Sunday, March 18, 2012

What’s Holding You Back?

The past two weeks have been quite busy for me at work, but lurking in the back of my mind is a topic that I have discussed with many friends and family members recently.   I often tend to “stew” on a topic for a while before I can put it down on paper and really compose my thoughts.  Throughout our lives we each have goals we would like to accomplish.  We each have followed paths that later we may regret.  What are your hopes and dreams?

Personally, my dreams have changed quite a bit over time.  As a kid I used to fantasize about being a singer and actress.  Eventually I came to realize that my shyness would be a difficult hurdle to overcome in order to be successful.  Instead I began to focus on the skills that came a little easier and pursued my degree as a Civil Engineer.  I am fortunate to have a good career that I can be proud of, but find that some of the work is quite unfulfilling.  

As the years have passed I have dreamed of being an author.  I have a feeling that this will be one that nags at me till I am too old to see the paper I will write on.  I’ve always kept a diary and until recently I was not a regular writer.  Thanks to this blog I do my best to write at least one post a week.  I still dream of being a writer, but I have a feeling that the motivation and energy needed to accomplish it is not quite there.  Over the past year I have focused more on my dreams of having a genealogy business.  The difference I think is that I am taking action on this dream.  I don’t expect to become a rich person from my business, but at the least, it’s something I enjoy and find fulfilling.

I find that fear is the biggest thing holding me back from achieving my goals.  The funny thing is that it isn’t necessarily fear of failure that keeps me from going for it.  It takes a tremendous amount of effort and dedication to pursue your dreams.  You have to devote all your free time and thought toward the dream.  Easier said than done when you have a full time job, house, family, etc.  Most people are barely keeping above water as it is and to find the extra energy to pursue that dream?!  It can be very disheartening.  That’s why you have to be determined to accomplish your dream.  Your heart must be in it 1000% in order to succeed.  I think there are some important things to ask yourself as you consider your dreams…

  • Why do you have this dream? 
  • Why do you want to succeed?
  • What will success look like? 
  • How will you feel when you achieve this dream?
  • What are the biggest obstacles to success?
  • Who will be your biggest supporter?
  • What are you willing to do to achieve your dream?

Life is a series of choices and finding balance in life can be a real challenge.   You have to have a high desire to achieve your goal and a plan to make it happen in order to succeed.  You have to be willing to make some sacrifices and challenge yourself.  At the very least, you have to give yourself a chance to get started.  So, write that story about your favorite childhood memory.  Write about what you did that day.  Read a book about your chosen interest.  Coddle your dreams and inspire yourself in little ways.

Below are some quotes to think about.

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
Theodore Roosevelt

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
Vincent van Gogh

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

For hope is but the dream of those that wake.
Matthew Prior

3 comments:

Jen Baldwin said...

Good thoughts. Thanks for posting!

Nancy said...

Jennifer, I really like your seven questions to ask about dreams and success. They are very thought-provoking. I hope you have lots of success with your genealogy business!

Jennifer Alford said...

Thank you ladies! Every once in a while I need a little kick in the pants to remind me of why I do what I do. Glad you were both able to get something out of my post!