Man with fearful look on his face

What’s Holding You Back? 4

Man with fearful look on his face

Photo Credit: stock.xchng user beermug

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” - Theodore Roosevelt

As fall begins I often find myself re-evaluating my life and my mind turns to plans for the coming year.  I think about the many things I want to carry out or those that I keep pushing off to “someday”.  Throughout our lives we each have goals we would like to accomplish.  We each have followed paths that later we may regret.  What are your hopes and dreams?

Personally, my dreams have changed over time.  As a kid I used to fantasize about being a singer and actress.  Eventually I came to realize that my shyness would be a difficult hurdle to overcome to be successful.  Instead I began to focus on the skills that came a little easier and pursued my degree as a Civil Engineer.  This career capitalized on my problem solving and excellent math skills.  I am fortunate to have a good career that I am proud of, but at times I find it a bit unfulfilling.

As the years have passed I have dreamed of being an author.  I have a feeling that this will be one that nags at me till I am too old to see the paper I will write on.  I’ve always kept a diary and until recently I was not a regular writer.  Thanks to my blog and The In-Depth Genealogist, I write regularly.  I still dream of being a writer, but I have a feeling that the motivation and energy needed to accomplish it is not quite there.  Over the past year I have focused more on my dreams of having a genealogy business.  The difference I think is that I am taking action on this dream.  I don’t expect to become a rich person from my business, but at the least, it’s something I enjoy and find fulfilling.

Over time it has become clear that fear is the biggest thing holding me back from achieving my goals.  The funny thing is that it isn’t necessarily fear of failure that keeps me from going for it.  It takes a tremendous amount of effort and dedication to pursue your dreams.  You have to devote all your free time and thought toward the dream.  Easier said than done when you have a full-time job, house, family, etc.  Most people are barely keeping above water as it is and to find the extra energy to pursue that dream?!  It can be disheartening.  That’s why you have to be determined to make your dream happen.  Your heart must be in it 1000% in order to succeed.  I think there are some important things to ask yourself as you consider your dreams…

  • Why do you have this dream?
  • Why do you want to succeed?
  • What will success look like?
  • How will you feel when you achieve this dream?
  • What are the biggest obstacles to success?
  • Who will be your biggest supporter?
  • What are you willing to do to achieve your dream?

Life is a series of choices and finding balance in life is a real challenge.   You have to have a high desire to achieve your goal and a plan to make it happen to succeed.  You have to be willing to make some sacrifices and challenge yourself.  At the very least, you have to give yourself a chance to get started.  So, write that story about your favorite childhood memory.  Write about what you did that day.  Read a book about your chosen interest.  Coddle your dreams and inspire yourself in little ways.

About Jennifer Alford

Jennifer Alford is a writer, artist, and genealogy professional specializing in research in Jewish genealogy and the Midwest. As the owner of Jenealogy ( she creates engaging family history treasures to enhance the bond between generations. The love of photography, storytelling, and history combine in her blog and unique products. As part of The In-Depth Genealogist's Leadership Team, Jen is Publisher of IDG's monthly magazine, Going In-Depth.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

4 thoughts on “What’s Holding You Back?