The Passion Plan E-Course Part 3

What's Holding You Back? 

Seven Deterrents to Discovering, Developing, and Living Your Passion

If you really want to be the best that you can be, become more self-fulfilling, and live from the heart, break down the barriers that prevent passion from flowing into your life and rely on yourself and your passion to turn your hopes into reality.

When you make decisions based on your heart’s desires, and not on society’s prescriptions, you open the floodgates to a source of energy, commitment and inspiration.  If you want to discover your passion, move beyond the paralysis that grips you and prevents you from heeding your heart. 


A wide range of emotions can lock you into a state of inaction.  To break their grip, first acknowledge and confront them.

The Deterrents to Passion

Fear — There is no greater impediment to your personal progress than fear, with the greatest fear being the unknown.  Passion is a mystery; often you do not know where it will lead you.  You may wonder what life would be like if you followed your heart and changed careers or took on new challenges, then fear creeps in and you create elaborate scenarios of failure.  If you were considering taking up ballroom dancing for fun, which is relatively risk-free, under the influence of fear you might wonder, “What if I don’t like the instructor?  What if my partner has two left feet?  What if I make an absolute fool of myself?”

Self-doubt — An extension of fear, self-doubt focuses on your personal inadequacies.  It makes you question your abilities and potential.  Let’s assume you have a passion for learning and are considering applying for graduate school.  If you are battling self-doubt, you might stare at the application for weeks before finally tossing it out, thus nipping your passion in the bud.  Self-doubt leads you to imagine yourself becoming a failure rather than a success, miserable rather than happy.  Succumb to it and you are powerless to embrace your passion.

Paralysis — When confused or uncertain, you have a tendency to freeze up and prevent yourself from making a change.  Paralysis of the heart afflicts you at times when you need your passion most— when you need the boost of adrenaline and self-confidence it can inspire.  I have a colleague who was deeply unhappy in his job and longed to find a new one, but for some reason could not bring himself to look for one.  He knew he wanted and needed it, but nothing in his life inspired him or empowered him to take this step.  Whatever passion he possessed was trapped in the grip of emotional paralysis.

Numbness — You may become so accustomed to the demands and stresses of life that you move beyond paralysis into numbness.  You no longer know what brings you pleasure or pain; all experiences simply blur together in a continuum of emotional disconnectedness.  You might be miserable at work, but unable to identify your job as the source of your unhappiness.  Perhaps you’ve felt apathetic for so long that you assume it is the way things are supposed to be.  You are not acutely aware that you are unhappy, but you also are not aware that you are missing the joy that accompanies passion.

Limited scope — In this age of special interests, you may tend to define yourself by category:  male or female; black, white, or brown; white-collar or blue-collar; twenty-something or baby boomer.  This may help you identify with others in similar circumstances, but it limits the scope of what you’ve come to expect or hope for.  When you label yourself in this fashion, you accept a gamut of characterizations that have nothing to do with who you really are or what is in your heart.

Procrastination — How many times have you heard, “I’m going to quit my job as soon as I save enough money” or “I’m going to take up that hobby again as soon as I have more time”?  Not surprisingly, these people procrastinate, never finding enough money or enough time to make a change.

Caution — Even if you do make changes often, you may do so in ways so controlled and calculated that you leave little if any room for passion to enter.  You may not want to test the waters of the unknown or push the limits of your abilities to discover or develop your passion.  You may never know failure, but you may also never know the success that comes with unleashing your passion.

Don’t Ask Why, Ask Why Not

You are not trapped unless you choose to be.  If you are confronted with challenges or tests of mettle, and you back down and deny your self-knowledge, you make it easy for all the forces that sap and kill passion to enter.  

Instead of asking yourself why (Why should I take a risk?  Why would I be any better than anyone else?  Why should I try?), ask why not.  

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With your passion in play, you become super-charged, super-able.  You can take risks because it is the only way to reap real rewards.  You will be better because you care.  You will try because if you don’t, you will always regret your choice.

No matter how trapped you feel, passion can get you out.  It can change your life.  When you let passion in, the barriers to happiness and excellence seem smaller, and you feel more motivated and empowered to break them down.  You become excited.  You have the energy to accomplish more and the courage to doubt yourself less.  

You make choices that build up your spirit rather than tear it down.  You become uplifted and invigorated.

Begin Today

If you agree that passion is lacking in your life, and you desire to bring it back, live from the heart.  As you consider your life — where you are now and where you want to go — give priority to the promptings of your heart.  Trust it.  Do not disparage or discredit your feelings.  Accept them and then move forward with them.  This does not mean you should follow them blindly or ignorantly; simply that you should give credence to them and realize that they are an integral part of you.

Once you acknowledge your passion, shape it.  As you incorporate it into your existence, your life will become an accurate reflection of your hopes, desires , sensitivities and sensibilities.  Most importantly, you will self-actualize.  You will become the person you want to be — the person you know you can be.

What’s Holding You Back? Quiz

Think of something that you know or sense may be your passion.  

How do you feel when you think about pursuing it?  Based on your feelings, check the statements below that are true for you.  Be completely honest.  

If an item causes a strong reaction because you don’t want it to be true, it’s more than likely true for you

1.       ____   I dwell on problems that might occur if or when I pursue my passion. 

2.       ____   I question my ability to succeed at my passion. 

3.       ____   I feel unable to make the changes necessary to pursue my passion. 

4.       ____   I really don’t care whether or not I pursue my passion. 

  1.  ____   I limit my expectations of success based on what others like me have achieved in pursuing a similar passion.

6.       ____   I procrastinate in making the changes needed to pursue my passion. 

7.       ____   The changes needed to pursue my passion require more effort than I have to give. 

8.       ____   Making the necessary changes to pursue my passion may be too risky for me. 

9.       ____   Others could easily convince me to abandon my passion. 

10.   ____   I worry that others will question my judgment about pursing my passion. 


Give yourself one point for each statement you marked true.  Then read on to learn where you stand. 

0-1 Congratulations!  You are living your passion. 

2-4 You have opportunities to do more with your passion.  Be willing to pursue it and become the person you really want to be. 

5-7 Break down the barriers and let more passion into your life.  Develop specific actions for identifying and incorporating passion into your life on a regular basis. 

8-10    You are suffering from severe passion deficit.  Take immediate steps to identify your most important passion and solicit the support of your family and friends to help you incorporate this passion into your life. 

When you're ready to create more passion and success in your life than you dreamed, How to Make Money, Have Fun and Love What You Do e-book is for You. Success is just a click away. Order Now!  

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Special thanks to Richard Chang for the Passion Plan E-Course!