What’s Holding You Back (The Ultimate Guide + Image Quotes)

In the 12 years I've spent coaching others, I've noticed patterns in what we all do, myself included, that prevent us from achieving our goals. I've compiled a list of 12 of the most powerful lessons I've learned along the way.

1. You make comparisons with others

You will look at others who are much further down the road than you and expect your results to be similar to theirs today, whether you are starting a business or learning a new skill. Because you can't see the struggle, the mistakes, and the hundreds of small improvements they make every day, you assume they don't exist. You feel inadequate, incapable, and discouraged in comparison.

Instead, compare where you are today to where you were yesterday to get a more accurate picture of your progress.

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2. You ask the wrong questions to yourself

You spend your time and energy wondering “if”—if what you're doing is feasible, if you're capable of achieving it, and if it's the right thing to do. These questions are unhelpful and sap all of your energy and motivation. Change the how, who, and what questions to, for example, “How will I make this happen?” “Can you tell me what the first step is?” “Can anyone assist me with this?” and focus your efforts on finding solutions that will help you get closer to success.

3. You wait for permission from others

You want the approval of those you care about. You tell yourself that their approval means you're on the right track. You don't want to let anyone down. As a result, you become stuck and paralyzed by a flippant remark or an unenthusiastic reaction. I'll never forget my uncle's pained expression as he asked, “Why are you still in London?” Return to Malta with your family.” That hurt a lot, but if I hadn't listened, I'd be stuck in a dead-end job, living a life that was killing my soul. YOU are the only one who knows what is best for you. Trust your instincts and your heart, and live by YOUR standards, and you'll be far more likely to create a life that makes you happy.

4. You await the “right” moment

You keep putting off doing something because it isn't the “right” time yet. You need to improve a few more things, gain some more experience, and learn a few more skills. You wait for the economy to improve, the weather to improve, or for a sign that it's time to start. This is simply your mind using delay tactics to win. The time has come. Never before will you discover what else needs to be done or improved unless you start.

5. You expect immediate results

“What?” your mind exclaims. “You've put in so much effort and no one has noticed?!! This is a waste of time, so I'll just stop now.” I recall thinking this when I published my first blog post. My blogging career threatened to come to an end as the tumbleweed rolled over my site, and not even my mother left a comment. Be patient, persistent, and set a realistic time frame for yourself to achieve the desired results.

(((Instant Book Preview of What's Holding You Back?)))

6. You don't do anything

You create beautiful plans and lists. You rewrite the plans and use the most recent app to capture them for the second time. You talk about your plans, visualize them, and criticize them. You do everything except take action on them. Your first step, however imperfect, will be far more useful than all the plans in the world. Your first step may change all of your plans, so if you want to get somewhere, spend the majority of your time acting rather than planning.

7. You create the illusion of busyness

This is by far my favorite. I've spent hours tinkering with my website, reading other blogs “for research purposes,” and experimenting with new apps. There have been days when I've sat at my desk for hours doing nothing. If you realize you're doing the same thing, take a step back and consider where your actions are leading you. If they aren't producing tangible results, you know you should be doing something else with your time.

8. You pay attention to everyone except yourself

You're brand new to this. You seek counsel. The entire world, as well as her mother, have an opinion on the subject. You take a seat and listen. You assume that everyone knows what they're talking about and that you must do what you read if you don't want to fail miserably. The problem is that the advice is leading you in so many different directions that you are completely paralyzed. By all means, read and learn, but then follow your heart and instincts. Trust that you will find your own best way to do this, and that it will be ideal for you.

9. You believe that the secret to success is based on talent rather than perseverance

“This would be much easier if I had any talent. I'm just not cut out for it.” When you begin your project, you will discover that it is a steep uphill struggle to get to where you want to go. You make it seem like you're lacking in some way, as if you should aim lower or try something easier. Don't get caught up in this mindset. Whatever you do will become easier the more you do it. Persistence, not talent, is the key to success, so stick with it, keep working at it, and you'll eventually find yourself on top of that hill.

10. You're not adaptable

You've devised a strategy and intend to stick to it no matter what. You believe that this is the only way to succeed. For years, I assumed that joining a gym was the only way to get in shape. For years, I paid exorbitant yearly fees to a gym that I never used. The goal remains the same, but my strategy has evolved. Yoga, cycling, and swimming have far outperformed the gym. What is your proverbial underutilized gym? And what could you use in its place?

11. You do it all by yourself

You may consider asking for help to be a sign of weakness, or it may not occur to you that you can reach out to others. You want to be successful on your own. As you work on your project, you create an imaginary fortress around yourself. STOP RIGHT NOW. Make a list of three things you're currently struggling with. List at least one person who has gone through something similar next to each one. Make a list of questions you'd like to ask that person. Now is the time to ask.

(((Instant Book Preview of What's Really Holding You Back?)))

12. You don't know when it's time to let go

You've done your best, changed tactics a hundred times, and spent countless hours on this project over the last few months, but you're not seeing the results you expected. So you work harder and faster in the hope that you will get there someday. Your project has turned into a dark cloud that follows you wherever you go. Any excitement or joy you felt while working on it has long since vanished. You've put so much effort into this project that you don't want to abandon it. Consider this: how do you feel about working on the same project for the next 12 months? What lse could you do with your time if you had to let it go? It's okay to let go from time to time.

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You have heard it all before: "Live life to the fullest", "follow your dreams", "be who you are" and "if it is meant to be, it will be". These are all wonderful quotes that are meant to help you live a happy life but they miss the point. Our lives are interconnected with each other and with the world.

No matter how hard you think you try, there’s always going to be a certain level of stress in your life. And when stress gets out of hand, it can start to negatively affect your life. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some easy steps you can take to improve your life in the long run, and we’ve found a few that can help you enjoy a better life and get rid of stress.

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