What's holding me down?

A quick bit of back story. As my very good friend, Joseph, and I continue developing the parameters of our latest joint effort, and doing it in and around our full time income producing activities, we try our best to communicate regularly. Usually we use IM chat and the occasional voice conversation (provided the correct combination of doors and windows are open and closed at Joseph’s AT&T challenged enhanced house 😉 ) Needing some personal, relationship insight, I had queried Joseph to get his take on a potential scenario that might be working its way into my life. Little did I think today I would be writing this post sharing with you what I believe is keeping me from finding success in my life.

Our chat was indeed insightful for me. Many of our communications are just that. During the course of it, I came to the determination that I just might need to make some radical changes in certain aspects of my life in order to take advantage of these potential scenarios.

And we talked about those changes.

When we were winding down, actually coming back around to our project discussion, Joseph decided to throw down one of his rare, but not out of the ordinary challenges to me. He asked me what was it that was “holding me down?” Why was it that I wasn’t doing what I wanted, where I wanted, and surrounding myself with whom I wanted?

Usually pretty quick with the thumb typing on the Storm, I found my response mechanism was completely stalled. As I pondered just how I might answer him, I decided this was something that needed a bit more introspection. So, like any smart blogger, I told him that I would think on things over night and post my answer to him today. This post, then, is that response.

What’s holding me down?

Or more specifically, why am I right where I am at this point in my life? Perhaps you can relate? Initially, I thought of external influences that I might be able to push the blame onto. Jobs that have gone away; others which have not arrived. Business ventures that have either failed after starting, or failed to start. Waiting to move forward because of the prospect of a great deal possibly coming my way. It’s not arrived yet, but it just might. And I couldn’t possibly take advantage of it if I was involved in something else, or working a “real job”, etc.

What those excuses really said to me was that I was using them all as excuses. It’s true. Perhaps you know someone like this as well? Perhaps you know them intimately? Perhaps, like me, this person is yourself?

So, those extremely well thought out and convincing excuses are now out of the way. I’ve accepted that they are not what’s holding me down. What then, am I willing to admit to, has been preventing me from moving into the person I believe I want to become?

It’s too easy to simply say, “It’s me. I’m holding myself down.” Of course this is the case. This is almost always the case with just about all of us. This answer really doesn’t provide us with much clarity though. Does it? What is it about the choices I’ve made and continue to make that keeps me from moving forward?

I may be too smart for my own britches. And I don’t share that statement in an arrogant or egotistical way. In fact, its phrasing may not be entirely correct. Better: I may be to curious about too many things for my own good. Yes, that more accurately describes how I feel.

Like so many of us, curiosity about a subject prompts me with the desire to learn more. One of my strengths (or so I like to believe) is that I learn very well. And usually quite fast. This is how I’ve become relatively adept at web development over the years. Unfortunately, that curiosity usually wanes before I am able to truly master a specific subject. I know a heck of a lot about a ton of things. But without the mastery, I really don’t have the confidence to consider a career path in pursuit of a specific area.

Even now, some of my current areas of interest and passion have me wondering whether or not I’m just in the exciting phase of the topics, and before long, the desires will fade. Then I’ll be left where I started; some interesting experiences, a bit more specialized knowledge and no long term growth and advancement.

Does this mean I am lazy? Maybe so. I know that even when I have the intellectual interest, as time moves forward the physical desires to progress towards a series of goals usually gives way to watching television, reading a book, or discovering some amazing new interest and proceeding to start the process all over again.

Some real world responsibilities may also contribute to what is holding me down. Joseph even commented on it (albeit, somewhat unrelated) that I might be too considerate of others. I am conscious of my current liabilities and the responsibilities I have to family. Fortunately, I tend to live on the frugal side of what I earn, so while the income levels are a bit below where I’d like them, I don’t stress too much about them. For now.

But there are those that count on my financial participation in order to make their lives work. If I decide to make changes, some of which could lead me to relocation, how will those dependencies be affected? (Bearing in mind that I am a single man, without direct dependents.) I think on these things. Often. My thoughts usually tend to result in a general malaise of feelings that defaults to the status quo. Translated: I am kept down by them.

Have I become unwilling and unmotivated to take chances and be spontaneous? Is this what happens to us when we’ve spent a bit of time on this Earth? Perhaps somehow I’ve unwittingly become one of those survivors that simply exists for the sake of existence. Moving through life with only dimly lit dreams, goals and desires. Surely this cannot be the case?

I have passions. People enjoy the food I cook. When we are gathered around drinking great wines, I can tell great stories that capture attention and entertain. Are those qualities simply a front for an otherwise dull, limited existence that is doomed to reach the end of nowhere?

What’s holding me down? It has to be that I have refused to grasp what the Universe has to give me. That my clear and concise image for the future is more akin to peering through muddy waters. Intellectually I completely believe that what you see you can achieve. Obviously, my break down comes at the very forefront of that equation. I no longer see what it is that could be in my life.

Does it hurt you to read that last statement as much as it does me to type it out?

Refocusing on the clear mental image of my future must become my priority. Refining that image to a crystal-like clarity. Realizing that I have the mental and spiritual acumen to deal with the inevitable speed bumps that life has to offer. I don’t have to continue to have dialogs in my head in order to deal with those challenges, BEFORE they happen; if they happen.

Instead, focusing my energy on creating exactly what it is my life should be like. Where I want to be. With whom I want to be close to and spend time with. Worrying only where necessary and only as much as is required. The effects of my choices will sort themselves out. I know in my heart I am a good person, make appropriate choices in life, and would never knowingly take actions that would cause pain and suffering.

Well thought out plans are important. Understanding the rippling ramifications of various choices are just as important. Being smart enough to change direction when warranted, mandatory. Continuing to ultimately do nothing because of the variety of nonsensical excuses in my life must cease. Would you agree that they must not exist in your life either?

What is holding you down? Ultimately, I’ll bet your answer is in the same ballpark as mine. I and the few (smart 😉 ) friends of mine that read this site are very much interested in hearing your story. Feel free to leave a comment. Or if you have similar thoughts crafted out on your blog or website, drop your link in the comments section below and point us towards your insight.

I for one am very interested in learning more about where you are in your life; more importantly, where you would like to see yourself going!

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