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Three Ways to Discover What Holds You Back

Posted on the 14 July 2020 by Ncrimaldi @MsCareerGirl

Three Ways to Discover What Holds You Back

You are in this business or career because you wanted to make a difference and do what you love.

What you may have noticed is that while things can go smoothly, there are times that you may feel stuck. It's normal, but most people don't know how to free themselves.

Being a psychotherapist for years before I became a business coach has been extremely helpful, so let me share some things I've seen.

The most important concept you need to know is this....


From back in the cave days, our brains got wired to always alert us to danger.

While we are way beyond those days, whenever you are in business and want to go to that next level, the brain is set up to always be on the lookout for what could go wrong.

Do you ever get those nagging little voices in your head?

You know the ones.

  • "You don't have enough (education, knowledge)...."
  • "What if you fail or you get rejected?"
  • "You can't possibly make it work"
Three Ways to Discover What Holds You Back

Those little voices are an indicator that the part of your brain that wants to keep you safe, small and stuck is feeling very threatened!

Want to discover what holds you back? Start by listening to your self-talk.

Here's a way to work with it. Imagine you are wanting to do a new, big project. That could be something that may require you to be seen as bigger and bold than you have been before. Let your mind get that image and pretend you are committing so it is about to become real.

Now listen to what you are "hearing" in your head.

When stretched like this, the tendency is to have a boat load of those scary thoughts flood you. The trick is to NOT LISTEN TO THEM!

This is much harder if you don't understand their function, but I'll give you an analogy which will help.

If you have dogs and someone comes to your front door and rings the bell, what do the dogs do? If they are like mine, they are barking their heads off! The parallel here is that just like those nasty thoughts, dogs are WIRED to alert you to danger. But as dog owner, all you need to do is say to the dogs, "Shhhhhh, I got this. Go lay down."

Because you understand that the dog is just doing its job, you take charge. You quiet them down and do what you need to which in this case is open the door.

Three Ways to Discover What Holds You Back

Now let's go back to the thoughts your brain is firing out. (I refer to these as 'little voices' or 'gremlins.)

Emotional mastery comes when you have the awareness of what is happening. You would notice the little voices and then say this to yourself.

"Oh...I get it. I'm working on stretching myself here, so MY BRAIN is freaking out and that's why it's telling me that it's not going to work or that this thing I want to do is way too scary."

Here's the next part which will allow you to move right through it.

Remember with the dogs we basically said...."Shhhhhhhsh. I got this."

That's exactly what you do to these gremlins/little voice thoughts.

If you can imagine these little voices as dogs, it helps. You can see your favorite dog as the one who is generating the thoughts. See them, pet them on the head and tell them thank you and to go lay down! You got this.

Another great way to discover what holds you back is to look for stop/start patterns.

This is probably the biggest one I see when there are unconscious things blocking.

It shows up like this. You set a goal and get started. You are excited and ready to roll. But slowly things get stalled.

Maybe you decide you need to do more research. Or learn something new. Those by themselves are fine, but if the gremlins are telling you messages of "not enough-ness" you will be stalled time after time by the need to do excess research or preparation.

Or maybe you get pulled off track with family stuff or self-doubt. This will cause you to stop and slow down.

You can know you are in a stuck pattern if you see this occur. The goal here is to be conscious and unstoppable. In spite of how you feel or how many distractions come about, your job is to stay in alignment and in action with what you really want. Using the little voice technique can help, but once you start watching your patterns, you will also have more self-mastery.

Three Ways to Discover What Holds You Back

The final way to discover if you are being held back is to ask this simple question:

"Is it mine?"

When we have feelings of overwhelm, fear, doubt, or wonder if we are able to really achieve our goals, the truth is that we could be carrying some feelings from someone else!

The study of epigenetics is now showing us that not only do we bring in physical characteristics from our relatives, but also their trauma, beliefs, and other experiences.

I've seen so many people in my practice carrying their ancestors' beliefs that money is hard to get, women are not allowed to really shine, its wrong and selfish to receive, and that they will never achieve the success they desire.

It's kind of like this. You are wearing a coat that you hate! It doesn't fit, it's the wrong color, and yet you keep putting it on. When you become more conscious and can discern what's your belief versus another's you will find so much more freedom.

The way to discover this is simple. Just ask your body.

  1. Notice that you are feeling "off" or that you are carrying a thought that doesn't serve you. Maybe you feel doubt about something when you normally would be confident. See if you can identify the feeling.
  2. Trust the wisdom of your body by simply saying, "Is this mine?" Don't go into your brain and try to figure out who's it is or what is means. Just ask your body...."Is this my thought/feeling or energy?"
  3. Your body will answer! You should get a yes or no. If it's a no, the next piece is to say, "Return to Sender" and imagine it going out of you. You could send it to the light if that feels better, but in this analogy, it's like you are taking that old coat off. Many people feel instant relief when they discover that what they are carrying was not even theirs in the first place.

I find that most of the time, the negative feelings we are carrying don't even belong to us, so start practicing with this tool and see what you discover! Your #1 job is to use your awareness to find the places you get stuck, and then successfully navigate through them.

This guest post was authored by Therese Skelly

Therese Skelly is a fierce advocate for high achieving women who want to get even better results. Learn more about Therese by visiting or follow her on Facebook by clicking here.
Three Ways to Discover What Holds You Back

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.

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