but don’t abandon something that is important to you for the comfort of someone else. You’ll regret it later.

Now, about that 10%...

Sometimes, you stick your neck out there and the result wasn’t the outcome you wanted or expected. Again, that’s just life. It’s that 10% that keeps us humble and realistic. Not everything will work out the way we want it to all the time and that's okay.

The good news here is that when things don’t go to plan, we still learn something, experience something and most of all, we try something. We didn’t sit in our safe space restrained by fear, timing, or judgement. That’s huge! That 10% is just as important as the 90%.

I would love to say that I’m completely reformed of my hesitant ways. I am by nature a cautious person and as I get older, I’ve learned that a cautious nature has been a blessing and a curse. I’m sure I have missed out on a few opportunities by giving into the fear and I’m sure I have dodged a few bullets by listening closely to it at times as well.

However, I’m willing to take more chances now because the blessings and curses have all brought me to where I am right now. I trust my inner compass to steer me in the right direction the rest of the way but it’s up to me to plot the course and set sail. I know you can too!

My newest challenge – writing a book!

Did the big 3 show up when you decided to do it? Yes, but here's where I am with it.

Fear – I was afraid to do it but I’m already deep into chapter 2.

Timing – I said, "I don’t have time to write a book!" I’m making the time.

Judgement – Others will say, “You can’t write a book.” I say, “Why can’t I?”

What’s holding you back from what you want to do? Whatever it is, just get on with it already. Giant leaps or small steps, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you get started. The time is now.

Looking for accountability support in taking small or large steps in your life to create personal change in your approach to new opportunities or other goals? Need to find a path back to wellness to provide clarity and support for this effort? Let’s talk about it.

If you or someone you know needs to hear this message, I encourage you to like it, share it and live it!

Take care and be well,



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