I had the chance to visit Alcatraz, the former federal penitentiary, this last Friday and left pondering what it must have been like to be a prisoner on the island. As I thought about it, I began to realize that many of us today don’t need prison walls to be held captive in our lives. The prisoners inside the walls of Alcatraz were all kept there for legitimate reasons, from bank robbery, to kidnapping, to murder. However, we can be held captive in our own minds with no true reason for being stuck there. Here are 3 things that I think hold us back from becoming who we are made to be, and reaching our true potential.
- ) FEAR
Fear to me is False Evidence Appearing Real. It can be so easy to stay comfortable and not allow ourselves to pursue dreams because we are afraid of the unknown. We are so afraid of whats out there that we don’t want to risk it, but again Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real, the unknown will always be scary, because we want to know we won’t fail before trying. However, if we can realize that failure is inevitable from the beginning, and that it’s a key component of success, the fear will start to dissipate. Fear wants you to stay exactly where you are, but what if today we all became courageous and chased what we were created for? Fear doesn’t just all of a sudden go away one day and then you can become who you were meant to be, fear only goes away through courageous steps in the midst of it. If you want to get rid of fear you must walk straight towards it.
2.) Our Past Mistakes
One of my favorite sayings is: Yesterday’s History, Tomorrow’s a Mystery, Today’s a gift, it’s why it’s called the Present. If we continue to look at the mistakes we’ve made and hold on to them, we can’t move forward in life and towards the goals we’ve set out to achieve. This is one of the biggest ways people are held back from achievement. They believe they are their mistakes, rather than realizing that mistakes will be made along the way. To let go of mistakes we need to have a process that allows us to recognize the mistake for what it is and learn from it, release the mistake, by letting go of it, and refocusing back on the challenges that are ahead. If we hold onto the past, we cannot move on into the future and we will live inside of a prison we were never meant to inhabit. Learn from your mistakes, then let them go and move forward.
3.) The thought that we aren’t good enough
If believing you were ‘good enough’ was a requirement for success, we’d have a lot fewer successful people in this world. Self doubt is a reality for all. It’s what you do with self doubt that is the difference maker. Does self doubt drive you or destroy you? Does it create a sense of urgency or cause you to freeze? I believe self doubt and the thought that ‘I’m not good enough’ can actually be a helpful driving force on the road to success. Self doubt can help to lead us to more learning and create a lifelong learner inside of you. That’s not to say that self doubt should be what drives you, eventually, we must learn to let go of self doubt and understand that it’s inside everyone and just get moving. It’s the start that stops most people and it’s time to start today.
It’s easy to let Fear, Our Past Mistakes, and the Thought That We Aren’t Good Enough, surround us in a self made prison. These are legitimate reasons for being frustrated, frozen, and fearful. However, we must step forward courageously and just get started towards our goals. Let go of the fear of failure, your past, and self doubt and just start moving toward who you’re capable of becoming. Start Today.