The two biggest things that hold us back from accomplishing our goals are…

Fear and Focus

Patrick Farrell
5 min readDec 29, 2020

We all have dreams. Dreams of who we want to become, experiences we want to have, and people we would like to meet. We also have dreams of the type of impact we want to make on the planet while we are here. Yet we often hold ourselves back from achieving those dreams because of two things; fear and and where we put our focus.

Fear holds us back in so many ways because it keeps us from going after our dreams in the first place. It holds us back from taking the first step towards success because often what we are truly afraid of is the unknown. We become so afraid of what “might” happen if we try that that we don’t take new actions in the first place.

We then end up creating a story in our head about what MIGHT happen rather than taking action and seeing what actually DOES happen. These stories then consume our thoughts and prevent new steps forward. But action is the antidote to fear, because even if we try and fail, we have still learned and we have still grown.

The other piece is focus; focus keeps us from putting enough energy into the process to truly succeed. When we don’t sharpen our focus and eliminate distractions, the lack of focus keeps us from moving forward in an effective way. Focus can sometimes be even more challenging than fear because once you take the first step, you start to overcome the fear. But focus is an ongoing and daily practice to achieve success.

Building Awareness of Our Fears

While we can’t be sure our actions will result in success, we can be sure that if we give into our fear we will never know if we can succeed at our goals. And we can also be sure we will learn and grow from our actions. Action always results in learning something about ourselves; how we show up in the moment, and how to work our way towards success.

However, quite often we aren’t even aware of our fears. We aren’t aware that something is holding us back. But once we call attention to our fears, we can start to overcome them one-by-one.

Since we can’t change something we are not aware of, awareness is really the first step. To build some awareness around our fears I’m going to give you a few questions to answer.

What is one dream that you have had living inside of you? What has prevented you from taking action towards building?

For example, are you afraid this dream will take too much time to learn all the new skills necessary? Are you afraid that the time spent will be wasted? Are you afraid of what other people will think of you if you do take action?

Or maybe you are actually afraid of success, afraid of what your life might look like if you actually succeed and build out this vision of your dream.

And what are the deeper emotions sitting behind the fear of taking action? Are you anxious, intimidated, overwhelmed? Once we really call attention towards what our fears are and the emotions surrounding those fears, we can start to create an action plan.

Taking Action Towards Crushing Your Fears

Once we have identified our fears, we have to take ACTION. And really I mean MASSIVE ACTION, otherwise they will always be sitting there in our minds and bodies. However if we take action, our fear starts to subside.

Nevertheless, getting started isn’t easy! It isn’t easy to step down that path. But often we have to take a leap of faith, we have to take one small step forward. Then we have to take the next step, and the next!

I think Steve Harvey say’s it best here in this video. You just have to jump, you have to take a leap of faith and believe that your parachute will open because when it does, you are going to soar.

And as we take those steps, as we take action and over come our fears one by one, we will start to build more confidence in ourselves and how we respond to the results to our actions. While the results might not always be ones we desire, we can be sure we will grow from them regardless.

Building Focus

Just getting started and overcoming our fears is powerful, but it’s not enough. We have to maintain the energy, consistency, and determination to make turn our dreams into reality. This requires focus.

The reality is that focus can be incredibly difficult to maintain. We live in a world with constant distractions everywhere. We have text messages, phone calls, and emails to respond to. We are often balancing several projects at once we personal and professional life, and it all can get very overwhelming to maintain focus on any one project.

But to really succeed, we have to maintain that focus. We have to train our brain to complete one task at a time and not get distracted by other influences; but I’ll be honest, I still struggle with this daily.

To overcome my own lack of focus, I use a few tools. One is thinking about meditation in my daily life. Because what is meditation? It’s just focusing your energy on something one something, usually your breath, and remaining calm. Then when your focus drifts to other thoughts, you bring your thoughts back to what you were originally focused on, your breath.

So if we take the same concept towards our work towards building our dreams, every time we catch ourselves being distracted by other things in our life, we have to consciously bring our thoughts back to what we are supposed to be working on.

Now this doesn’t mean we have to be focused on our dream 24/7. But it does mean that the time we devote to our dream, we need to focus our attention on our work and what we are building. And every time we get distracted by a text message or the thought of checking Instagram, we bring our focus back to the present moment and what we should be working on.

Another tool I use is understanding how to get myself into a flow state. This is the topic of another blog post but you can find out your Flow Profile here with the Flow Genome Project.

And lastly I use music. I put on music that helps me focus and stay in a meditative state to get my work done. I have several playlists on Spotify that I’m happy to share with everyone.

It’s my believe that when we learn these two most important lessons of “action is the antidote to fear” and maintaining our focus, we can truly achieve anything in this life. Each new action will create a new result that we can learn from and that we can leverage towards building our dream.

If this was helpful, I’d love to know in the comments below. Let me know how I can support you on your journey towards building your dream life. If you are in search of more clarity towards building your vision, I have a free 3-Day Confusion-to-Clarity workshop you can find here.

Originally published at on December 29, 2020.



Patrick Farrell

Founder and Business Coach for Online Entrepreneurs and Coaches. I help people create more freedom in their life and connect to their purpose.