I am participating as an observer at a global organisation’s entrepreneur selection panel this week. I was expecting to just learn about business related stuff, metrics, unit economics, etc. I was unprepared for the onslaught of questions that peeled the layers off each candidate, looking for clarity on why he is doing whatever business he is doing. The existential queries are the same ones I ask myself everyday and so they tugged at my heartstrings, prompting me to reflect all over again.
The most powerful of these is the question “What is holding you back?” I realised that it is not about the money or resources. I asked myself five times and it boils down to fear. I am afraid of failing, of not being in control, of uncertainty, of looking stupid, etc. It is one’s mindset that holds us back. This is a universal truth. It is human nature. And it is good to be reminded that most of the time we are the only roadblock to our own success.
It is important to be mindful of this since at the core of every meaningful endeavor is a person who decides to show up everyday to create something beyond himself. And he will only be able to do so by crystallising what it is that he doesn’t want to be held back from. It is his why that allows him to keep at it even when faced with feelings of self doubt and inadequacy. I think the fear will never go away nor the insecurity but what will sustain as well is the belief that there is a much higher mission and purpose to what it is we are doing. So what is holding you back from this?