Debt & Fear: Are You Holding Yourself Back?

March 2, 2011

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

— Nelson Mandela


I heard this quote several years ago and remember thinking “What the heck does that even mean? I’m not afraid of myself and my potential. My fear is that I’m not good enough!”  Then I started thinking about how fear kept me in debt, and how fear held me back.  Not because I wasn’t good enough to get out of debt- but that I was absolutely capable of paying off my student loans, and the only one who kept me from doing so was…me.

Whoa, isn’t that scary?  We hide our dreams and goals behind the fear of inadequacy, but truly, we are hiding behind the knowledge that nobody is holding us back but ourselves and in order to realize our own potential, we must look within ourselves.  There’s no book, pill or bullet list that can figure it out for us- we have to have confidence in what we are now, and faith in what we are to become.


Lack of Vision

If you have heard yourself sarcastically utter, “Sure it’d be nice to….(lose weight, sign up for flight school, increase your income)”  the key to what’s holding you back is not so much your lack of time, energy or resources- but really, the fear of what it would require to achieve those goals.  “It’d be nice,” to have your retirement years paid for, but can you really see yourself doing it? Why not?  If “it’d be nice,” then it might be a goal- but what’s keeping you from making it a goal?  Why can’t you envision yourself doing it?


When I started blogging, it opened up my vision to all of the stuff I had no clue about:  wordpress, graphic design, basics of HTML/CSS, social networking.  I had read blogs for years and loved it- but never got how it really “worked.”  

I started realizing there was so much I didn’t understand and nearly shut down.  I didn’t even know where to start-  but take it day by day and enlist people to help you that have the knowledge- whether through friends or by reading up on it.  You will not know everything when you begin a journey towards your goal- but start anyway. You will gain more from the process than from the finished product.


Happy, fulfilled people aren’t obnoxious aren’t they?  They’re always smiling and talking about whatever they’re working on with such zeal and enthusiasm- gross.  But yet, don’t we long to be those people?   It’s true, sometimes we fear that living a dream-oriented life and working towards it will change how people perceive us, and how we perceive ourselves- but trust me, it will change you and it will be worth it. You will love the person you are, and anyone else that doesn’t? Well, they can get out of your way- but it needs to be said that the transformation can be scary before you start it.  After you start it, you won’t want to go back.



Off the top of your head, you can identify the people you admire and want to emulate.  They have the life or the career you want.  It’s like, they know something we don’t- but truly they’re just doing something we all know:  find your goal and work on it a little bit every day. Don’t be intimidated by the size of the goal, or put off by the fact that it takes daily effort-  if you’re doing what you love, small efforts make daily happiness.

It’s okay to be afraid, but do it anyway!  I leave you with a quote:

“(S)he who is not every day conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

So go get ’em Tiger!  Ruby says “Rawr!”


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