Firstly, if there are any hip young readers casting an eye at this, the title doesn’t refer to a scenario similar to that depicted in the 2013 movie The Purge, set in a near-future America which celebrates an annual national holiday in which all crime becomes legal for a 12-hour period! The title refers to taking a look at the fundamental factors which hold us back from doing the things we truly want to do in life and how to overcome those.
I’ve recently come to a very simple yet profound conclusion. There are 2 things which have held me back more than anything in my life – procrastination and fear. More on the former in a future post but I’d like to focus on fear here. There has always been an element of fear involved in my decision making. Fear of making mistakes; fear of making a fool of myself; fear of people criticising me behind my back or insulting me; fear of offending people or not fitting into the perceived norms. Fear – it’s always lurking there, the devil on my shoulder which quietly gets into my head and quashes the voice of the angel sitting on my other shoulder.
I sometimes wonder what I would have done in my life had fear not been a factor. I try not to dwell too much on the past though I know for certain that I would have joined a band at least 10 years earlier than I did and performed in front of audiences from a younger age. I would certainly have written songs years ago and more than likely ensured that people got to hear them. I’d have written books and numerous blogs. I’d have appeared on more TV quiz shows. I’d certainly have made more of networking opportunities, both via work and those relating to my hobbies. The list could go on and on though it’s safe to say, I’d have done a lot more than I actually have. But that was then and this is now – all I can do is try to conquer those fears, throw caution to the wind and do everything I want to do right here, right now.
I’m pretty sure this will apply to many of us to some degree though I’m keen to know if this really resonates with anyone. What would you do if it were guaranteed that there would be no criticism? No people having their say, just for the sake of saying something? No-one bad-mouthing you behind your back? No repercussions if you make the odd mistake or find yourself on a steep learning curve? What factors have held you back from doing the things in life which you’ve truly wanted to do but haven’t? Are those reasons valid? If not, then break the chains and go for it. Seriously – what is there to lose? We are all capable of great things if we put our minds to it. My biggest fear right now is ending up on my death bed with a whole host of regrets – that scares me more than anything…
As always, thanks for reading, stay safe and be kind to yourself and others.