We all do it.
We have great intentions, lofty goals, but we somehow never see the results. Somehow, some way, we’re stuck. Frustrating, isn’t it? I’ve lived in this place a long time, and am currently clawing my way out.
But in the process of learning how to move forward, I’ve learned a little about the things that were holding me back. Perhaps they’re not mind-blowing revelations for you, but identifying the problem is the first step in finding the solution.
1. You’re Not Learning
It’s easy to binge watch Netflix. Not that anyone here’s done that before… Ahem. What’s not easy is challenging yourself, pushing yourself, learning and absorbing all you can.
Does it matter what you’re learning? Not really. It’s about training your mind to process and retain information. So learn anything and everything you can. I mean it. Want to learn the migrating patterns of a particular bird? If that’s your thing, run after it. We have this amazing thing called “The Internet” that might help…
Learning to learn can be a beautiful thing. And it helps you grow as a person; sometimes just the act of learning itself will help you grow. Just try it.
2. You’re Thinking Horrible Things
Imagine you love someone a whole lot. Like a ton. Remember your first girlfriend maybe. Or think of your husband. Or your kids maybe. Now what would you do if you heard someone tell them they were worthless? Besides wanting to punch them in the face (don’t do that), you would, in no uncertain terms, tell them to leave immediately and never speak that way to your loved one again.
Have you ever told yourself those kinds of things? If you have, you’re undoubtedly reading this right now with a lump in your throat. Push those thoughts as far away from you as you can by replacing every negative thought with at least one positive thought. Bonus: if you can find a way to make the negative a positive, you are well on your way to conquering that evil voice inside your head!
I’ll be the first to tell you that this is in no way easy, but it’s well worth it, I promise.
3. You’re Listening to the Wrong (External) Voices
Anyone ever tell you something you should do? No? So you’ve never been around people before? Everyone, whether they mean to or not, has at some point given you advice. It’s not a bad thing – until we start listening to them more than we listen to our own voice.
What’s the best way to avoid this? Know yourself. It’s hard, so hard. But completely worth it. Figure out who you are, and do it relentlessly. Then you’ll be able to take all that advice, filter it through your personality, then use what serves you and discard what doesn’t. Again, it’s hard. But anything worth pursuing is.
4. You’re Allowing Fear to Run Your Life
Ouch. I’m stepping on my own toes here. Always (read: every single time) ask yourself your motivation behind choosing to do or not do something. Is fear holding you back, telling you you won’t succeed, or that you’re not good enough, or that _________ (fill in the blank)?
Don’t let fear run your life anymore. Jeff Goins sums it up well: “…courage isn’t the absence of Fear; it’s the willingness to face it in spite of how you feel.” So let’s all do one thing to be courageous and laugh in the face of fear. Then another. And another. And soon, fear will go and bug someone else.
5. You’re Convinced This is All There Is
You’ve been there, haven’t you? Somehow someone (probably yourself) convinced you that where you are is where you’ll stay. Sometimes it definitely feels like that. But here’s a quote I love, and though I usually use it to pertain to travel, it fits here, too: “Life’s not meant to be lived in one place.” (Author unknown) That isn’t only talking about your geographical location, but maybe for you it is. Or maybe it means something else.
The point here is that you learn, grow, venture out, try new things! The worst that can happen is that you find out something you don’t like – but maybe you’ll stumble onto your life’s purpose. And what could be cooler than that?
All that to say: we don’t have to stay here, people. We can live in victory, in freedom, in complete and utter happiness, if only we discover how to let go.
Because only in letting go can we find true freedom. (Tweet that)
What one thing can you do today to start moving forward? Let me know in the comments!