5 Ways You Are Holding Yourself Back (And Ways You Can Move Forward!)

So, about that life? The life you keep holding yourself back from. You know, those “living my best life” and “YOLO” dreams.  The life you were certain you’d be living at this point and time.

Don’t you remember the the hopes? The dreams? The goals and all the things that were not keeping you stuck in life. Is it coming back to you yet? Yep, that’s the life I’m talking about.

To be stuck, is simply defined as unable to move, unable to change or get away from a situation, place, or way of thinking. And if you’re reading this, then you probably have some idea that there are things in life that are holding you back. If you really consider it, one of those things could be YOU! You are more than likely wondering how you can free yourself from those habits that are holding you hostage in life.

As with most situations that require change, you must first be willing to accept the fact that there are things holding you back in life. Once you express a willingness to accept and identify those limiting factors then you can begin the process of developing ways to set yourself free and move forward in life.

I want to share with you 5 ways you are holding yourself back in life and provide some advice that will help you free yourself.

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1. You Dream More Than You Do

So, for all you literature lovers, let me ask this question, “what happens to a dream deferred?” Well, as Mr. Langston Hughes said, it dries up like a raisin in a sun. Have you ever seen a raisin? Just.Dry. And this is the very same thing that happens to a dreamer who does nothing with his or her dreams.

If you honestly think about it, this is what happens to the dreamer who does nothing with his or her dream. If you spend more time dreaming and less time doing you will quickly find that your dream and in most instances your life will quickly pass you by.

A dream remains a dream until you take some action. Anyone can say what they are going to do or what they would like to do. But it takes action to set your dreams in motion. And if you are only dreaming then guess what you are?


Stuck in a dream cycle.  And by remaining stuck, you’re limiting not only yourself but lessening the possibility of your dream becoming a reality. It is okay to dream. Just don’t get stuck there. Begin by making a list of your dreams and set small yet tangible goals.

Start small and create deadlines for yourself that are attainable. When you reach a small goal this will give you the motivation to work towards reaching even bigger goals. By creating a deadline for yourself, you are holding yourself accountable and will have something to look forward to. The reality is that for best results when starting a new habit, make it easy. As you continue to reach your goals, you distance yourself from the cycle of remaining stuck.

2. Fear. Fear. And More Fear. (All the Things Holding You Back)

Another reason you may find yourself in a situation that makes you feel as though you are stuck is FEAR.

Fear of failure and even fear of success can stop you from moving forward. If this happens, you can end up stuck in  your circumstance. When this is the case, it becomes easier to go through the “what ifs” in life. Ultimately, this keeps you stuck in the infinite possibilities of what could happen or go wrong.

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By continually questioning what could go wrong, you hold yourself back and fail to take the leap of faith to see what may actually go right. Or better yet, you lessen your possibility of accomplishing something great. Fear of failure is one of the ways you are holding yourself back and if not addressed it can hold you hostage for a lifetime.

The easiest way to get past the fear of failure is to “Do It Afraid!” Do it even if you are afraid of the outcome. Push forward and do it even when you are considering everything that could go wrong. Do it terrified. It’s better to do it afraid and fail than it is to never try all.

If you take the   leap of faith and commit to getting up even if you fall then you set the stage for limitless potential. Let’s face it, bad things happen in life and failure happens. But just as there is a possibility of failure there is also a probability of success.

You’ll never know what you can achieve if you do not take the first step. Half the battle is showing up. So if you fear less and do more then your chances of making great things happen can only be elevated.

3. Letting The Opinions of Others Hold You Hostage

Let’s face it….people will be people. And haters are gonna hate. Truth be told, there’s no way to stop people from being people. And to be honest, not everyone is going to like what you are doing. Not everyone is going to support you. And believe it or not there are people who come disguised as friends who are really just sticking around in hopes that you fail.

Not everyone wants to see you win, love.

And that is a fact.

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You know who these people are. They are the ones who look at you when you’re at your worst and shake their head in dismay yet they don’t walk away. They stand and stare at you causing you to feel worse than you already do. And of course there’s no word of encouragement nor is there a helping hand.

If you can expect nothing else, you can be assured that when you’re dealing with a naysayer or a hater you’ll be met with the same response. Disdaindisgust and a whole bunch of “smh, I knew she was going to fail.”

Truth be told, these people aren’t going anywhere and they will always be around. But you’ve got to make it your mission to do what’s best for you despite what anyone has to say. Check out this article if you’d like more tips on how you move forward and free yourself from stagnant relationships.

Because, let’s face it, who’s life is it anyway?

I’ll wait…

Yes, it is yours. All day. Every day. 24 hours. 7 days a week. 365 days.

It’s yours. Own it. Claim it. Embrace it. And live it in a way that is best for you.

And when you find yourself dealing with a bitter naysayer, just remind yourself that it’s your destiny. Their words have no control over you or anything you set your mind to do.

4. Complacency Keeps You Stuck Longer Than You Want To Be

It’s the staring out the window and day dreaming about the job or life I wish I had.

Or how about the, “well this job pays the bills and even though it’s not exactly what I want it’s good enough.”

And it’s also the, “why should I look for something else when I’m too old. It’s too late. And it may not be great but at least I can know what I’m doing and I don’t have to do much more than that.”

Complacency is one of the worst culprits when it comes to things that you keep you stuck.

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Think about it, as children, there was always the gold medal, the trophy or the certificate that we could bring home and excitedly show to our parents. These honors signified that we had accomplished a good deed or done something great.

But after our formative years, the trophies stop coming and there is no one standing by our side telling us that there are goals to achieve or a prize available to us if we do a good job. It’s when those things stop happening that most individuals stop trying. When we stop setting goals for ourselves that’s when complacency sets in and often times we find ourselves becoming comfortable with the mediocrity.

Complacency is one of the biggest killers of dreams because it does not require you to do more than the bare minimum. In fact, it only requires you to do what everyone else is doing. And if everyone else is doing it, how will you ever stand out?

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Complacency does not ask you that you go above and beyond but instead says that your “just a little to get by” is more than enough. It’s when we grow complacent that we stop reaching for new heights. Instead of seeking greater we become comfortable with doing just enough to get by. And when we do just enough to get by we fail to ever reach the potential of achieving new measures of greatness.

Complacency is yet another way you are holding yourself back and complacency will keep you stuck in life if you allow it to become your comfort zone.

5. Relying on Your Right Now

There are no true certainties in life but I can guarantee you there will always be someone who may not necessarily be better than you but who is willing to work harder than you. And if life has shown us nothing more, it has revealed that the person who is willing to work harder and go above and beyond is more likely to prevail than the one who chooses to remain complacent and rely on their present situation.

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It doesn’t seem to matter how old you get, in life there will always be competition and someone who wants to be better and do more than you.  But the success comes as a result of being determined to work harder and more consistently than the other person. And again, it matters not if you try and don’t succeed the victory comes when you make the effort and move past the things that keep you stuck in life.

If you remain focused on where you currently are and are unwilling to direct your attention to what can become, then you will remain stuck in the right now and your dreams will be held hostage as a result.

Once You Identify The Ways You Are Holding Yourself Back You Can Take Steps To Move Foward.

Realizing that you have been the main one getting in your own way and holding yourself back is a tough pill to swallow. But once the realization is made, you can then arm yourself with the necessary skills and tools to move forward.

In what ways have you held yourself back and what steps will you implement so that you are able to move forward? Comment below and let me know!


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