What holds people back from making a bold choice or following a dream?
When you ask, often they’ll point to the lack of knowledge. They simply aren’t sure what to do, so they wait for someone to give them a step-by-step plan.
Other times, they mention a lack of resources or some kind of access—perhaps they need money, or maybe they’re holding out on a specific connection or certification.
I’m pretty sure that these cases are the minority. What stops more people than anything else is internal resistance.
In my inbox every day and at most events I speak at (virtually these days, of course) I hear questions about something called “imposter syndrome.”
I worry I’m not good enough.
Who am I to join the club of people who make things happen?
What if I fail? (Or sometimes, What if I succeed?)
A lot of people think they are the only one who feels this way—but the truth is that we all have these feelings! Only a narcissist is never worried about what people will think.
You can safely rest assured that fear and self-doubt are nearly universal, at least in some form. Still, you have to rise above! Fear is a problem for everyone, but it’s still a problem.
The trick is to think of it like this: The part of you that hesitates or holds back is the imposter.
Whenever you allow your fears to make your decisions, that’s when you’re giving in to imposter syndrome.
Meanwhile, the part of you that longs to break free—that’s the real you. The real you is a winner, a risk-taker, a decision-maker. The real you is willing to adapt and change, whether in the face of a worldwide pandemic or anything else.
The real you is eager to get going, ready or not. The real you chooses to live actively, not passively.
Chris Guillebeau is the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness of Pursuit, The $100 Startup, and other books. During a lifetime of self-employment, he visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday. Every summer in Portland, Oregon he hosts the World Domination Summit, a gathering of creative, remarkable people. His new book, Born for This, will help you find the work you were meant to do. Connect with Chris on Twitter, on his blog, or at your choice of worldwide airline lounge.
Image courtesy of frank mckenna.