I've heard the same story from other women. I hear it from men, too, though not as frequently. It usually goes something like this, "I would like to do x, but I can't because something's holding me back."
Whatever that something is, it's different from person to person. Here are some of the more common ones:
- I'm waiting for someone (a boss, a potential employer, etc.) to notice my
awesomeness. Then I'll get a pay raise/have my dream job/get promoted.
- I don't NEED this opportunity/job/college class. Therefore, if I pursue it, I'm being selfish.
- It will be so much easier to do later (when the kids are older, when my debts are paid, when I have more time).
- I'm too old. I can't compete with the younger employees or students who have more time and/or energy.
- I don't have enough time or money to get started.
- What if things go terribly, horribly, awfully wrong? My own personal nightmare scenario could wreck everything and then I'd regret investing so much in something that didn't work out.
- I suck. Therefore, there's no way I could even think of succeeding.
- I want to make the right decision. Therefore, I will sit around and do nothing until I'm absolutely sure I'm on the right path.
- If I do what I want, the people in my life who are used to being taken care of will immediately fall apart and turn into jelly on the floor.
Please note that I'm not saying doing things for others is stupid or that it's wrong to put things on the shelf sometimes or that taking care of someone else can't be a dream in and of itself. What I'm saying is this:
You only have one life. That's it. It's easy to think that the right time will happen later, but if you're counting on being happy later, you might be disappointed. Unless you have a crystal ball, you don't know for sure that your family situation will be the same, your health will be perfectly intact, your finances will be secure, and that you'll have more time at your disposal sometime in the future. Let's face it, you don't even know for sure that you'll be alive.
It can be hard to shut off all the programming that tells you that going after what you want is selfish. If you have a family to provide for, that's an awful lot of people who make it easier to choose security than novelty.
Most people who don't do something they dream about make excuses like the ones above because they're afraid. And let's face it, it's easier to blame someone or something else than it is to confront those fears and take action.
I don't think it has to be as frightening as we make it out to be. Much of the time, when we consider making a major change, we look at everything we have to do and we become overwhelmed. But even the most successful people didn't get there overnight. We all know it takes hard work, but successful people have the same number of hours in their day as everyone else does. Just like everyone else, they take one thing at a time and do it.
Some days or years may be more conducive to your plans than others, it's true, but if you're waiting for the perfect time, it's not going to come. There are plenty of people, too, who doubt their own abilities, but forge ahead anyway. Your doubts and fears and reluctance and excuses will still be there tomorrow, no matter what. But if you do nothing, your dreams won't be any closer tomorrow than they are right now. So you can either be a scared person who goes after what you want, or a scared person who waits around and gets nothing.