Who, Not What, Is Holding You Back?

What’s holding you back? You probably spend time thinking about what you want in life, but how often do you consider why you have yet to achieve what you want?

What is your barrier? Maybe you desire a raise or a promotion and your company isn’t providing opportunities for growth, your boss has yet to realize your value, your co-workers are a problem or your employees don’t work hard enough. But is this really what’s holding you back?

It’s time to realize that you create most of your own barriers. Here are 10 steps for eliminating the things in life that hold you back.

1. Examine your thoughts. How you think about yourself and your opportunities are in direct alignment with your results. Believe in yourself and your ability to create the results you want to achieve. Sometimes your thoughts are ingrained so deeply you are not even aware of how negative they may be. Make a conscious effort to replay your thoughts during the day. Recognize negative thoughts, discard them and then replace them with positive and encouraging thoughts. Continue this process until you have retrained your thoughts to be naturally positive and encouraging.

2. Create clarity. Lack of clarity can weaken your progress. If you know you want to do something different but have not brought clarity to the results you are trying to achieve, you are stifling your progress. Invest time in yourself and your future by allocating time to contemplate the results you wish to achieve. If you have become frustrated and confused about what you really want, this is where you begin. Each day create an environment (meditate, take a walk, relax) where you can clear your mind and project yourself in your professional future.

3. Change habits and choices. Your habits lead the choices you make (consciously or subconsciously) which bring the results you have currently. If you want to change your results, you must change your habits and choices. Once you have examined your thoughts and created clarity about your future, you must bring your habits and choices into awareness.

4. Eliminate self-justification. If you want to make progress you must stop justifying that it’s OK to be where you are. Be aware of justifications that take you out of the game — ”It’s too hard, it will take too long. I’m not smart enough. People just don’t understand. Change is not safe. The economy is so bad, I should be grateful for what I have. I’ll start tomorrow.”, The reality is dealing with justifications will feel as if you are arguing with yourself. Your head wants you to stay safe and will sound intelligent as it tries to keep you from making progress.

5. Quit the blame game. Until you are willing to take full responsibility for your results, blame will seem appropriate. While blaming, you become a victim and changing your results will become impossible. Why? Because if you are blaming others you are telling yourself you have no say in where you have ended up in life and it is someone else’s responsibility to change your results. Eliminating blame releases a shadow over your thoughts, and you begin to see the accountability you have had all along and the opportunities that are all around you.

6. Build self-reliance. Create a healthy reliance on yourself to succeed. Although you want to realize the responsibility you have over your own results, you also want to avoid having an attitude of having to do it all. As you determine what your goals are, begin to consider what you need and who can help you achieve each of your goals.

7. Assume accountability. Taking responsibility and accountability go hand in hand. As you begin to create clarity around your desired results, it’s important to have accountability built into your progress. Without accountability, it’s easier for justification to start derailing you which can delay your ability to meet goals.

8. Maintain education and knowledge. It has been said that the only thing standing between where you are and where you want to be is learning something different. Education is a valuable tool and should be considered as such for the rest of your life. Don’t let your education end once you have finished school. As you evaluate each of your goals, identify the education you will need to achieve the results you expect.

9. Overcome fear of pain or failure. Fear has to be one of the most powerful emotions you’re facing. This can create significant momentum for change or shut you down altogether, preventing any process from occurring. How fear affects each person is going to be very different. Your fear will expand and possibly elevate and intensify to a level much greater than it actually is upon experiencing it. Keep in mind, the degree of your fear will be relevant to the change you are experiencing.

10. Evaluate relationships. The reality is you will live up to or down to the standards of those with whom you spend most of your time. It is in these personal and professional relationships you have found comfort. Evaluate these relationships and begin to reduce negative influences. Although last on the list of steps, this is one of the most important elements to get started on. Through your habits, beliefs and actions, you have strategically aligned with people who influence your outcome. Ensure you are continuously looking at the relationship alignments you have created within your life.

This article began by asking “Who’s holding you back?” By blaming others you become a victim and lose control over your own destiny. Create an awareness of barriers that may be present in your life and recognize that it something or someone is perceived to be holding you back, you have the absolute power to remove these barriers.

Shari Bench is a certified trainer and author. Her programs on leadership, career enhancement, relationships and health and wealth offer help on breaking down the barriers to achieving results. For more information, visit her Web site at

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The ID is: 72159