Acceptance is something most of us are seeking for, but it is also something that generates fear because if it is not attained, we feel judged and uncertain of our existence. When this fear strikes, we lag and sometimes become unproductive. In this episode, Kat Nieh reveals how fear was the reason for the time gap between her podcasts. It was her own fears of not knowing and realizing that it’s scary to do something different that was holding her back. Listen to this episode to boost your confidence and learn not to let whatever is holding you back win.
Listen to the podcast here:
[ Episode 11 ] What Was Holding Me Back
You’ve probably noticed there is a time gap between this episode and the previous one. Sure, I’ve been busy, but there’s also another reason and I figured it would be a good opportunity to share vulnerably why that happened. In a funny way, it led to why it even took me this long to start my podcast from the start.
It all came down with this little thing called fear. Fear definitely held me back from taking action. I have many different types of fears that were running through my head that I just didn’t do it. I found ways to procrastinate and the reasons why not to do it.
The first one is the fear of judgment. I do worry about what other people think. That’s human nature. We all want to be accepted. I didn’t know if this is content that has resonated with people, if it made sense, or if people even wanted this content. In those times of my own uncertainty, I seek out other people’s opinions to hopefully help guide me with some decision. I realize that’s not always the best way to do things. I had to learn how to let that go. I had to let go of that approval-seeking behavior of needing an external resource for me to take action on something that I believe in.
Another fear was the fear of the unknown. When I started this podcast, I had no idea what I was doing. Sure, I researched. Yah, I had people to help me out, which was amazing. I could have all the research and help I could have, but it’s ultimately me taking the action. I have to step outside of my comfort zone and record these episodes. It’s scary for someone who’s used to being behind the scenes. I went from being unknown to now openly sharing my experiences, my thoughts and my life with you. There’s definitely the fear of the unknown. I have no idea what to expect, what’s going to happen and what I’m doing.
Another fear I had was, which might sound a little silly, but definitely was there, the fear of success. If this goes well, what are people going to expect of me as I continued to do these episodes and as I continue doing it, will I still love doing it? What are the other things I would need to have to keep on doing to retain the success or even grow beyond the success?
On the other side of the coin, there is a fear of failure. What if I failed? What if I tried this new thing and it completely flops? How do I deal with those results and those consequences? What I do then? Do I keep on going or do I make another decision?
As I reflect on these fears, I realize that these are similar ones that I had when I decided to leave my job. Actually, they’re might not similar. They might be the exact same ones! That’s when I realized, “is this part of the cycle when you start something new, of not knowing what to do yet, don’t know what’s going to happen?” I have no patterns in my past to show me that, “Yeah, this is going to work,” or “No, that’s going to fail.” That level of feedback.Once you start doing something, you get feedback if you're on the right path or not. Click To Tweet
That is the most important lesson is that the only way for me to know is to do it. I have to do something in order to get results so I get the feedback if it’s working or not. I could only get that feedback after I take the action. It’s after changing that thought in my head into getting real-life feedback in the real world. Without that feedback, these are just ideas, thoughts and scenarios that are playing out in my head. If you’re someone like me with a vivid imagination, I can think of hundreds of different types of scenarios—good and bad of what the result would be like. It leads to that “well, should I have done that? Could I do that? Should I do it like that instead?” It led to indecision.
Instead of constantly thinking about it, I had to take action to see what came out of it. After coming to this realization, it made me think back to how I even started this podcast in the first place. What is my why? What is driving me to continue going forward and recording more podcasts, especially when I’m not getting a lot of direct feedback? As I rewind back in time to where this started, I realized it came from this idea of a blog. As I continue traveling and do all this personal development work, people are asking me, “Do you have a blog? I want to read about what’s going on with you. I want to hear what you’ve learned.”
That’s an interesting idea. As I ran through the same fears again of “would people want to read this? Who wants to read this what I write about?” All that went through my head again and I had to say, “Stop! Let go. Stop thinking. I need to commit to something and go for it to get the feedback.” I chose to do a 30-day blog challenge to see if I liked blogging or not. I realized I do like sharing my content and sharing my thoughts and my experiences, but I don’t know if I could write it daily. It was a lot of stress like figuring out: what am I going to write about; what is going to be in the article as well; and all the images and all the logistics that go into posting a blog. As you get down to the rabbit hole of how to do a successful blog, that’s a whole other beast that I had to say, “I’m putting that aside right now because that’s way too much for me.” I used to focus on this one thing of writing the blog and find out if I liked it or not. Definitely, there are times where it was fun and there were times where it felt like a chore. That’s not what we want. If we’re doing something fun, we never want that to turn to a chore.
The important part is I got feedback. People are reading it. People were telling me they were entertained by it, that it was inspiring to them, that they learned something from it, or they resonated with it. That was a great little boost of confidence going, “I’ll keep on going and see what happens.” As I continued writing, I started noticing the types of content people were responding to and that is how it led to my book, because people wanted to hear my story of what I went through, how I got to where I’m at now, and how I did it. As I started writing the outline and started jotting down ideas, the more I realize I do have a lot of experience and content to share.
I could write a book from this. I can go beyond a blog. So I shift my focus from the blog to the book. As I was telling people, I was writing a book, people start asking me the next step, “Are you going to have an audio version of it when you launch?” It seems like an obviously logical idea knowing workaholics, right? That you’re going to be multitasking anyways, so listening is another great way for you to get my content.
I realize, “In addition to doing an audiobook, why wait to record the whole thing? Why don’t I do a podcast?” I know I couldn’t write every single thing I wanted to share in my book. I know that as I continue learning and growing, there’s going to be more stuff and new content I want to share that I wanted a live source of relaying the new learnings or experiences I’ve had. I really started liking the idea of “yah, I’ll do a podcast instead.”
As I look back on all this, I realized it was one decision, acting upon it, leading to feedback, and led me to the next step. I just need to start doing it. Once you start doing something, that is how you get the feedback if you’re on the right path or not. That is how you get an idea that leads you further down this road that you might not have even considered.
I realized what was holding me back. It was myself. It was my own mindset of what I chose to believe in. I had to learn how to move past by my uncertainty, move past the fears, and step outside of my comfort zone into doing something, taking action and getting the feedback. It’s that, we have a choice either we choose to let our thoughts hold us back or we choose to take action, even though it’s showing us all the fears.
When you actually think about that, what are our fears here for anyways? It’s there to protect us. It’s showing us, “Did you consider this? This is a potential possibility of good or bad.” It’s giving us a feedback mechanism for our thoughts.
Our fears aren’t meant to hold us back. Sometimes what we want is on the other side of fear. It’s your choice. Do you want it to continue holding you back or do you want to move past it and do something unexpected? Something new? Something that could be the best decision of your life, but you don’t know until you do it?
Let me close the loop of why I did this episode of what was holding me back from recording more episodes and holding me back from starting this podcast in the first place. It was my own fears of not knowing and realizing that it’s scary to do something different, but that fear doesn’t have to hold me back.
I could choose to move past it, take action, and get the feedback to see if it’s what I want to be doing. Do I continue? What are other solutions to continue down this path that was unexpected? My Dear Workaholics, what is holding you back? What is that holding you back from? Once you have your own answer, what are you going to do about it?
I’m going to end the episode here to give you some time to think about it. It’s important to set aside some time for reflection and to give clarity to your situation. That will help you figure out what you want, which can help you determine what actions you could take to get you there. I hope you get the clarity you need.
You got this.