The Three Fs’ That Hold Us Back

I am certain that everyone has desires, ideals, and dreams. But most would end up settling for “what I could learn to be happy with” instead of going after “what I would really love to have”. Why? Why is it that people who live their dreams are such a minority?

For the masses who are still dreaming instead of chasing and ‘doing’ their dreams, what are the things that hold them back?

I did some reflection on the human nature (as I know it), drew on the common sentiments and laments I have heard throughout my life, and concluded that these are probably the three main factors holding us back from doing what we really want to do.

1. Finances
Money – it can never be a neutral or easy topic. We are cautioned not to love money and yet it is money that makes the world go round. If we do not have a healthy relationship with money, we will end up enslaved and entrapped — in the rat race, or simply the endless marathon to keep making ends meet. Tiring.

If we do not control our finances, they will end up controlling our lives, dictating and limiting our choices. I always believe that proper money management–saving, spending below our means, and investing wisely–is a major key to a life of freedom, where one has the financial liberty to do what they really love instead of being stuck in a job just to make ends meet.

I know of people who are enjoying early retirement, pursuing their passion just because all through their lives they have been prudent financially.

2. Fear
This comes in many forms. From my observation, people hold back from running with their dreams because they fear:

– what might go wrong
– what other people would think
– what difficulties may lie ahead, and along with these the sacrifices they would have to make
– what they may not know and discover that they are not competent enough at

These are all the negative “what ifs” and they probably stem from a lack of confidence and may I suggest, a lack of humility that may render the idea of being a novice all over again unappealing. When it comes to fear, I think the best way to cope is to just calculate the risks the best we can, do whatever homework that is necessary… And then just take the plunge by faith and be prepared for the ride ahead.

3. Family
Please don’t get me wrong–this is not about family bashing. Our loved ones care about us and sometimes with their concern and opinion of what they think is best, they unwittingly clip our wings.

So we get discouraged because lacking moral and emotional support does make change a lot harder than it already is.

Or in other instances it could be family obligations holding us back from attempting something new and risky.

I guess if I were to face family as an obstacle, the best approach would be to communicate openly, and if there are obligations involved then some adjustments and compromise may be required. For example, I may have to start by taking smaller steps than I would have liked to.

What do you think of these three factors holding many of us back from pursuing our hearts’ desires, and what would your coping strategies be?

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