What’s holding me back?

I remember, when I was choosing a career, I wanted a career that I can equip myself to work from anywhere in the world. The only thing I can think of at the time was to become a researcher. I think I was academically oriented but was not good enough to compete in the world market. I was also oriented around qualification to prove myself worth. Then, I arrived to this result, to become a researcher.

I’ve approached my supervisor, lecturer at the time, and asked what I need to do if I want to get that qualification. She told me to think about it for a semester (6 months) and get back to her if I still want to pursuit with that idea. Well, I did returned to her and said that I still want to do this but I am concerned about my English proficiency. Even though I was in this country for about a decade at this time, I am still not confident to express myself in English.

I had some ideas on what I want to focus on. However, I told her my past and raised my concern about choosing this as the focus. I had some passion about the topic but I was concerned that my experience will interfere with my research. She agreed with me and twigged my original idea. She asked me to consider qualitative research that I refused in a second. I wasn’t even confident to learn research in English, how could I do a qualitative research which involves nothing but English? I told her I am more comfortable and confident in numbers, even though it is quite dry.

Throughout my candidature as a research higher degree student, I continuously told my supervisor that I am not confident in writing English. I am not good in English. I don’t know what to do. Interestingly, my final dissertation was a qualitative research based on interviews with participants.

It’s not who you are that holds you back.

It’s who you think you are not.

Denis Waitley

What was holding me back? no one else than myself. People around me didn’t think I was not good enough or have low English proficiency. They actually made totally opposite comment that I didn’t believe or take in.

I was too scared to be judged. I was too scared to be someone who I think I am not.
I kept telling myself I am not good enough. I am not doing well. I am just an average person or lower. I am not even nearly there to become capable person. There’s nothing I should be proud of about myself.
These were things I was telling myself everyday.

I wonder why I wasn’t going anywhere. I wonder why I never felt that I was progressing. I wonder why I thought I was at dead end.

I was enforcing so many restrictions to myself. Keep labelling myself as someone else that I am not. Envying someone who are doing better than me and feeling lost in where I am going. By searching myself outside of my own self led me to nothing else but confusion and sense of lost in myself.

Now, after knowing myself, accepting who I am without any judgement, I am enjoying my life more than ever. I can see myself straight in the mirror. I can smile back to the mirror. I am treasuring every moment in my life.

What’s holding you back?
What are you avoiding?
Where do you want to go?

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