10 Ways You’re Holding Yourself Back from the Life You Want to Lead

by | May 22, 2018

The life you want is just waiting for you to make a change

Do you live the life you want? Or are you waiting for the right moment? Here are ten ways to achieve the life you want.

Speaking with a friend recently, they expressed something that hit home. This was not the life that they thought they’d be leading. I hear it a lot because so many people fall into patterns of ease instead of the discomfort of doing something different. If that’s you, you’re not alone. I admit, I’m right there with you. 

We all want things in life: Great relationships, peak physical condition, publish a book, world travel, move overseas, get a promotion, change jobs, start a business, you name it. However, how many people do you know that talk about “their thing” but never seem to get beyond that. If you went to Vegas, the odds would be nothing had changed five years from now. Is that you?

Maybe you think that you do take action. You’re a risk taker. How are you holding yourself back from the life you want?

Life you want

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It’s true, for some the life you didn’t think you’d be leading is because you’ve taken radical action, the road less traveled, and it’s all new. However, even along that new road, most people drag suitcases of the tried and true and dreams that never fully get unpacked. Your baggage of hopes, desires, and aspirations move with you for that magical moment when “someday” transforms into today. 

If you’re tired of wanting but not creating the life you want, the key isn’t to look at your circumstances but your mindset. In most cases, the reason things aren’t happening isn’t that someone else is stopping you, it’s the ways you’re holding yourself back. Yup, you’re stopping yourself. 

10 Ways You’re Holding Yourself Back and How to Move from Waiting to Creating the Life You Want

1 Waiting for the perfect time

It has to be in the top 10 of all time excuses – it’s not the right time. What if the time is never perfect? Truth is, the moment you start to take action makes it the perfect time to get started. 

2 Telling yourself you didn’t do it yesterday so…

Everyone has days where they fall flat. So you didn’t get to the gym yesterday, or ate poorly, or didn’t get to the big thing on your to-do list. It’s ok. One day does not make a pattern or a habit, good or bad. Don’t let yourself off the hook so easily. 

3 Dipping in your toe

Most people I know who get bland results aren’t all-in. They may say they’re committed, but will only go so far before they’d rather stop than put in energy when things get tough, or new, or boring, or slow… You can’t learn to swim just by dipping your feet in the water. 

4 Focusing on the flash and not the substance

How many small business owners and solopreneurs to-be do you know who spend hours and hours on their logo and designing their site, but don’t bother to write a business plan? Not everything you have to do will be glamorous or fun, but it still has to get done. 

If you’re busy all the time but not focusing on the right things, you’re doing the wrong things.

5 Being hard on yourself as you go

As an aspiring novelist, I’ve learned that if I give into the constant temptation to edit as I write, I’ll never get to the end. It’s awful, I tell myself. In fact, it’s so terrible I should stop now. First drafts are messy. Let yourself make a mess, and the next time it will be sharper. The key is to learn as you go, not make your first pass perfect. 

6 Never taking a break

I’ve coached people who early on tell me that they never take a vacation, as if it’s a good thing. It’s ok, they assure me, if the people on their teams do, but they don’t. Enough. Everyone needs a break. Here’s the deal – every single person is stronger and better able to make a positive impact when they take the time to relax and recharge

7 Believing the devil on your shoulder

You know that voice I’m taking about. It’s the voice that tells you that you can’t, shouldn’t or won’t. The voice that tells you that it’s not meant to be. It’s the voice that tells you that things are fine as is and do not rock the boat. What you need to do is tell that voice to shut it. It’s time to replace those negative thoughts that are not serving you with powerful ones.

8 Choosing too many fillers

There are plenty of coaches, bloggers, and consultants that tell you that if you want to get something done, you’ll find the time. And I agree. It’s easy to get caught up in too many fillers. For example, it’s 8:00 and you decide to watch a TV show or browse the internet, and before you know it, it’s 11:00. I’m not in the camp that says you should never watch a show or mindlessly decompress, but do it knowing that it’s a choice. 

We all have the same 24 hours. Be intentional with how you choose to fill yours.

9 Fixating on the roadblocks and not the destination (or the road)

It’s smart to understand potential challenges ahead and be prepared. However, don’t let those could-be, who-knows, better-to-be-prepared challenges stop you in your tracks. The key is to make your goal so compelling that the roadblocks that come your way are worth the pain of overcoming. 

Living your life worried that the bad stuff will happen doesn’t stop it, it only stops you.

10 Mistaking busy for productive

Take a look at your to-do list. Seriously. Pull it out now if it’s written down and jot it down if it’s not. How many of the things on the list are important? Of these, how many did you get to today? How many times did you check email, and voicemail, and Facebook? If you want to be more productive, cut down that to-do list. Focus on getting results instead of showing everyone else how skilled you are at filling your time. 

Which ones are your downfalls? Where do you most need to make a change to create the life that you want to lead?

Making a change doesn't always need a new skill set. 3Plus can help you Learn how to identify your transferable skills.

Originally posted in Break The Frame

Alli Polin Contributor
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Alli Polin, CPCC, ACC, is a former senior executive with deep experience in leadership, change management, and organization development. Now a writer, coach, and speaker, she is driven to help people create a full life and achieve professional success. She has an award-winning blog, Break the Frame, writing on the intersection of life and leadership.
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