Why I Hold Back

I just received news that something I had recently written was “missing my voice and my character.” As I listened to this feedback, I sensed my guilty little ego scurry away and hide in the corner of the room. She waited there, covering her head, until I hung up the phone. My soul, on the other hand, stayed with me, comforted me and nodded her head with a compassionate knowing.

The truth is what I had written had come from me but not through me. What I wrote was based on my passion for human potential but it had somehow been censored. The bottom line is that I had held back. I had unconsciously edited out my bold statements and my vulnerable revelations. I had allowed my anxious ego to override my soul. I thought that I had walked my walk and talked my talk, but fear came through instead.

I want to know what holds me back from speaking honestly. I want to know what I am afraid of. I am frankly ready for answers because the pain of muting my expression any longer is downright exhausting and overbearing. And so without censoring a word, without allowing a moment of doubt to enter my mind, I share my answers.

I hold back because:

• I am afraid of being rejected.
• I worry that I am not good enough.
• I feel that what I have to share has already been said.
• There are others out there who are more competent than me.
• Who, besides my mother, wants to read my stuff anyhow?
• Who am I to think that I’ve got something worthy to say?

I recognize that if I am to live fully and courageously, I am going to have to face these questions head on. I am going to have to slay these dragons and get on with the business of being bold and honest and, well, abundantly me.

So perhaps my cowering ego should stay curled up in the corner because the real me has big plans in a world where doubt and fear are not invited.


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About the Author | Cara Bradley

Cara Bradley, founder of Verge Yoga in the Philadelphia area, is a passionate teacher of 30 years sharing her curiosity and enthusiasm for experiencing life fully. She is also the founder of Mindfulness Through Movement, a non-profit offering programs to schools in urban Philadelphia. Her book, “On The Verge: Wake Up, Show Up, and Shine” (New World Library) will be available in 2016.

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2 comments to "Why I Hold Back"

  • Laurie

    Thank you! I feel so often that similar angst which wars with the desire to “be” something I have always dreamed about. Made it a little easier to breathe tonight.

  • Cara, Thank you for sharing your insights on “holding back”. As a writer, I battle these dragons everyday. When self-doubt and fear of rejection sit on my shoulder, I try to push them off, but their persistent often wins. I plan to join you in your quest to face these doubts and keep forging forward on the path of honesty.