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What's Holding You Back From Living Your Best Life?

By Susan Leigh

Whether we work for ourselves or for others, are still in education or are even moving towards our later years, many of us will have occasion, wherever we may be on our life's path, to feel motivated to better ourselves. We may aspire to greater heights educationally or business-wise, be keen to improve our personal traits and habits and as such aim to start living our best life.
However, when we're so full of good intentions what might it be that holds us back?

- One question might be, do we ever feel good enough? However much we achieve there's always something else to aspire to. Is being content with ourselves an elusive goal, are we loathe to become self-satisfied or complacent? Whilst it's great to be motivated and look forward to our next opportunity or achievement is there also a time when it's okay to be okay?

- What about those negative conversations that are continually running in your head; do you recognise them as your own voice or are they someone else's, like a dissatisfied parent, partner or friend. What are they saying? Identify what's going on, what's being said and where it's coming from, then give yourself permission to disagree, ignore or answer back. Why not use this as the motivation you need to prove them wrong!

- Equally, always insisting on having the last word can hold you back from living your best life. It's stressful and tiring to constantly feel the need to think up one final point, comment or example in an exchange. It's a fast and effective way of draining energy, good humour and causing stress in a relationship. Relax and let others have the final say sometimes. Ask yourself, does having the last word really matter that much!

- Fear of missing out or comparisonitis can inhibit action and movement. Concern at being in the wrong place at the wrong time, not wanting to arrive late or leave too early can really get in the way of you doing what you need to do and living your best life. When we're plagued with doubt or are chasing other people's dreams and opinions, desperate for approval or reassurance, we can end up doing very little as a consequence. That mindset can really hinder progress.

- Aiming to be perfect, needing to be the best can cause us to be held back too. Doing a good job is important but if we're waiting until we're convinced that every element is correct it can become almost impossible to live our best life and move forward. With that outlook we may feel compelled to check things over and over again, saying that 'just one more time' will be enough to reassure ourselves that everything's fine with our image or offering.

- Insisting on having the best is another impediment to living our best life. What is the very best anyway? Being aspirational, only wanting what's deemed to be the creme de la creme, can result in a state of agitation where we're always watching others and measuring our lives against some idealised yardstick. And yet it's often the case that when we see someone who has their own style, is unique, who looks and has original attitudes, tastes and approaches it's often those which we seek out, as being distinctive, quirky and inspirational.

- We can hold ourselves back through apportioning blame and making excuses. Self-blame tells us that we're not slim, attractive or educated enough. We may blame others with an, 'if only they'd been more helpful or supportive' commentary, or we blame our financial state, claiming that we'll start when we're more financially secure. We can blame our past or our family in a variety of ways, but whilst excuses and reasons may hold some people back they motivate others to do better, try harder and succeed.
Whatever time of year, state or situation we find ourself in there's always some way we can schedule stepping-stones, mini-goals or results for us to work towards and achieve, however small. Then we're able to feel that we're regularly accomplishing something extra, reaching levels of success. We adopt a more 'winner' mentality.

At those times remember to properly congratulate yourself, feel proud of each stage of your journey and nurture your positive attitude towards each day, so that you continue on the very best track, so living your best life.
Susan Leigh, counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.

She's author of 3 books, 'Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact', '101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday' and 'Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain', all on Amazon & with easy to read sections, tips and ideas to help you feel more positive about your life.
To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit

Hi! I research topics such as self-development achievement and mental health. I have a passion to use my life experiences and research to help others reach their full potential.