By Barton Goldsmith
McClatchy-Tribune News Service.
When it comes to achieving your dreams, what’s stopping you? Don’t let a bad experience or person keep you from fulfilling your heart’s desire. There are millions of other reasons why people don’t take their shot at happiness. Here are a few of the main ones.
• Being too shy to ask. Whether it’s asking someone out on a date or for a job, many of us are too shy to actually approach another person. These days, much of our communication can happen virtually, but nothing takes the place of a face-to-face request. It’s much harder to say no to someone directly than it is to not return a text or email.
• You feel you don’t deserve it. If you have doubts about your worthiness when it comes to life and interpersonal relationships, you need to take a long look into your internal mirror. What negative messages are you sending to yourself? Why do you believe that you are not good enough? Asking yourself these questions will help you develop positive alternative thoughts. Remember that you deserve happiness.
• You question your ability. You may be able to ask for what you want, and you may feel you deserve it, but you still wonder if you are up to the task. Maybe you think you don’t have the talent or the leadership ability to get the job done. Look, most people learn on the fly. You have to just dive in and expect to make a few mistakes along the way. You will get the hang of whatever it is, soon enough.
• You feel that you don’t have the time to take on anything more. Everyone I know who has successfully started their own business began working on it in their spare time. Evenings and weekends are no longer spent in front of the television (except maybe during football season). You can spend your extra time building your dream (or dating him or her). Anything you want to achieve is worth the extra work.
• You tell yourself that there’s someone who is better than you. There will always be people who are better looking, have more money, higher degrees, greater experience, and more amazing personalities. But they aren’t the same as you. You bring your own set of talents, your personal vision, and your values to any situation or person with whom you’re involved. Trust that what’s inside you is as good as it gets. Now go for it.
• You’re trying to keep a low profile. You may think that you shouldn’t stand out, because you’re afraid you might get hurt. Yes, successful people can become targets for others who are angry, misguided, or feel somehow inferior to you. But believing that if you’re successful, harm will come your way is a myth that was started by people who were too scared to reach for their dreams.
You have the talent, the energy, and the gifts to fulfill your dreams. Don’t let yourself or anyone else talk you out of going for them.
Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of “The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.”