The Leadership Blog

What's Holding You Back?

anxiety fighting courageous leadership intentional living leadership advice leadership lessons personal growth Feb 11, 2024

Do you feel stuck in your career?  Do you believe you’re meant to do something bigger? If you lead a department or organization, are you struggling to get to the next level?  As leaders we often see farther than other people see and that can be frustrating.  As individual team members we often dream of getting to the next level but struggle to get there. I think I know what could be holding you back.

But first I’ve got a brain twister for you that I learned from my mentor and friend New York Times Bestselling Author John Maxwell.  

There are five frogs sitting on a log and four frogs decide to jump off.  How many are left?



Because there’s a difference between deciding and actually doing.

Fear could be holding you back and yes, this next statistic is a little scary.

According to the U.S Bureau of Statistics, 75 percent of all new businesses fail within the first 10 years.  But what if yours is one of the 25 percent that succeed and change the world for the better?  It’s fear that often keeps people from taking the necessary steps to get to the next level whether that’s starting your own business, applying for a new job or taking your organization to the next level.  I’ve got four fears that could be holding you back and the antidote to them.

1. Fear of Failure: Here’s the reality.  Failure is going to happen to all of us.  It’s inevitable and it’s ok.  If we’re not failing, we’re not trying anything big enough.  We just need to change our perspective about it.  We need to celebrate failure because it means we’re making progress and moving forward.


“It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” J.K. Rowling Author of the Harry Potter series.

2.  Fear of What Others Will Say or Think: If you’re anything like me you often think of the worst case scenarios.  People will hate me if I screw this up.  I’ll never get another shot at making my dreams a reality if I can’t help others succeed.  This could end my career.  Sound familiar?  The stories we make up in our minds are the things horror movies are made of.  None of the crazy awful fears I’ve had about what others might think of me have come true…thank heavens.  However, I sure can dream up some doozies.  Why do we waste our time focusing on the negatives instead of the positives?  If we’re going to make things up, let's make up positive narratives instead.

3.  Fear of Trading Security for the Unknown: John Maxwell taught me that life begins at the end of our comfort zone.  If we want to make progress and move forward, we’ve got to step out.  I know it’s terrifying sometimes.  I feel it too, but would you rather be scared or stuck?  I think being scared is the better option. 

4. Fear of Being Overextended: Nothing will change if you don’t invest in yourself.  When was the last time you poured money into yourself?  I’m not talking about shopping therapy. The reality is for a lot of people the answer is when they went to college and that may have been decades ago.  I want to encourage you to financially invest in yourself.  Sign up for an online course or hire an executive coach to help you navigate the change you want to see happen in your life.


I promised to give you the antidote to what’s holding you back and here it is.  Transition from accidental growth to intentional growth.  That’s what it takes to make your goals happen.  They'll never happen accidentally.  Ask yourself, “what are you doing to hold yourself accountable to your dreams?”  Stop daydreaming and take action. Small steps each day lead to progress each week and before you know it, you’ll be living your dreams.  Tell yourself, I’m not stuck unless I stop.  Don’t stop my friend.  The world needs you to make your dreams come true.