You have a picture of it in your head—the life that is right for you. Your side hustle is doing well. You’ve got passive income and spend most of your time on your hobbies.

You know that you make it if only you could start.

You aren’t the only one suffering from inertia. There is a tendency inside all of us to play it safe. We fear losing what we have far more than we value gaining what we know we deserve. But if you can overcome just a few of these common pitfalls, you’ll discover your best life.

Fear of Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Fear doesn’t deserve the bad rap it has gotten. We developed it for a reason: To keep us safe. The early humans who were too fearless ended up dead.

Unfortunately, our fears are often unjustified—or at least overstated. When our heart races and our hands shake, our bodies think there’s a tiger when actually there might be an opportunity.

Discomfort is something we must live with, whether we like it or not. To become more familiar with it, challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone by taking a cold shower. Not only will it get you more familiar with your discomfort, but it will also boost your mental health.

Dream Killers

You love your family. You love your friends. You trust your co-workers. You believe your superiors are basically decent.

Even if everyone in your life seems supportive, they may be dream killers. Their tendencies aren’t always over-the-top remarks about how you can’t succeed. Instead, they nit-pick at your dreams. They tell you that the risk is too big or that the time isn’t right. They say, “Maybe someday.”

You don’t have to break off relationships with these people. You just need to pay attention to. Ask yourself, “Does this person support my dream fully?” If someone doesn’t, remember that it is their problem, not yours. Stop sharing this part of yourself with them. Redirect the conversation if they bring up your dreams.

Waiting for the Perfect Time

When I have X amount of money saved up. When I meet the right partner. When I weigh the right amount. When life isn’t so hard.

There is always a reason not to do something. Life is never going to stop throwing unexpected challenges your way.

Instead of waiting for the right time, use that drive you have now to start something new and significant. When your energy is highest about an idea, you have the momentum to begin. Once you have begun, get systems in place to start actualizing your dream.

Follow the “2-Minute Rule.” Choose one thing to do today that will only take 2-minutes to accomplish but moves you closer to your goal.

Tunnel Vision

You know how things are going to turn out. You’ve run the simulation in your head 1,000 times. You’re going to fail. You don’t have the strength. You don’t have the time necessary to thrive.

Charles Munger, a partner of Warren Buffet, says that the human mind is a lot like the human egg—once something gets in, it starts rejecting everything else. If you’ve decided that there’s only one possible path, you may be closing off other opportunities.

To get over tunnel vision, always go at least 5 why’s deep. If you think, “I can’t do it,” ask yourself, “Why?” You might answer “I can’t do it because I’m scared.” “Why?” “I’m scared because I think they’ll reject me.” “Why?” “I think they’ll reject me because…”

This is a way of problem-solving that can help you get to root causes and address deeper issues.

Feeling Stuck

You have tried everything. You have given it your all. This is where it landed you—in a job you don’t want, a relationship that leaves you unsatisfied, in a life, you don’t recognize. Each choice and ounce of effort has led you further away from where you wanted to be and now you just can’t move.

Feeling stuck is awful. You feel embarrassed about your lack of motivation. You attack your character.

But those things aren’t helping.

You need to begin noticing the thoughts you have that are keeping you stuck. Establishing a formal meditation practice would do wonders but if you can’t manage that, get into the practice of noting. When you think, “Things will never change,” note to yourself, “I’m thinking things will never change.” Bringing awareness to your thought process will help you challenge it.

Fear of Success

How will success affect your relationships? What if you can no longer trust those around you? What if more and more people come to depend on you and your strength—and you fail? 

You worry that you won’t be able to take a hit that big, but if the time comes you will be able to handle it. If you don’t take that plunge, you are robbing the world of your unique gifts.

Create an inspirational notebook or file on your computer.  Enter the names of people you know who are very successful. Remember what they have risked in order to become an inspiration. Know that you can do the same.

The life that you want is out there waiting for you. With these strategies, you’re ready to make it happen!


  • Mark Danaher

    Career, Life and Leadership Coach, Virtual Speaker and Trainer

    Careers by Design LLC

    Mark Danaher is a career/life/leadership coach and certified career counselor who helps leaders elevate their careers and life to one they will love.  He helps his clients make the best of tough situations so they can be their best professionally and personally.   Mark uses coaching along with his extensive career development knowledge and expertise to offer his clients a uniquely holistic approach to making career and life pivots.  He helps his clients manage burnout, stress, and anxiety, integrate balance into their lives so they can make a meaningful change in their lives. He uses a holistic narrative career approach to help people tell their stories and learn from their careers and life.  Mark completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Connecticut in Economics and History and went on to earn his Masters at the University of Connecticut in Counseling Psychology.   Mark was the President of the National Career Development Association in 2014-2015 and continues to volunteer for the organization.   He is certified as a Certified Professional Coach, Certified Career Counselor, Holistic Narrative Career Professional, Retirement Options Coach, 2 Young to Retire Coach, Job, and Career Development Coach, Job and Career Transition Coach, and a Certified Career Service Provider.  Mark is a Master Trainer for the Facilitating Career Development Certificate and School Career Development Advisor certificate is actively coaching training, and teaching throughout the year.  He is now a Master Practioner of the Energy Leadership Index which is a great assessment to understand how you use your energy in your everyday life and under stress.  It gives you a great insight into how you can improve your everyday interactions and connections with colleagues, employees, family, and beyond.