tigers fighting on swamp

Do you dream of doing something different with your life – getting out of the status quo and living a more dynamic, vivacious, authentic life?

Do you sit at your desk or in meetings and doodle, wishing you were anywhere else?

Perhaps the desk isn’t in a corporate office but in your home, where you chase your dream of independence through entrepreneurship. Here’s an important question to ask yourself:

Do you feel stuck?

If you want to change your life, your business, or your career, you need to work out what is preventing you from making the jump.

Here are the five most common fears that might be holding you back from taking a step toward your dreams and ambitions:

Common Fear #1: Fear of fear

It might sound a little kooky, but fear of fear will keep you right in your comfort zone, not wanting to take a risk. Needing security is a legitimate reason to stay in a job that might be unfulfilling, especially if you have family or other obligations.

And fear doesn’t feel good because it’s uncomfortable. Consider this: It might be worth allowing yourself to feel afraid, analyzing what message it’s giving you, and seeing if that message holds up.

Once you can see the message clearly, you can create a plan to move forward – one step at a time, even if the steps are small. Baby Steps forward are STILL steps forward.

Use your journal to outline your plan in writing – it will feel more real to you – and back it up with positive affirmations and evidence that you CAN accomplish your goals through focused effort.

Common Fear #2: Fear of failure

Failure happens to everyone – no one is immune to its effects.

Mistakes and missteps are how humans learn and adapt, and if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying anything new. Refusing to try anything new is a guaranteed recipe for being stuck.

Failure is an important step towards success. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from trying – learn the lesson from what you’ve accomplished so far, adjust your plan, and take the next step forward.

Common Fear #3: Stinkin’ thinkin’ – “I’m not ready”

Do you find yourself saying it’s not the right time, I don’t know enough, I need to save more, or any other delaying tactic?

There will never be the right or the perfect time to do it if you get stuck in over-analyzing your state of readiness or if you have little faith in your capabilities and resources.

Work out what skills, funds, or support you need, and start to get those things lined up right now. Start with an item that you have close or easy access to. Grab the “low-hanging fruit,” make progress (see Baby Steps above), and leverage that motion to keep going.

Common Fear #4: I don’t know where to start

If your dream stays a nebulous desire, you’ll never achieve it. Define it, outline it, and make it real.

Take a businesslike approach to your big dream and turn it into an achievable goal. You can do this by treating it as a project.

Break your big goal into a set of smaller SMARTER goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Bound, Exciting, and Relevant. For more details on SMARTER goals, check out this post from the experts at Full Focus, creators of the Full Focus planner (one of my go-to tools).

Common Fear #5: Fear of going it alone

You don’t have to do it all by yourself. No one can!

Whatever your dream, it’s likely you will need support along the way, and the best way to ensure you get it is to plan for it.

When you’re creating your action plan to achieve your goal, make sure to include all the external skills and support you’re likely to need.

Get the support you need

When your goal includes starting your own business, you’ll need support from bookkeeping to website building and general business advice. You’ll probably find it useful to have a mentor or coach to go to for advice or to test ideas.

If your goal is more personal – weight loss, advanced education or training, or improving your athletic performance – support can come in the form of a coach or detailed program that takes into account your current level of knowledge and helps you form a plan to increase it, along with opportunities to practice what you’re learning and track your progress.

And don’t forget your cheer squad of family and friends. They’ll help keep you going through the tough times and help you celebrate your success. If they’re not prepared to do that – or you don’t trust them to be part of your support squad – find people who ARE.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels' mission is to empower women 50+ to Amplify their Self-Confidence, Deepen their Self-Knowledge, Inspire Creativity, and Glide into the next phase of their lives with the Power of Journaling, Affirmations, and Assessments.

You can learn how to use these time-tested, proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister with a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she renovated an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family) and has been journaling since the age of 9.

Places to Explore

Subscribe now to get the latest updates!