≡ Menu

What’s Holding You Back?

We are capable of more and most of us, myself included, know this with every fiber of our being. To make your dreams come true, you must identify the invisible forces holding you back.

We are capable of more and most of us, myself included, know this with every fiber of our being. To make your dreams come true, you must identify the invisible forces holding you back.

What are your dreams? There might be:

  • Things you want to learn
  • Things you want to do
  • Things you want to own
  • Places you want to see
  • Jobs you want to try
  • Relationships you want to be in

But what’s holding you back from making your dreams come true?

Those invisible forces are your limiting beliefs. One of the trickiest parts of growing and being successful is dealing with the limiting beliefs of what we are capable of. To go to new levels of being, you have to expand your vision of what is possible.

However, we all have beliefs about ourselves, that we tell ourselves, that hold us back from doing things that matter to us.

From my vantage point of knowing and working with lots of people over the years, I see first hand how limiting beliefs hold people back. It’s not just the circumstances that hold people back; it’s what we believe about our circumstances that hold us back. To make your dreams come true, you have to address these limiting beliefs.

This isn’t just about success and achievement. Reaching for our dreams does something positive for us. It invigorates not just our mind but our body. It’s GOOD FOR US to challenge our limiting beliefs and move beyond them.

What dreams do you have? What are those things that you want but aren’t sure you can do. I worked as a career counselor for eight years and know that most people harbor secret hopes about what they really want to be doing.

Feeling Stuck in Life?

How_to_finally_get_unstuck_in_life_-_ipad_image

Not sure where you're at or where you're headed? Take the first step TODAY to a truer more consistent path with this FREE eBook, How to Finally Get Unstuck in Life.

No worries. No spam here! Powered by ConvertKit

What’s holding you back is NOT impossible!

As an advisor, I could see from my point of view that those secret hopes and dreams weren’t impossible. But for the person with the limiting beliefs, their dreams, were as unachievable as climbing Mount Everest was for me. (A limiting belief too!)

Here’s what I do know. Most things that we dream of ARE achievable. But they can also come with a cost. You may have to give something up to get your dream. Getting your dream may take more time than you want to put into it. And yes, it may be harder than anything you’ve ever done.

And honestly, that scares most people away from even trying. However…

Ignoring what’s holding you back can hurt you.

Yet, staying put and keeping a lid on your dreams isn’t all that great either. By their fifties most people are taking some kind of medication and dealing with physical and emotional problems. At this time, more people are overweight, sick, anxious, and depressed than at any other time.

So, let’s get started on making your dreams come true. Let’s examine your limiting beliefs and why you are afraid to make your dreams come true.

You Feel Selfish

Who am I to want to achieve my inner dreams and desires? With the prevalence of the news on TV and internet, we are exposed to so many people living lives that are less than ideal. I struggle with this too. Why do I deserve to have a fulfilled life, when others seem to be living horrible lives? It feels extremely selfish to want to do and have more than I already have.

Yet, I believe with all my heart that we do our best good in the world when we are living our best lives. We don’t serve anyone when we are unhappy, unfulfilled, and yearning for more. And for what it’s worth, we want, what we want.

I know that the better I’m doing, the more I have to give and share. When I make myself small; I really don’t share as much. When I feel expansive; I share and add to the world.

Yes, there are selfish people out there that expand at the expense of others. But in general, so many more people want to share what they have and make the world a better place. I’m pretty sure if you’re over here at My Think Big Life, then selfishness isn’t going to be your problem.

It’s Going to be Too Hard

When you look too far into it, it can seem like it’s going to be crazy hard. But here’s a secret. When you are moving in line with your true inner desires, there is a purpose to the difficulty. It may be “hard” but it’s not the same kind of hard as say, sitting day after day at a job you hate.

And while it may be difficult, it’s not the kind of difficult that’s going to numb you into oblivion. People are hardwired to grow, move, explore, learn, and expand their limits. You are meant to do more.

Raising three children was hard for sure. But that difficultly was nothing compared to the satisfaction and sense of purpose that came from that time. We’ve all done things that we considered “hard” but because there was a sense of it being the right thing for us, we were able to do it.

I’m Too Old

You’re not! Of all the reasons we limit ourselves, this is the most frustrating because it is so not true in most cases. And if it is true—it’s not because of the number of years someone has lived. It’s probably more do to physical reasons.

The number of years you have been alive should not ever determine whether you can or cannot do something. Ever.

Years ago, my dad had a friend who was a housewife, as many women of her time were. My dad went to college as an adult and it took him 11 years to complete his degree while working and raising four children. When his friend expressed interest in going to college, he encouraged her. But she ended up deciding not to, because she would be over 40 when she completed her degree.

My dad challenged this limiting belief by saying that in four years, she was going to be 40 with or without the degree and wouldn’t she rather have the degree?

She stuck with her limiting beliefs and never followed that dream.

I was lucky that I had parents that never accepted age as a reason to not do something. Both my parents got their college degrees as adults. They shared adventures through their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Now in her 80’s my mom is discovering the world of travel and other new adventures.

But I’ve met people in their 20’s and 30’s that feel too old to do something. Age really is just a number. Don’t ever let age be the reason you don’t try something. I’ve started new careers in every decade I’ve lived.

It Will Take Too Long

Yep, and it will probably take longer even than you think it will. I can remember a time when I had so many dreams and no idea how I would ever get there.

I advocate getting started anyway.

Here’s what NOT TO DO. Don’t try to go at something full force, in such a way that you overwhelm yourself and your current situation. I saw this SO many times as a college advisor. Someone would come in as an adult and feel like they were so behind that they had to take as many hours as they possibly could.

Then they crashed and burned. Classes were failed or dropped. Financial aid put in jeopardy. Even if they managed to get through, their grades suffered. In all the years I advised, I never once saw this work for anyone.

If you’re making a change or starting something new; start it in an way and amount, that you can successfully handle.

If that is 15 minutes a day—go for it. You will be absolutely surprised how much progress you can make by consistently working towards something. And those smaller starts trick your mind a little bit. Instead of your brain thinking that you are doing some big scary thing; it happily enjoys this little not-scary bit of progress.

The result is that you move toward and beyond your limiting belief almost without effort.

Other People Won’t Approve

This starts with you—not with other people. I’m not a fan of people running out on children or other obligations. Don’t do that. But there’s no reason to totally ignore things that you want because you have obligations. It just may look different for a while.

Start small but start. Let this thing you want into your life in some way. As you become more sure; you will exude more sureness. Other people (a.k.a. family and friends) will accept what you accept. When people affirm your limiting belief, as in saying things like, “You can’t do that,” they are simply reflecting your own ambivalence back to you.

It may feel like you need other people’s approval to want what you want. But you don’t.

I Don’t Have Time

Make room in your life for your dreams. Far too many women, act like slaves to their families. Kids and partners can usually do more. And if they won’t, hire help. I am a firm believer that hiring someone to clean your home pays for itself. Most cleaning ladies will do a load or two of laundry and change beds as part of the deal too.

I’m serious here. Your time is valuable! If you’re at all like me, a dirty home eats up energy and time in two ways. First, the act of cleaning takes time. Some people love to do it. I don’t. So, in addition to taking my time, it takes my energy because I’m usually stressing over the fact that I’m not doing it or that it’s dirtier than I like.

It’s a struggle I don’t believe is worth it. Start with once or twice a month. I swear, if you are a non-cleaner but clean-lover like me, this will change your life. It frees up so much time and energy.

The amazing women that have helped me over the years, clean so much faster and more efficiently than me, it’s not even funny. And they are so appreciative of being able to use their skills and earn money for their families.

And if you are thinking to yourself, “I can’t afford that!” Remember, I Can’t Afford It is a limiting belief as well.

Building Momentum

Each limiting belief that you move beyond helps build your success muscle. And you never know which one will teach you, FINALLY, that you can do more than you thought you could. And once you get that, no one can take that away from you.

Moving beyond limiting beliefs is actually kind of fun. I love challenging beliefs about age, aging, physical limits, success, and so on. I didn’t realize it at the time, but a few years ago, my limiting beliefs were literally crushing the life out of me.

I don’t recommend getting to that point!

But I do recommend connecting to what it is you want out of life and taking whatever size actions you can towards that. It’s good for your body, your mind, and your spirit.

Keep showing up my friends!

To help with getting your momentum here are a couple of good posts to read.

My How to Get Unstuck in Life post has been my most popular post to date. Lots of people are dealing with feelings of being stuck. And I thought it was just me! That post addressed making progress on a goal or project. But what if you don’t even know what you want to do?

Living life ON purpose and WITH purpose gives me more satisfaction than chasing happiness. Don’t freak out if you don’t know your Purpose with a capital P. We’re talking about living your life ON purpose—living deliberately—and living a life aligned WITH your values.

Follow me on Facebook

To keep up with the best of My Think Big Life on Pinterest

Follow Sara @ My Think Big Life’s board on Pinterest.

Feeling Stuck in Life?

How_to_finally_get_unstuck_in_life_-_ipad_image

Not sure where you're at or where you're headed? Take the first step TODAY to a truer more consistent path with this FREE eBook, How to Finally Get Unstuck in Life.

No worries. No spam here! Powered by ConvertKit
Follow Me!

Sara

Lifestyle Blogger and Influencer at My Think Big Life
Sara is a former counselor, career services leader, and college advisor. Now she can be found at My Think Big Life writing about health and personal growth.

And if part of your plan for the new year is getting a new job, be sure and check out my resume writing page. I am passionate about resume writing and helping people have access to new opportunities.
Follow Me!

Latest posts by Sara (see all)

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Paula, The Geeky Shopaholic September 10, 2016, 1:00 pm

    Sara, your posts are always an encouragement to me! 🙂 Thank you so much!

    • Sara September 13, 2016, 6:04 pm

      I’m so glad Paula! I really appreciate hearing from you.

  • Daria Harvey September 12, 2016, 11:29 am

    Insightful as always Sara! I relate to the “I’m too old” one unfortunately. There is a lot to learn about blogging and a lot of it is technical. But I keep plugging along because learning something new and stretching myself keeps me from being old mentally. Loved your post!

    • Sara September 13, 2016, 6:03 pm

      Thanks Daria! If this “old” granny can do it–anyone can. I believe that stretching into these new places is one of the keys to staying young.

  • Bring Confidence, Inspirational Blogger April 24, 2017, 6:08 am

    Wow, Sara, really great advice! I love it how you found a solution to every excuse ever made up. I think that we made them up because we are scared to fail, that this is what’s really hiding behind the excuses.

    I agree with you that age is just a number and that the best way to start, is to actually start, no matter how small! It’s so important to let go of your fears sometimes and do the things you want to do. It’s your life that you are living after all, no one elses!

    Thank you for such an inspiring post 🙂

    • Sara May 3, 2017, 8:12 am

      I know all those excuses well! I’ve lived through every one of them. And when you can’t quite let the fears go–do something anyway–even just a little bit!

Leave a Comment

Get Sara's Weekly "Aha!" Newsletter

Let's foster healthier thinking TOGETHER each week - by celebrating those "Aha!" moments!
SIGN ME UP!