3 Things to Stop Holding Back

There are times to hold back and there are times to dive right in—what are you waiting for?

In one way or another, we’re all holding out. Maybe it’s the vacation days we’re afraid to use. Maybe it’s waiting for the perfect time to pursue our dream. Or maybe it’s putting off saying I love you. But as Buddha so poignantly points out, “The trouble is, you think you have time.”

So, take a deep breath and just do it. Here are a few of those “go for it” moments where you shouldn’t hold back.

The Dream

What are you waiting for? I ask myself this all the time.

When this happens. When that happens. I’ll do it whenwe say.

But the “when slowly becomes a mirage, an unanchored raft ebbing farther and farther out to sea—without you aboard.

This kind of procrastination is a defense mechanism. Because if we put things off, we never have to actually face them. Our true desires get to live in this lovely, untouchable land of daydreams. But those dreams, if never followed, can really start to haunt you.

Studies cite fear as one of the biggest reasons people hold back. It’s human: We are afraid of failing, afraid of looking foolish for even trying.

But the thing is, not doing anything is far worse than failing. Not doing anything is worse than being embarrassed for trying. And not doing anything is a one-way road to regret.

Fear will stop you a million times before failure will. Because when you’re afraid, you never give yourself the chance to fail.

The Adventure

Before departing from my last gig and taking the offer on my new one, I had banked almost two weeks of vacation time. It was with a heavy and suntan-less heart that I deserted them, along with my stapler and desk chair.

In my two years at that job, I kept thinking I would find a good time to take some days off. But the good time never came and the days sat in my adventure piggy bank accruing 0 percent interest.

I learned the hard way that there’s never a right time to do anything. It can be difficult to believe, but if you take a couple days, weeks, or months off, life will go on. The universe will not implode. And everything will be just as it was, if not better, when you return.

Be brave. Book the ticket. Board the plane. Be free. Don’t look back.

The Dress

I recall going to sleepovers as a child where pink bedroom walls were trimmed with shelves of beautiful Barbies, completely out of reach and still bound to their cardboard boxes by twist-ties—like little plastic prisoners of war. It completely befuddled me.

Why would they do this to them? I bemoaned. Whatever weirdness this was, I was the opposite, fearing that if I favored one doll too much, all the others would get their feelings hurt.

But the “untouchable Barbie syndrome” sadly riddles adulthood, taking on the form of “special occasion” hoarding. Favorite dresses are zipped up in garment bags and tucked away, pearls are clammed-up in the boxes they came in, and fine china collects dust behind closed cabinet doors. We’re saving them, we say.

But what I’ve come to realize is that the longer these special things are sequestered, the longer they stay there. Because nothing ever feels special enough to bring them out of hiding.

So, make the occasion—any occasion—special. Put on the pearls, wear the fabulous dress, and have Saturday morning breakfast on the porcelain dishes. Because life is the special occasion. And that’s all you need.

Photo by The Adventure Group

sized-Laci-MosierLaci Mosier is a copywriter living and loving in Austin, Texas. She and her one-eyed pirate dog live for exploring and discovering life’s magic. She is most inspired by yoga, running, Kundalini meditation, good books, great jams and even better coffee. Getting lost is where she is most often found. Follow her on the Twittersphere or Instagram.