what is holding you back?

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I want to do work that matters.

I have big dreams and big plans….. and even a pretty solid idea of the little steps to make those big ones come true.

But, clearly …. I haven’t *quite* reached that success point.

There’s something that is holding my back….. At this point, my suspicions are my day job is what is keeping me from doing more. Between driving+work+lunch hour it takes up at least 50 hours per week of my time. But it’s not completely terrible, so I’m having a hard time walking away from it.

This is something I am constantly working on.

What is holding you back? ….  Maybe it is :

Time –
You have big plans but not the hours in the day to implement them? Your day job takes up too much time, or you are fully committed to being a stay-at-home mom and those kids simply won’t feed themselves.
Either way, most major endeavors require time to accomplish them.
Are there pasttimes and activities that you can let go of while you focus on your GREAT WORK?
Maybe cancel your cable, or sleep 1 less hour each night?
SOME time SOMEWHERE in your schedule needs to be carved out if you want to move forward.

Fear –
You have the time, you know what you need to do …. but what if you do it wrong? What if you fail? What if people judge you or what if you end up wasting your time on something that you don’t really love?
All valid questions.
And all need to be IGNORED if you are going to move forward.
These may all be valid concerns …. but worrying about it isn’t going to help anyone and it will only hold you back.

Indecision –
You know you want to do big things – but do you know what those are yet? Maybe you love both sewing AND photography? Maybe you feel yourself called to be a writer but truly love your corporate-America Human Resources job?
It might be a good idea to take the time to experiment. Take some time off of one interest and really focus on the other.
Maybe ask friends and family what they think you are most skilled and talented at.
Greatness requires extreme focus.
This is a lesson I’ve had to learn over and over and over again. There’s a reason I have an Associates, Bachelors and Masters degrees in 2 different subjects – neither of which I am really practicing at the moment.

You know what you want to do, you know HOW to go about doing it, and you even have the time to take the steps. But maybe you don’t believe you’re really good enough. Maybe you don’t think that YOU are the best person for the job.
I believe in you.
Call your #1 cheerleader and talk through it with her. Maybe it’s your mom. Maybe it’s your boyfriend. The people in your life who LOVE you absolutely support you and can walk you through that self-doubt.

What is holding you back from accomplishing great things?

What can you do about it?

Make sure you’re on the mailing list for first details about Onward and Upward and future registrations. Onward and Upward is my online workshop on moving past obstacles, getting out of your rut and taking things to the next level.
We’re going to look at our passion, our great work, our steps to make it happen.
I’ve been dreaming about this class for almost a year…. I can’t wait to share it with you.


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  • Rachell May 17, 2011 at 6:19 am edit

    My day job is completely holding me back, but unfortunately, its also paying the bills.

    I work on my photograpy/shop/blog/everything else before and afer work and on the weekends non stop. If I had a week to do everything, I’m sure I could accomplish a LOT!

    If things start to pick up on the internet side of things or if I get more jobs in person for photo shoots, I’ll consider turning my full time job into part time, but… we’ll see. That’s where fear comes in.

  • Amy May 18, 2011 at 7:15 am edit

    exciting, Rachell!
    I am lucky enough that my husband is INSISTENT I quit my day job as soon as possible. No fear for him!
    Do you have any time off planned to work on your side work?
    (I talk about that a little here: http://lemonandraspberry.com/2011/02/what-are-your-real-goals/ )

  • Trysha May 17, 2011 at 11:17 am edit

    Fear. Fear of not being good enough for myself. Fear of falling short of my expectations. I am my own worst enemy. I am in constant competition with myself. Often I feel if I can’t do something absolutely perfect I won’t do it at all.
    I don’t have a fear of being judged. I can take what “you” say about me.

  • Amy May 18, 2011 at 7:16 am edit

    I think fear is a BIG one.
    I think most people aren’t necessarily UNAFRAID … they just move forward in spite of the fear.
    I don’t know though …. I’m still working on this one too…

  • Rachel May 17, 2011 at 11:26 am edit

    All of the above. My dream was to go to culinary school and open my own bakery/cafe, but I went and got a science degree. Now I have a really good paying job and I love that I don’t have to worry about money, but I’m not doing what I love. I have convinced myself that I can work at my current job for a couple of years to save up, but there is still a part of me that wants to just dive in head first as soon as possible.

  • Amy May 18, 2011 at 7:19 am edit

    a cafe! That sounds so much more fun…. except for the not-worrying-about-money part.

    I would really love for you to go open your cafe/bakery so I can live vicariously through you :) …. (I love to bake/cook but not in a restaurant setting).

    How soon can you dive in?? Have you REALLY thought about those ##s? How much you need to have saved?

    Excited for you!

  • Nicole Longstreath May 17, 2011 at 12:29 pm edit

    Yah – the day job is totally holding me back. When I get home, I’m so exhausted and I don’t have the energy for the things I need to do for the blog.

    Since I was a student as recently as 2007, I decided to format my goals into 2 “semesters” with a “graduation” at the end. The graduation is leaving my day job for a part-time one – preferably an adjunct instructor at a local community college.

    Good luck to everyone!

  • Amy May 18, 2011 at 7:22 am edit

    That’s a great plan (re: semesters/graduation/etc) …. I tend to just have a never-ending to do list with no real thought to the END POINT.

    I am also looking out for a part-time job. I think the less $$ would actually be a big motivator for my side projects to succeed more.


  • Danielle Renee May 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm edit

    I agree with the phoning your cheerleader. Its great to have a business buddy to talk, daydream and eliminate fear with.

  • Amy May 18, 2011 at 7:23 am edit

    It’s so helpful, isn’t it?
    And I don’t even mean a business-fried who can logically talk you through things … but more of a loves-everything-you-do friend who can help you get out of the dumps when you’re feeling discouraged.
    Everyone needs someone like that.

  • Danielle Renee May 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm edit

    Yea, I understand. I think my business buddy is both

  • linda t May 18, 2011 at 7:33 am edit

    Fear of success. I have never feared failure… I have always feared success and what it could cost me. I am somewhat OCD, so I fear that I will lose a healthy balance between a career, family, friends and God. I fear that it will suck up all my time and demand more than I want to expend… and that I won’t know when enough is enough.
    Just my thoughts…

  • Amy May 18, 2011 at 7:48 am edit

    mmmm …. I think you are being limited in what you view as “success” …
    Since success can be defined by each individual, what if you thought of success as … lots of free time for your family, etc
    Maybe you fear…. being over-committed? being too busy?
    I love your family, I think you’ve been quite successful!

  • linda t May 18, 2011 at 7:35 am edit

    I have seriously thought this way my whole life. I have always been aware that if I set my mind to it, that I could do anything. But I guess I never trusted that I could handle the demands. Mmmm…
    Thanks Amy… it’s good for me to go there again… and go deeper.

  • Jenny Gross May 19, 2011 at 11:54 am edit

    AMY! I am so glad I came across your blog again today, because I LOVE this topic! I am in the midst of changing my life. I’m still in the beginning steps but have accomplished a lot. Long story short, my dream has always been to work in a hospital. Specifically, a nurse in maternity. Years ago I did not deem myself worthy or capable of accomplishing this. Also, life gives us obstacles. To take the easy way out, I went to a university and graduated with a bachelor’s in health administration. I figured it’s still in the health field and I’ll make more money, even though I won’t be a clinician. Right?…..wrong. So I hop from job to job, not really finding what the major intended on me to be doing. Frustrating. Then the economy gets worse and the job I was at for 2 years laid me off. Luckily, I was in round 3 of layoffs, so I knew it was coming. As a plan B I did a TON of research on nursing schools in so cal and prerequisites. I started taking classes. Inevitably I did get laid off…which meant it was time for me to 100 percent focus on nursing. That was early 2009 shortly after our wedding that you shot. This is FEAR. We just paid for a wedding, have a ton of debt, and now we’re going to be on 1 income? FUN! Pursuing nursing was a bold decision. But having my CHEERLEADER, Beth, made it a lot easier to follow my dreams. Support and encouragement pushed me even further. I dedicated the next year entirely on finishing my prerequisites and applying to various programs in so cal. Which I learned are SO VERY DIFFICULT to get into. High demand, lottery systems, GPA and point systems, waitlists, you name it. They all run differently. I applied to 3 out of 20 something schools in so cal that I met the requirements for. I got into 1. Santa Monica’s RN program. Which is a great school. I’m so thankful. The catch? I’ve been on their waitlist for 1 year, 6 months. Just 6 more months to go and I’ll be in clinicals and the full time program pursuing my dream. Granted I won’t be an RN for another 2 1/2 years. But, after many years of bold decision making, the time I’ve invested into classes and research, etc, I have had plenty of time to reflect and know 100 percent that I’m worth it. And the wait is worth it. I can’t wait for the moment that I get my final acceptance letter and I’ll be able to quit my part time job, and the rest of my life will be….just nursing. My self confidence comes from many sources. Beth, Jillian Michaels, my friends and family….even my coworkers are rooting for me. I believe everyone is put on this planet to fulfill a purpose. Everyone has a calling and a need to instill that calling. Another example is my sister. She worked at a drug store for many many years. One day she decided to be a real estate agent to help people in need find their dream homes.She loves it, it’s her niche. She’s the best at what she does. school+real estate licensing exam+passion = fulfilling her calling. She helped Beth and I buy OUR condo! Sorry this is so long but I had to comment because I thrive on this sort of thing. I’ve been living this concept for a few years now! I can’t wait to change my life. hugs! p.s. I know you will reach your goals! Listen to andrew

  • Candice May 21, 2011 at 4:12 am edit

    Love your blog! The name is so cute.
    As far as what’s holding me back…it would definitely be time and fear. Right now I teach full time, do extra teaching jobs and workshops every second weekend and co-own an events planning business with my sister which requires a lot of paperwork, which I mostly manage. My husband and I are also in the midst of preparing to move back home to Australia permanently so we’re trying to save up and pay all our bills here before we head out. I’m just trying to do all I can during what little free time I have (but still keep a balance in all areas of my life) and hoping that it pays off in the near future.


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