Baker Schena Communications

Unleashing Your Potential through the Power of Words

What's Holding YOU Back? Time to Take the Plunge

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. – Nido Qubein

It’s a steaming hot summer day and that backyard pool looks so inviting.

You KNOW you want to take the plunge. The question is how.

Should you slowly slip in the water, inch by inch? Or are you cannonballing off the diving board? Whichever way you choose, one thing is for certain: You WILL get wet.

Mission accomplished.

I equate risk-taking with entering a swimming pool. Some people are cautious, and others are ready to dive right into the deep end. And still others need a push.

And some individuals, for various reasons, never get wet – choosing instead to sit on the sidelines and simply watch the fun, rather than be in the mix.

Which type of risk-taker are you? If you are sitting on the sidelines, what’s holding you back from taking the plunge?

I believe it all comes down to two things:

1.     Fear


2.     Lack of a clear vision

We naturally fear the unknown. How cold will the water be? Will I be able to swim? Will I get chlorine in my eyes? Did someone pee in the pool? The best way to conquer the fear of the unknown is to drill down and identify ALL of your fears. Write them down and then take the time to figure out if they are legitimate. Don’t let fears steal your future. Address them head on, and keep moving forward.

If you can’t swim (a metaphor for not possessing the skills necessary to pursue your dreams), then make a commitment to get some training. LEARN TO SWIM.

Is the pool too cold? Stick your toe in first and find out. This equates to doing your homework. If you are afraid to get chlorine in your eyes, wear protective gear. In real life, protective gear is a Plan B. And did someone pee in the pool? You can’t control other people’s actions – just your own. So take a good long HOT shower with plenty of soap when you leave the pool, and let go of what you can’t control. 

If you lack a clear vision, you still can enter the pool – just do it slowly, taking baby steps until your vision becomes clearer. The most important step is making a STRONG commitment to getting unstuck, and to DISCOVERING YOUR PASSION. Then follow through.

Stop holding yourself back from your dreams. Enough already.

Time to get into the pool. The water feels GREAT.

 Dr. Lori Baker-Schena is the founder and chief executive officer of Baker Schena Communications, a firm dedicated to “Unleashing Your Potential Through the Power of Words.” We offer motivational speaking, leadership consulting and medical writing services. Find us at