One of my earliest obstacles was my belief that I didn’t have anything to offer the world.
I wanted desperately to express myself.
To follow my heart.
But I thought I wasn’t good enough, and that held me back for years.
I’ve also received emails from readers on how they feel like they have nothing to offer.
Perhaps you’ve felt that way, too?
You might have some insights to share, but you stop yourself.
You wonder: Isn’t this obvious? Doesn’t everyone already know this? Why would someone pay me for what I know?
You look at the millions of sites out there, and you wonder how you could ever compete.
But What If You Could?
What makes you believe that what your thoughts are saying is real?
Looking back, I can see how I was held back by thoughts, but when I started, I didn’t somehow remove my mental barriers.
At first, my mental dialogue went like this: “I can’t do this. I’m not good enough. I won’t succeed.”
Then it changed to: “Maybe I’ll fail. Maybe I’m not good enough. I don’t know. I’m going to try and see what happens.”
You See, I’m Not Fearless
I just fear less.
Meaning, I don’t take my thoughts as seriously.
Fears pop up every day. I’m afraid to do this and that. But I know they are thoughts that will pass if I don’t try to fix them.
I bring my attention back to the present moment. I do what I can with what I have.
Here’s a video where I talk more about this:
The Three Obstacles
Obviously, there are more than these three obstacles, but these are the big ones I see in my life and in the lives of those I help.
At the core, all our fears are the same thing. They are thoughts that we believe in.
A thought holds no inherent power. It plugs into us, just like the machines plugged into the humans in The Matrix.
Just realizing this doesn’t inoculate me from my thoughts. But it gives me added perspective.
Now let’s have a look at the three obstacles:
1. “I can’t compete with the millions of experts out there.”
When I started Wake Up Cloud, I was 23, and I wrote about personal development.
If anyone was a non-expert, it was me. What could a 23-year-old have to offer?
That thought held me back for years until I finally decided to start anyway.
Wake Up Cloud didn’t start as a way to make money, but a way to share what I was going through, so I decided to start and see what would happen.
You’re experiencing them right now. Wake Up Cloud has 10,000+ subscribers as I write this.
In the first 3-4 months, I went from 0 to 1,000 subscribers. Why? Because I was willing to share my truth, and my view of the world.
And I was willing to work hard.
I realized that this wasn’t about competing, but about honestly sharing what I knew.
2. “Doesn’t everyone already know this?”
Here’s the thing: When you know something, it’s familiar to you, and when something is familiar, it can feel mundane.
One of the definitions of mundane is: lacking interest or excitement; dull.
Even to this day, I have moments where what I write feels dull and unexciting. And I wonder why anyone would care.
But gradually I’ve let go of that thought, because I’ve seen the impact of my writing. I’ve received emails from people who’ve changed their lives because of what I’ve put out there.
It goes to show that I’m not in charge of deciding what’s mundane or not. I don’t know how my story will affect you.
My job is to do the best I can to help, and to share my story.
The same is true for you. You have to put your story out there, and see the effect it has.
I am no different from you. I was simply willing to challenge my assumptions.
3. “Why would anyone pay me for what I know?”
I don’t know.
But what makes you think you have to know the answer right this very minute?
Why can’t you experiment with what you have?
The reason you can’t see why anyone would pay you for what you know is because you don’t have enough data to go on.
That means you have to start, experiment, and see what happens.
I had no plans to turn Wake Up Cloud into a business, but that’s what happened.
As Charles F. Kettering, businessman and inventor, once said:
Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.
I don’t know where this is going.
I don’t have to know.
You don’t have to know.
All we have to do is be willing to trust that silent whisper within us.
Let it be enough to follow your bliss. Let it be enough to enjoy this moment.
So Do You Have Something Special to Offer?
The problem isn’t that you don’t have anything special to offer.
The problem is that you think you need something, other than what you have, in order to start.
But all you ever need is what you have. Start with what you have, where you are. That’s all you can do.
Stop waiting. Start starting.
As you keep putting in the work, you will get better, gain clarity, and uncover what works for you.
When I started, I didn’t think I had anything to offer, but I started anyway.
I was willing to challenge my assumptions, and that made all the difference.
So often we believe our fears hold all the power, but they don’t. I took action despite not feeling good enough, and I discovered that my fears were nothing but puffs of smoke.
I wasn’t the expert on personal development. I simply shared my story. I kept listening to my audience. As I did that, I improved.
My business grew.
And new doors opened.
Looking back, all I ever had to do was take life one step at a time, one moment at a time.
All the coolest,
P.S. If you still feel like you’re held back from doing what you love, I invite you to check out my book: Do What You Love.