Is Something Holding You Back?

Have you ever found yourself thinking that there should be more to your life than what you have going for you? Have you ever felt unhappy with what you were doing? If so, try and recall what did you do about it?

If you did something about it, that’s wonderful! If not, then do you recollect, what held you back from doing something to change your situation?

The human mind and body were not designed to be shackled by limitations. Yet many of us remain shackled by limiting thoughts that do not allow us to explore or achieve our full potential.

How do people develop near photographic memory? How do people achieve astonishing feats of performance and endurance in sports? There are so many dimensions to the power of the mind and the body that it is not possible to even fathom it fully.

The point however is, there is always something you could do better, no matter how good or bad, you already are at it.

So, what is stopping you from achieving your goals and fulfilling your dreams?  

Here are some factors that could be holding you back and limiting your potential, perhaps unwittingly.

  1.  Limiting Beliefs

One of my friends, a businessman, suffered a heart attack six years ago. Instead of letting that limit his life, he took on a challenge and embarked on the road to fitness. He gave up smoking and drinking and against his doctor’s advice, started exercising regularly almost within two months of the attack.

Today at 51, he runs ten kilometres effortlessly and lifts fairly heavy weights as well. When I asked him how he managed to do this, he said, “I stopped listening to anyone and just believed I could not only be fit, but fighting fit, again. After that, it was just a matter of time.”

We tend to become limited by what we believe and only achieve what we believe we can. Very often this is simply because of our inability to challenge our existing beliefs. To do something that is way out of your league, you need to first free yourself of any limiting beliefs. More importantly, you will need to embrace enabling beliefs.

  1.  Resistance to Change

If you want to get returns on your money, you have to invest it accordingly. If you decide you want 15% returns per annum but don’t move your money out of your savings account, it becomes an exercise in futility.

To get something you have not got before, you need to do something that you have not done before or go beyond the point that you have gone before. Either way, if you move forward, you won’t be in your comfort zone any more.

I have seen so many of my colleagues who are amazingly accomplished, unhappy with their roles and yet they don’t do anything about it! The fact is the fear of the unknown and sheer resistance to change, keeps them anchored to the jobs they consider dreary, slowly eroding their self-worth.

Are you unhappy with your job or your behaviour or anything else?  If so, you need to do something to change it, starting today.

  1.  Not Knowing Yourself Well Enough

You cannot excel at anything, until you find out what you are really good at!  Sometimes, you have to explore different things to find out. 

I have always enjoyed writing and sharing my thoughts. But, when I first started publishing on LinkedIn, I was somewhat apprehensive, not knowing how my posts would be received. Would people actually read it? Would it be of any value? But, rather than allow it to hold me back I went ahead and just started writing.  Today when I look back, it’s been a great experience connecting to so many people I would have never come to know, but for my writing.

If you want to get somewhere you first need to know what your destination is.

Many a times our goal is simply- ‘Hope to get somewhere, someday.’  Will that get you somewhere?  Sure it will, but it may not be where you intended to go, in hindsight.

Getting to know what you really enjoy doing, what excites you, what leverages your strengths, and what gives you a sense of accomplishment, is critical to achieving it.

So, spend some time and get to know yourself, a little better. You could open up a world of possibilities!

“Time is all you have and you may find one day that you have less than you think.” ~Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

  1. Giving Up Too Easily

Courage they say, is not absence of fear. Instead, it is doing what you need to do, despite overwhelming fear.

What separates winners from the rest, is their ability to keep going despite several setbacks. If you want to do something way out of your league and expect to sail smooth, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

srikanth bolla

Twenty-three-year old Srikanth Bolla has already achieved what most people of his age, take years to achieve. That too, despite being visually impaired.

He faced discrimination early on in life, due to his disability. As he grew a little older, he was denied admission to the Indian Institute of Technology, again because of his disability. Undeterred, he went on to get an admission to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was the first international visually impaired student.  Today, he has set up and manages a business in India that provides employment to over 150 disabled individuals.

If you have a tendency to give up when you encounter your first setback, you have some work to do on building persistence.

  1.  Living with Fear, Instead Of Taking Positive Action

para gliding

For many years, I had a terrible fear of heights. So much so, that I would find it difficult to even stand on a terrace. For a long time I lived with it, until one day I decided to do something drastic about it and enrolled in a para sailing class. The very first time I went up with a parachute, it was so exhilarating that I forgot all my fear and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have done this several times since then and heights no longer bother me.

The antidote to fear is to act on it instead of letting it control you. If you have a fear of public speaking, the sooner you get on a podium and talk, the sooner your fear will disappear.  It’s the same for any other fear!

When it comes to dispelling fear, any action is better than no action.

Dealing with whatever it is that is holding you back, can unleash powerful results. The sooner you do it, the better it is for you.

You live only once, why not live it your way?

There is only one success, to be able to spend your life in your own way. ~ Christopher Morley


About the Author:

Srinivasan is an independent consultant working in the area of strategy and technology interventions in the public sector domain. He has worked in companies like IBM and TCS and has over 30 years of experience spanning 24 countries. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.

Srinivasan R

Management Consultant at Independent Consultant


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