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11 Ways You Could Be Holding Yourself Back From Living A Remarkable Life

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” 

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” — Hermann Hesse

Whilst its difficult to put your finger on it, life has not been the same as long as you can recall. Failed endeavours and mounting pressures may have left you with waned enthusiasm to make things happen.

A loss of motivation and an uneasy feeling of being ‘stuck’ and stagnant may often fuels your thoughts. What could be leading you to feel this way? Why do we experience episodes of unrest? What could it be calling us to be attentive to? There are a number of reasons why we might be feeling this way. Rather than skirt around the edges, let’s leap straight into the article as I outline aspects of life that may demand our attention.

1. Fear Of The Unknown

Familiarity can be comforting. Since we become accustomed to a particular way of life, initiating change becomes difficult at the best of times. Life can be bumpy, so why rock the boat and risk the consequences that accompanies change? It is for this reason relationship experts suggest men and women prefer to stay parked in toxic relationships rather than risk being alone.

2. Fear Of Pain

The Freudian principle known as the pain-pleasure principle states that humans have an inner drive toward seeking pleasure or equally running away from pain. Many people run away from pain which prevents them from creating the life they deserve. Fear of pain stops us dead in our tracks — afterall who wants to constantly butt heads against painful events?

Photo by Rutger Geleijnse on Unsplash

3. Impaired Self-Belief

We must be vigilant against adopting other people’s beliefs, especially family. While they may be well-intentioned, if they do not serve our growth, they could be holding us back. During our formative years, embracing our parents’ beliefs are unavoidable. As we mature into adults we have the capacity to examine those beliefs to determine whether they are self-serving.

4. Disempowering Thoughts

The same habitual thoughts day in day out create a reality based on the sum of those thoughts. Being mindful and attentive to our thoughts weeds out any negative thinking bias. In this four minute video, I discuss ways in which to transform negative thoughts so as to create a future with purpose.

5. Restrictive Habits

Destructive habits may become embedded into the subconscious mind and have the potential to wreak havoc if unexamined. If we are unconscious to our habits we are running on autopilot, drawing the same undesired circumstances in to our life. Spiritual leaders call it being ‘asleep.’ Owing to mindful awareness, it is possible to create a fresh outlook as we become aware of our limitations.

“Your problem is you’re… too busy holding onto your unworthiness.” — Ram Dass

6. Blame

Blaming others and the conditions of our life reaffirms a victimhood temperament. The problem is always ‘out there’ and not within our power to make the necessary changes. Whilst we have little control how life’s events transpire, we have the wherewithal to respond to those events and circumstances with integrity. Power is attained with awareness and right action.

Photo by Wu Jianxiong on Unsplash

7. Lack Of Resources And Knowledge

The lack of resources and information may hold people back, particularly with respect to one’s career choices. It is estimated in these rapidly advancing times, what is relevant fourteen months ago is no longer appropriate today. Therefore, remaining abreast of current trends is a vital requirement in our professional affairs. Continuing to learn by reading books or attending courses allows us to stay ahead.

8. Living In The Past Or The Future

Regrets stifle our personal growth. Holding on to the pain of yesterday by recycling it into the present moment, limits our potential to create a purposeful life. We must therefore let go of our mistakes and the associated pain by forgiving ourselves and others who co-created the experiences with us. Similarly, anticipating a future to arrive in a certain way may also be limiting. The passage from Dan Millman’s book Way of The Peaceful Warriorencourages us to remain grounded when your mind is stuck living in the future: “The time is now, the place is here. Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for.”

Photo by Pietro De Grandi on Unsplash

9. Elevated Expectations

We may hold certain expectations of ourselves, others and even life. When our expectations do not eventuate as planned, we feel victimised. In light of this, we should let go of the HOW’s and WHAT’s of our expectations, while considering that everything we need reaches us at the right time, when we align with our deepest desires.

10. Pleasing Others

A constant need to please others in order to validate our self-worth has the opposite effect. People-pleasing implies we do not value our self-worth enough to form our own judgements. I wrote an article about this titled: 7 Ways To Stop Trying To Please Everyone, in which I outline seven ways to balance pleasing others without abandoning our own needs.

11. Shame

Shame is a destructive emotion which can cripple our life if left unchecked. It conceals itself deep within our sense of worth, while reminding us of our unworthiness. Dr. Brené Brown has done extensive work in this area. In her book Daring Greatly she writes: “We’re afraid that our truth isn’t enough — that what we have to offer isn’t enough without the bells and whistles, without editing, and impressing.” Moreover, in her famous TED speech Dr. Brown states: “Shame drives two big tapes — ‘Never good enough’ and, if you can talk it out of that one, ‘Who do you think you are?’ The thing to understand about shame is it’s not guilt.”


Originally published at Medium

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