how to not hold yourself back

Are you holding yourself back? How to stop holding yourself back?

We observe plenty of reasons to hold ourselves back for project that we finally want to start which we were planning for long time. These projects could be a YouTube channel, a blog, a trip, meetup, etc.

These reasons sound so logical and connected with us at that time eventually most of peoples accept them and give these projects new deadlines (“I will do it on X day”). Most common reasons include, I don’t have enough experience, I will sound silly, I am young or old for this, my friends may not like me after this, etc.

Peoples describe such experiences as, procrastination, imposter syndrome, fear of failure and immature thinking. And root to all these terminologies is holding yourself back.

Because of holding ourselves back almost everyday thousands of innovative ideas die inside brain. And several peoples loose once in lifetime opportunities.

What does it mean when you are holding yourself back?

If you want to move forward and take action on pending project but can’t, that is what holding yourself back mean.

This is how it goes:
Finally, reached closer to your deadline when you will start what you decided, now lot of questions and what ifs will hit your brain, in order to come out of such terrifying questions only visible path you’ll see is to reset deadlines. And what happens then? Surprise, it’s nothing, you remain at same place you were a month back.

Why we hold ourselves back?

Most simplified reason of holding ourselves back from finally acting, is fear of negative consequences.

Let’s take this situation to understand more clearly.

Suppose, you have a body clone which is filled with negative emotions and what ifs.

You decided to start a YouTube channel next week, everything is planned, you set up your channel, even spent time on learning how to rank. Now as you get closer to your artificial deadline, your body clone will be activated and throw what it has, “Negative instructions”.
Result of these negative instructions and what if questions lower your excitement and turns this deadline into fear.

Instead of reminding yourself “let’s do it, at least I won’t regret, over not even trying” or “I should have started earlier”, this body clone will shift your attention to negative consequences and will remind you “what if nobody liked my videos” or “what if I end up burning out”.

What if you hold yourself back?

There is a rule of thumb to make best decision possible. (I’ll write in brief about it in future blog posts so for now please bookmark this page).
Rule of thumb says, whenever stuck in making difficult decision, ask yourself what is worst that can happen?

So, what’s worst that can happen if you don’t finally act? Worst that can happen to you will be, you will stay where you are right now forever or soon you will drop this project i.e. you’ll quit.

Remember “when you practice a habit it gets stronger, practice fear it will get stronger”

Not everybody stays with expectation to finally act, most peoples choose to quit, which seems easy, but they don’t reflect how much energy and time they spent on planning, thinking and learning new skills about that project.

5 most common reasons that hold us back.

  1. Want to start with Perfection
  2. Fear of failing
  3. Loss of reputation
  4. Not motivated enough
  5. What others would think

Let’s discuss them;

1.Want to start with Perfection

“Before I start it I should keep in mind to sound professional”, “my YouTube channel’s name should be better ”or “my website’s interface should be best before I finally reach to peoples” – A Perfectionist

Perfectionists spend lot of time on least important part for their project, resulting in holding themselves back after they realize they are not ready yet and give project new deadlines.

Solution: Successful peoples don’t find themselves successful, same way perfect peoples don’t see themselves perfect.

If you are holding yourself back with this doubt, remember, no one starts perfect, that’s not even possible, how could a company that started yesterday could become part of fortune 500 today?
Everything starts from 0. Process will make you better, not perfect because that process will teach you nothing and nobody can be perfect.
Ask someone you think is perfect, what they think about it, most probably they would respond you with things they still have to work on.

2.Fear of failing

Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life.


Fear of failing is not a big deal, only few succeeds in their first attempts more important is we must not hold ourselves back. A cleaver person do not overthink about failing some day in future, he understands he has to start first.

Most simplifying way to tackle fear is action.

Infact most successful peoples in world have had most failures.

They say—

“You never fail, you always learn”

3.Loss of reputation

Loss of reputation, this excuse can be noticed in peoples who want to make transition in their career. It can be seen in grown ups who want to shift their careers from let’s say, from executive to his own design startup, or from a career counselling agency to entertainment YouTube channel, etc.

But truth is, by making tough decisions we increase our reputation, we must encourage ourselves on such decisions.

3.Not motivated enough

In order to move, you get two options 1. Choose motivation to drive you 2. Choose discipline to push you.

Motivation is temporary, discipline is permanent. You get to choose one.

“Peoples who get things done, don’t wait for spirit to move them, they move spirit”

David J. Schwartz

4.What others would think

When we have compassion and kind attitude toward other people they will feel same for us.
If you surround yourself with those who encourage and you feel joy with them, they are enough to help you tackle this excuse.


Finally acting on your project will be best decision you make, either you’d grow it or you will learn more lessons than you had expected or learned before.

“The Secret to getting ahead, is getting started”

Make this choice: A Red pill and Blue pill, choose Red pill, nothing will change, you will stay where you are, less difficulties, more comfort (could be short term). Or choose Blue pill, you unlock possibilities to accomplish your dreams, your desired lifestyle and vanish all self-doubts and fears.

Also in order to find goals, things we love to do and develop new skills, we should keep trying different things, we don’t necessary have to start something for sake of doing, try anything, have lot of experiments, take lot of risks if you still see yourself young, make mistakes, learn, grow.


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