What Holds Us Back

Does anyone remember the above saying?

I heard it thousands of times growing up.

Do you ever wish you could do something? Anything in our control qualifies for this question. Things like, learn a new hobby, language or to cook, play an instrument, game, sport, or even practical things like save money.

I’m certain everyone at some point has said, “I’d love to be able to…”

What sometimes keeps us from trying these things?

Is it a confidence issue?

Is it not liking change?

Is it as simple as, we don’t like to risk failure?

Are the wishful activities that dance in our heads not worth extra time, effort and maybe risking not doing them perfect at first or ever?

After all wouldn’t “failure” be not trying them at all?

Say, if after a month you can only count to ten in the new language you’ve been studying, that should still be seen as success, right?

Even the “I wish I could…” which involves changing a current habit should be considered here.

What if after a week you’ve only saved 50 cents a day, that’s still saving, right? Plus, the following weeks goal could be simply increase to another reachable amount.

It’s common to get enthused by success, and discouraged by defeat. So, lets not make our goals for something new or habit changing difficult to reach.

Remember, even the tiniest accomplishment or change can help you reach the big goal.

Take someone whose “I wish” is to have a more organized house. Tackling it in small areas it’s not as overwhelming.

This makes me think of something I was once told years ago and I truly believe. “A messy, unorganized living space reflects what’s going on in your life.” Often physically cleaning up the clutter will help settle inner anxiety.

We should give ourselves easy goals to achieve, approach things in steps, and maybe lighten up a bit on our expectations.

Here’s something I’ve often wondered. When someone says they can’t do something for example cook, do they really mean “can’t” or is it they “don’t want to try”?

As adults we need to study the young. How do they learn to walk? Do they give up after the first fall? No, they do it in stages over time and with lots of effort. They sit, then stand, then move on to taking steps.

After spending a couple days with “Monkey” (our little grandson) it occurred to me that we are born with a tremendous amount of try in us. Anything new Monkey comes across that he wants to do he is persistent until he succeeds.

Perhaps in this time of Covid-19 you took a chance to try something that has been a wishful thought, or perhaps you tackled changing a habit.

Why as we age do we let the determination and persistence we are born with slip away?


16 thoughts on “What Holds Us Back

  1. As an instructor at the college level I ran into a lot of students who didn’t want to try and fail. Their level of perfectionism was paralyzing! I was always told that the difference between a dream and a goal was the presence of a plan. And the difference between success and failure was following the plan. If I dream with out a plan it never happens but having a plan allows me to take small steps toward the actualization of whatever I’m working toward.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good post! I think that due to time many things are not a priority. A few of the arts have taken first place at various times and there was less and less time after having a family. Or others’ needs around me affect my choices. But, too, there are examples I can think f that indicate my lack of willingness to fail much–such as sewing.
    My mother was an expert seamstress (made many of our clothes beautifully and tailored clothes for others, designed clothes/made her own patterns–all for fun and a bit of extra cash) as were my aunts (one was a professional seamstress full time and made very good money), a daughter as well…and more whom I knew via marriage. So it never felt as if I could manage well enough when my mother taught me skills but was not well satisfied.
    Now I write, make some art now and then, sing to myself or in the past sang with small choirs. I WISH there were more hours in the day for all I want to study and do! But I pursue other interests that take less time from writing and my outdoor explorations now that I am 70. :). Still, you never know…there are always new ideas that cross my mind…

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  3. Lovely post Kathy. Little children have lots of courage and build upon that with every achievement, helping them face the next challenge. Setting SMART goals can help, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound.

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  4. A few years back I decided to learn the language of my ancestors. I was diligent for maybe two months but as the lessons got more complicated and my memory needed cue card to remember, I lost interest. Since I wasn’t learning for a trip or an opportunity to talk to someone there was no outside stimulus to keep me going. I can say a handful of sentences and understand if someone speaks slow enough (which I always could do). I have accepted that I’m as far as I’m interested in going at this time. I am the only one in my family who isn’t bi-lingual but I’m also the youngest by 20 years. By the time I was born my grandparents were gone and only English was spoken in the home. If you want to do something enough, you will give it a try.

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