How to Know if Something is Holding You Back
Sometimes things in our lives, relationships, jobs, friend groups, places, habits, even our particular circumstances can hold us back from attaining what we really want in life. It would be great if we had some way of knowing for sure if something is holding us back or if we’re just having a bad week, a bad month, or a year…
We tend to overlook the signs that something is holding us back because we’ve been taught the importance of commitment and toughing it out when things get hard. But we can easily go too far down the road with something that’s not working and fail to recognize it’s not right for us until it’s too late.
This year, I made a decision after a lot of personal debate to sell my house. I felt that homeownership was holding me back from the life I really wanted. I kept going back and forth about selling, not knowing for sure what to do. Part of me felt obligated like I “should” stay. Would I be making a big mistake if I let it go? I had so much invested…18 years and a lot of money, sweat, and memories. Toughing it out seemed the “responsible” thing to do. But once I made the final decision to separate myself from the house, I could see clearly it was the right decision.
In times like this when Spirit is hinting that something significant is holding you back, you’ll experience a combination of the following signs:
You’ll feel a low-level form of anger we call resentment. It occurs as irritation when something is getting in our way or making our lives more difficult. We may feel like we’re being treated unfairly or being wronged in some way. When you’re being held back, you lose your temper more quickly and more often. You may be short with people, or snippy, or even rude. When really, you’re just frustrated.
Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and then suddenly didn’t feel like spending time with them anymore? You stop replying as quickly to their messages or ignore them entirely. You find yourself becoming less and less responsive. Or if you’ve struggled to make yourself go to a job you used to be okay with. These are signs that you’re avoiding the inevitable nudge of withdrawal.
When we’re stuck in a dead-end situation it can cause us to lose our creative urges. We may lack the motivation to do things we usually like or get sucked into patterns of routine that aren’t healthy or inspiring to us. We find ourselves just going through the motions. You may feel weighed down as if you’re saddled with a heavy burden day in and day out. There seems to be no escape and you begin to wonder if this is all there is in life.
You find yourself blaming the person, place, or thing for what’s not working in your life. You may be saying, “I can’t do what I want because my job won’t let me…or my partner isn’t willing.” Rather than make a change, you allow that job or relationship to be the source of your unhappiness and the reason you aren’t excelling in life or enjoying it. You become victimized by a situation you’re capable of changing if only you could see how you’re letting it hold you captive.
We complain more than normal about the things that are holding us back. Maybe you complain about where you’re living or who you’re living with. You complain about your friends and what they do or don’t do for you. You complain about your job, your boss, your office setting. Multiple complaints about your situation should be a clear indicator that you aren’t happy. If this goes on for long, your friends and family will tire of hearing about your displeasure. Check yourself when complaining and then make a decision about how much longer you’ll allow yourself to be held back.
If you’re experiencing any combination of the above then you need to give some serious thought to letting go of the situation that’s holding you back.
I know it’s tough when we’re unsure about whether we’re making the right move in letting go of something significant in our lives. I mean, what if, in letting go we make a mistake?
Well, in my experience, in most situations, if not all, you can’t go wrong in letting go. There’s always more opportunity on the other side. Our desire to hold onto something that isn’t serving us only reinforces an attitude of lack. As if you’ll never get another chance like this. Well, you will, but you’ll never know unless you let go of what you’re holding onto.
Now, I admit there are certain situations that take a lot out of us, feel restrictive, and may even make us think we’re missing out on another life we imagine. For example, parenting is hard, and I get it. But even then, when we’re feeling trapped by that situation, there are ways to make major changes to bring more freedom to your life. Maybe letting go of something else will free you up to have an easier time with the things that are challenging you right now.
You have to figure out the right things to let go of and it’s not always easy. It’s not uncommon to get stuck in a hole or rut where you just can’t see any options. In almost every case this involves asking others for help. Although I’m a strong advocate of knowing what’s best for you, someone with distance from your situation might be able to see opportunity where you see none. It’s important to seek out a fresh perspective in addition to listening to your own heart and Soul.
A counselor or a life coach can bring a lot of insight into the darkness of your feelings of confinement. Want to know more about life coaching options? Click the button below.
If something is holding you back it’s far better to cut ties or make a major change rather than to keep holding on. If you feel like something is holding you back, are you being the best you can be for that relationship or job position? In what ways are you being unfair in sticking with something or someone half-heartedly? Are you being fair and honest in holding on? Are you being the best friend, lover, or employee when you’re being called to move on but don’t have the courage to let go? If you did let go, what better things might enter their life?
In fact, aren’t we being a little bit selfish in holding onto someone or something that might have a better life without us? Tell me what you think? Have you been on either side of this situation?