What’s Holding Me Back?

Today I think I’ll write about what’s holding me back.

I trudge along day to day, not really happy in what I’m doing, feeling like I have to go back day after day just to pay the bills.  I know I can do so much better.  After all, I see people on YouTube and TedTalks and I know damn well they’re not smarter than me.  They’re not more ambitious than me.  They’re not better than me in any way.  Yet here I sit.  Stagnant.  Unfulfilled.  Wanting more and even knowing how to get it.  Just not doing it.  Waiting.

Is it laziness?  Of course, that’s part of it.  I don’t want to commit to the possibility of success.  Do I have the time to write every day?  Every week?  Every month?  I get home from a long day of work and I don’t want to think anymore.  I don’t want to expend the energy it would take to pour my heart out for all the interwebz to see.  That takes effort.  It takes an ongoing expenditure I’m not sure I’m willing to give.

Is it fear?  My first instinct is that yes, fear is holding me back.  But when I really think about it I’m not so sure.  Fear is not what I’m feeling.  I know fear intimately.  I understand it in a way I cannot explain.  And this is not it.  There are very few things that I fear, and I feel them intensely.

Is it procrastination?  I can say without a shadow of doubt that procrastination plays a part.  I do procrastinate many things.  I waste time like no one I know.  I’m doing it right now.  I should be doing my laundry.  I should have fed the dogs by now.  There are 100 things on my to-do list I should be doing.

What if I fail?  Ah, now there’s a part of it for sure.  I have failed before and I don’t like it.  I don’t fear it.  In fact, I rather expect it.  Maybe that’s it.  Maybe I’m so sure I’ll fail I don’t bother to try.  After all, there is great shame in failing.  Failure/loser is the greatest badge of shame of our time.  Of course that doesn’t make any sense at all, since most of us are failures at our cores.  Only a special few are able to live their dreams, right?  And yet we see people every day who decide to stop living this drudgery and go after what they really want.  So really, what if I do fail?  What’s the worst that can happen?  I won’t be able to quit my job.  I’ll have to live out the next 10 years until I can retire and do what I really want.  I’ll be a laughing stock.  I’ll realize that I’m not special, or smart, or talented after all.  How is that any different than now?

What if I succeed?  Some days I dream what it would be like to succeed.  I have lists of what I would do if I hit the lotto.  But it’s not living the dream that I mean.  It’s the sense of being overwhelmed because I can’t do everything I need to do to keep up with success.  I’m not so sure I can be successful and still be the person I have to be.  Many successful people turn in to utter idiots.  They blow all their money on stupid things.  They throw away people that tell them the truth.  They walk an evil path.  Can I remain myself if I really get what I think I want?

What if I’m not as clever as I think I am?  I put a lot of faith in my ability to see the patterns and relations that others can’t see.  I’ve always thought that was my true gift.  If I can’t relate what I see in a way others will understand, I will accomplish nothing.  There is always a nagging doubt.

What will people think of me?  My thinking is unconventional.  I say things that might make you think, or might make you mad.  If I challenge your dogma, and I do, I might disturb your paradigm.  People might think I’m unreasonable.  Or just plain crazy, which is not so bad because it’s not wholly inaccurate.

What will my family think of me?  I want to write about my life and my beliefs.  I know I will hurt people around me if I do.  They don’t know.  They can’t comprehend what I will say.  If I tell the world what I have been through, will that change the way they see me?  I can’t help but think that it will.

What will I think of me?  Is there anything to gain from putting myself out there?  I can’t help but think I’ll become even more arrogant than I am now.  Or even more depressed.  I’m not sure which would be worse.

Will I hurt people’s feelings if I say what I really feel?  Life is harsh.  My feelings about life can be cold and brutal.  It’s an almost certainty that I will hurt feelings.  Can I share my thoughts and remain compassionate, give my opinions and remain humane?  It may not even be worth it to try, since someone will be offended no matter how hard I try to soften the message.

How will I deal with the criticism?  Everyone’s a critic.  In fact, I think that’s the only universal truth left to us anymore.  Everyone has an opinion and they’re all willing to “share” it.  On Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  There are likely to be equal shares positive and negative.  I have to face the fact that I might not be prepared for the negative attention.

What if I don’t have anything of value to say?  Oh, I have plenty to say, but what if no one cares?  What if all I have to say is petty tripe devoid of meaning?  Is it enough to bare my soul?  Does that automatically give it weight?  It is always a possibility that I am the only person who thinks I have anything to say worth reading.

What if no one hears me?


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