Don’t Let People Hold You Back

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? You know, staring down the barrel of what could be the opportunity of a lifetime. Part of us is telling us to go for it; to invest every morsel of energy into making it work. Run Forest, run! The other part is telling us not to be so ridiculous; err on the side of caution, don’t risk everything for something that could be nothing.

Now, I know it’s important to be a responsible adult, but I’m also a big believer in taking chances and pursuing what makes you happy; life’s too short not to. Unfortunately, the latter is a lot easier said than done, thanks to not only your own nerves and hesitations but also the negative influence of others. No matter where you are, sooner or later you’ll run into someone who tries to break your hope and bring you down. If holding you back was a sport, they’d be elite.

Say nay to the naysayers

Even if naysayers in our lives are notorious for dampening moods and we know what they’re capable of, it’s terribly hard to resist second-guessing ourselves every time they work their magic on us.  Before you give in to self-doubt, try to understand where their negativity is coming from. In most cases, it will have absolutely nothing to do with you or your opportunity, and everything to do with them.


We’ve all heard about Tall Poppy Syndrome. Run a simple Google search on any high achieving celebrity and it won’t take long to notice the trail of trolls dragging their names through the mud. When people are insecure inside, they like to drag others down around them; misery loves company. If someone’s trying to hold you back from taking a huge step into the unknown, are you sure they aren’t just doing it because they don’t want to see you get ahead and achieve greater things than them?


Some people are so scared of what could go wrong, that they never give themselves a chance at getting things oh-so-right. People who hold themselves back, for this reason, are likely to project their damning views on other people. These people live life afraid and shut themselves off to amazing possibilities.


Others will try to warn you away from risky opportunities because they’ve had a bad experience in the past or they’ve been burned in a similar situation. Their fear has been realized; their confidence and daringness to dream ended up costing them money, dignity, and a long list of other things. They made a scary decision and it backfired; that doesn’t mean you’ll suffer the same fate. If everyone lived by other people’s warnings, no one would ever venture outside of their comfort zones and achieve great things.

If you’re really serious about pursuing your dreams and advancing to new heights in your career, you’ll need to think carefully about how you nurture your ambition. Here are my three top tips to help you stay on an optimistic track:

1. Don’t give too much away

You should feel proud to project your passions and pursuits to the world but remember, the more information you give negative people, the more ammunition they’ll have to throw against you. If you believe in yourself, just back yourself. Don’t open yourself up to unnecessary mockery or doubtful speculation; it’ll only bring you down.

2. Hang around like-minded individuals

Positive people who like to transcend boundaries and better themselves are way better comrades for boosting your drive. Surrounding yourself with people who pump you up will be extra valuable in helping to reiterate why you’re pursuing the amazing things on your horizon.

3. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

Think about Steve Jobs. We all know of the public entrepreneurial plight he suffered before making it as a mastermind inventor in the technology space. If he had have given up after his first failure, life for us all would be so different. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself; if you take a leap of faith and it backfires, then so be it. At least you tried and won’t live life wondering ‘what if’.

By Phoebe Spinks

Account Executive at Link Humans, download our 12 Essentials of Employer Branding eBook now.