What’s Holding You Back?


Have you experienced trouble putting the first stroke on the canvas so to speak? If so, here are 6 things to consider.

We all do it… we set goals with the expectation to follow through. We start the project, join the gym, make our plans and put our stake in the ground; determined that this time it will happen. Our intentions are good, but when they meet resistance the result is often unmet goals.

Last week I made a personal commitment to write every Monday. Today is Tuesday and it didn’t happen yesterday. Why? Why didn’t I follow through yesterday like I so boldly committed to last week?

I’d love to tell you that I have an excuse and I could come up with a few good ones. Yet, truth be known, I can only blame myself.  I am the one who didn’t follow through on my own commitment; but why? What was holding me back from doing what I really want to do; what I set out to do?

As I considered this, I thought about a time in my life when I explored a career as an artist. It was something I was passionate about, but I often found my passion lacked follow through. I would have an idea for a painting, gather all my supplies and plan a day to paint. Then, blank canvas in front of me, I would suddenly feel compelled to unload the dishwasher, start a load of laundry or return a phone call. I just couldn’t bring myself to start.

Why did I let the mundane override my dreams and goals? Perhaps it was my own insecurities about the outcome or simply my own laziness. Either way the thing holding me back was me.

While I never became the artist I set out to be, I did learn a valuable lesson through art. Despite my procrastination, something amazing would happen as soon as I put the first stroke on the canvas… my creative juices would ignite and before I knew it I had a completed painting. Through this I learned that unless I started somewhere, it wasn’t going to happen.

What about you? Have you experienced trouble putting the first stroke on the canvas so to speak? If so, here are 6 things to consider:

  1. It will never happen unless you start it.
  2. Quit worrying about the end result and focus on the first step.
  3. Ignore the dishes in the sink. (At least for a little while.)
  4. Remember the reason you set the goal.
  5. Find someone to hold you accountable.
  6. Commit the process to God and trust the results to Him.

God gives us goals and dreams and it’s up to us whether we act on them or not. What painting is inside of you waiting for its first stroke? What first sentence do you need to write? Whatever you dream of doing for God won’t get done unless you get it started.

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