This month I’ve been thinking about what holds me back. I’ve been trying to understand major projects and times when I’ve lost momentum or quit completely. Some have obvious answers. Perhaps a shift in focus or priority. Perhaps a heart felt change in purpose or meaning. And sometime it’s just plain old fear.
Has this ever happened to you?
I’m not even sure what I’m afraid of most.
Am I afraid of being vulnerable and public?
Am I afraid that people won’t like what I produce/write/record/finish?
Am I worried that people will look at me differently, or misunderstand my core and purpose?
I’m sure it’s all of those things.
When I was about 6 or 7, my grandpa Joe took me and a few of my cousins fishing at a catch and release fish farm. I had been looking forward to this event for some time. I was the only girl cousin, surrounded by mostly older boys with a more experience than I. I was a first timer and there was a lot of instruction about how to hold poles, how to put on the bait (I was happy to watch, and not DO anything involving worms) what to do if you actually catch a fish, etc. It was pretty easy. We could see the fish and they were corralled near us.
I wasn’t worried about actually EATING the fish but something in me made me a little nervous. I held onto my pole with jumpy anticipation. When I caught a fish only a few minutes later I was so scared about what to do next that I dropped the pole in the water, screamed and ran away.
It’s the only time I can remember my grandfather looking at me with disapproval. He is a very loving man, and yet I could tell he was thinking about having to replace the fishing rod (which I think was salvaged from the shallow canal after all, and just needed to be re-stringed [if that’s even the proper term]).
What was I afraid of then?
Was I under prepared for what to do next?
Was I worried that the fish was going to hurt me, bite me or just feel slimy?
Either way, I HAD success in my hands and lost it because of fear.
I wish I could say that was the last time I did something of that nature. Even now, almost three decades later I sit here with a book that’s finished that I can’t get to the publisher. Blog posts I’ve written but I can’t hit “go live”. Videos I’ve produced I can’t upload to YouTube. Products and programs I want to release but I can’t promote the sales page. This is the business version of “Failure to Launch.”
White the list is not endless, it’s in moments like this that I have to ask myself: “What is it costing you to hold back, Michelle?”
For me, it’s costing me time Time I’ve spent developing projects, programs and initiatives are waiting in the wings. And the more that time goes by, I’m that much more behind.
It’s costing me money. Completed programs sitting in digital la-la not helping anyone because they aren’t being consumed or implemented.
But more than anything else, it’s costing me confidence. With each passing day that I don’t move forward, I lose trust with myself for the future. I lose the opportunity to complete and feel the humble pride associated with completing something hard. I’m also missing the the chance to dig deep and cheerlead myself though the times when someone DOES misunderstand my purpose or questions my motive. I’m losing the opportunity to grow. And by so doing, I’m just stagnant.
I love the quote by J. Watson, founder of IBM: “The formula for success is quite simple: Double your rate of failure.”
I may be afraid to fail, but sometimes I’m afraid to succeed.
Just like the moment when I threw the pole instead of reeling it in, I’m often afraid of what’s next. Will the added exposure effect my family and other relationships that I hold dear? Will I become too busy to do things that I love?
But enough about me.
What’s holding YOU back? For some of us, we’re stuck on habits or addictions that really do hinder our ability move forward. If something in your core says, “That’s me.” Have a listen to this podcast that I hosted with Shelly Coray. Her insights into WHAT hold’s us back and WHY is really powerful.
Download to your phone with this link.
Listen on iTunes (While you’re there, I’d love your honest feedback and review!)
What is it costing you to hold back?
You (and I both) have to want the success more than you want the failure. You have to want the risk more than you want to be safe. You have to be ready to grow more than you want to stay stagnant.
To you, publicly, I’m committing to getting my book to the publisher and a new product launched in the next 30 days.
What are you ready to move forward on?
It might not be something big. It may be taking a little step that gets you closer to your goal. It may be finding an accountability parter that helps keep you on point. It might be getting to the gym tomorrow or making dinner for your family. It might be having a conversation you need to have at work, to move things forward in a powerful, positive way.
P.S. If you haven’t already heard, I have NEW radio show launching on Tuesday, June 16th!
I’d be honored if you’d have a listen! www.fromthelivingroom.com
Bestselling author, Michelle McCullough is also a sought after business strategist and speaker. She’s the creator of “The Social Media Blueprint For Business” a digital marketing planning tool for entrepreneurs and small businesses. She’s been featured in numerous media outlets including entrepreneur.com and the 40 under 40. She’s also the host of a weekly radio show that hit over a million downloads at the beginning of 2015. As a mother of two young children she knows there’s no time to mess around. It’s time to Make It Happen. google adsense banned (Michelle’s motivational book “Make It Happen – The Success Practices for Peak Performers” will be out in 2015. Sign up for the Make It Happen Toolkit and you’ll be first to hear about it’s release!)
PHOTO CREDIT: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6113/6239097549_0e0ca2cacd_z.jpg