Two Common Blocks That Keep You from Your Dreams


Many of you know, I love to travel. What you may not know is that I have dreams of living overseas and having a hub from which to explore the world from a more convenient — and sunny — location.

While the Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful parts of the country when the sun is out, the other 360 days of the year are just too cold and grey in which to grow old and grey.

Natalie Sisson, founder of The Suitcase Entrepreneur, is one of several successful online entrepreneurs I’ve followed since I left my 9-5 (really, 7-7) corporate job over two years ago.


This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 1

She’s kicked off a 10-day blogging challenge at a perfect time: I leave for China in three weeks for my next volunteer stint and need to start blogging again.

Each day of the challenge, I’m to answer one of Natalie’s questions. Today’s question: “What are the Top 2-3 challenges that hold you back from living the life you truly want?”


The first challenge took me years to overcome. I’m sharing it because it keeps many from ever pursuing their dreams:

#1: Neglecting to include happiness in your definition of success


I graduated early from high school to start college. After I earned my chemical engineering degree I decided not to go for my master’s because I wanted to ‘get on with real life.’ I always had a plan and was always rushing toward something better in the future.

Over two decades later, I found myself trapped in my own plans and success. People at work called it the Golden Handcuffs. I was severely unhappy. It was hard to fall or stay asleep. I had mysterious rashes. On top of specific joint pains my entire body just hurt. I was so exhausted by the end of the week I didn’t want to spend time with anyone, including my family.

It took years, trying different solutions, focusing on diet, exercise, spirituality, etc. But one day I realized I was treating symptoms rather than the source. The truth: my job, which I used to love, was taking more from me than I was getting in return.

Whether you choose to include a location-independent lifestyle as part of your dreams, it’s important to look at your life, ask if you’re happy on daily basis, and take steps to be able to answer Yes.


#2: Letting your long term vision get lost in the day to day shuffle


Moving from an employee to an entrepreneur is a massive change that takes time and energy. In the second full year of running Your Quiet Success, I wear multiple hats; I’m in continuous learning mode; I’m unearthing limiting beliefs that never came into question as an employee.

It’s challenging to come up for air and continue to crystalize my future vision of living overseas. Practicalities need to be clarified (e.g., what if we decided to rent the house rather than sell?, What specific legalities do I need to know when running a business out of Thailand?). Often one question unravels into three more questions/decisions.

What I’ve learned is that, regardless of my resourcefulness, I really can’t do this alone. So, I have an outstanding coach, a solid accountability partner, and incredible support from my loving husband and 15 year old son.

Despite the challenges, I’ve learned to appreciate each day of the journey, and love the life I’ve built so far.


  • Here’s to not doing it alone! So much to gain from “group energy” of all sorts, whether in business, working out, friendships… And yes, as someone who is more introvert than extrovert, this is still true for me, too.

    • Ruth says:

      So true, Megan. There’s much to be gained when we combine forces and help each other along the way. Thank you for your comment, from one introvert to another.

  • Great blog Ruth!!…and oh so true. Wonderful to see someone actually exploring what life can truly be when we stop enduring and really start living. I wish you nothing but success in your search. Best of everything.

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