1. You avoid facing the numbers. Whether it is what’s in your bank account, how much you weigh, the ROI of your side gig, or something else – if you are avoiding looking at the hard numbers AKA the results, of what you are doing, you are holding yourself back. Yes, it is scary. Yes, sometimes it feels shitty to see the truth, but you can’t improve any of it until you face the facts.
2. You’re a flake. Do you cancel plans (for no reason) at the last minute and never follow through on the plans you make for yourself (like making that dentist appointment or actually going to the class at the gym)? The hard truth here is that this is called a lack of integrity, it degrades other people’s trust in you and your trust in yourself. This leads to low self esteem. Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. Your self worth will get an instant boost.
3. You live in a self-imposed bubble. If you aren’t getting out of your comfort zone, you are completely holding yourself back. Sticking around inside your comfort zone is going to get you more of the same. To stretch, grow, and live the kind of life you dream about (and if you aren’t doing that, see #10), you’ve got to be brave and get uncomfortable. The good news: outside of your comfort zone quickly becomes inside your comfort zone, meaning that the more you stretch yourself, the more your comfort zone (& confidence) grows and the more skills you master like public speaking, interviewing, first dates, and more!
4. You assume the worst. About others, about the future, about yourself. I’m sure you’ve heard of the law of attraction? Or the Bible verse that says what you seek, you will find? If you expect the worst, you’re probably going to find the worst. You basically are putting a negative filter over everything that happens to you, so even if it is good, you’ll find something wrong with it.
5. You’re the queen or king of procrastination. By putting things off for another day or time, you are 100% making life harder for your future self. What can you do now to take care of your future self? Pack your lunch the night before? Write the essay now because your weekend is packed? Whatever you do now, your future self will thank you for!
6. You never say no. I get it – people pleasing is alluring and to be totally frank, many of us were conditioned to be people pleasers from a young age. The problem is that if you put aside your own goals to help accomplish other people’s tasks, you will never have the time or energy to chase your goals and dreams.
7. You talk shit to yourself. If you’re constantly telling yourself that you’re an idiot, stupid, not good enough, etc., you are absolutely holding yourself back from your fullest potential. You get to choose whether you are your biggest cheerleader or loudest critic. Think your inner mean girl is motivating? Then why do sports teams have a squad of cheerleaders on the sidelines instead of people booing them?
8. You’re hiding secret shame. This one sucks, right? Concealing that deep dark secret, that you think would make everyone stop loving you – is actually holding you back. Pull it out, face it, and tell your story to someone you really trust. This is not a situation where you post on twitter for the world to see, this is something you share with your ride-or-die BFF. Shame loses it’s power over you when you share it.
9. You “don’t do” New Year’s Resolutions, goals, vision boards, etc. This one seems like a no brainer but sometimes we still fall for it. Think about it: if you aren’t working towards anything new, you’re not going anywhere. You’re stagnant. You’re holding yourself back. You must have a direction in life, the goals to help you know you’re on the right track, and smaller bite size goals to celebrate along the way to big goals.
10. You stopped dreaming. OMG remember when you were a kid and you’d dream about ALL the things you could be when you grew up? You were going to be a marine biologist and save the dolphins, be a famous singer, and also the President. You were 100% going to be living in a mansion, driving a BMW, etc. Remember? It’s ok if your dreams are different now, but if they aren’t still BIG ones that make you excited and a little freaked out, what is life even for? Start daydreaming again.
11. You expect perfection, from yourself, others, and life in general. You think if you don’t do something perfectly, it isn’t worth doing at all (and you beat yourself up about it). If there is one tiny thing you don’t like about someone you’re dating, it’s over a’la every episode of Seinfeld, ever. If that first job doesn’t pay well and fulfill your passion, you quit. It’s a bummer, but nothing and no one is perfect. Perfect’s not a real thing. Never allowing yourself to fail and never giving another person or opportunity a chance is only going to hold you back.
12. Finally, you don’t read. Like actual books. There are so many incredible books out there full of ideas and stories that will inspire you to grow, change, and become the best you can be. And for all the problems in the world, we are lucky to be alive in a time when Audible exists. If your time is limited, listen while you fold laundry, commute to work, or workout. If you have no idea where to start, allow me to recommend: You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero, The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, or literally anything written by Brene Brown.