“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” – Hermann Hesse
While you cannot seem to put your finger on it, life has not been the same as long as you can recall. Failed endeavours and mounting pressures have left you with waned enthusiasm to make things happen. A loss of motivation and an uneasy feeling of being ‘stuck’ and stagnant often fuels your thoughts.
What could be leading you to feel this way? Why do we experience episodes of unrest? What could it be calling us to be attentive to?
There are a number of reasons why you might be feeling this way. Rather than skirt around the edges, let’s leap straight into the article as I outline aspects of life that may demand your attention.
- Fear of the unknown: Familiarity can be comforting. Since we may become accustom to a particular way of life, initiating essential change becomes difficult at the best of times. Life can be bumpy, so why rock the boat and risk the consequences that accompany change? It is for this reason relationship experts suggest men and women prefer to stay parked in toxic relationships rather than risk being alone.
- Fear of pain: The Freudian principle known as the pain-pleasure principle states that humans have an inner drive toward seeking pleasure or equally running away from pain. Many people run away from pain which prevents them from creating the life they conceive. Fear of pain stops us dead in our tracks – afterall who wants to constantly butt heads against painful events?
- Impaired self-belief: Remain vigilant against adopting other people’s beliefs, especially family. While they may be well-intentioned, if they do not serve your growth, they could be holding you back. During our formative years, embracing our parents’ beliefs are unavoidable. As we mature into adults we have the capacity to examine those beliefs to determine whether they are self-serving.
- Disempowering thoughts: The same habitual thoughts day in day out create a reality based on the sum of those thoughts. Being mindful and attentive to your thoughts consistently weeds out any negative thinking bias. In this short video blog, I discuss ways in which you can transform negative thoughts so as to create a future with purpose.
- Restrictive habits: Destructive habits may become embedded into the subconscious mind and have the potential to wreak havoc in your life if unexamined. If you are unconscious to your habits you are running on autopilot, drawing the same undesired circumstances in to your life. Spiritual leaders call it being ‘asleep.’ Owing to mindful awareness, it is possible to create a fresh outlook as you become aware of your limitations.
“Your problem is you’re… too busy holding onto your unworthiness.” – Ram Dass
- Blame: Blaming others and the conditions of your life reaffirms a victimhood temperament. The problem is always ‘out there’ and not within your power to make the necessary changes. Whilst you have little control how life’s events transpire, you have the wherewithal to respond to those events and circumstances with integrity. Power is attained amid awareness and right action.
- Lack of resources and knowledge: The lack of resources and information may hold people back, particularly with respect to one’s career choices. It is estimated in these rapidly advancing times, what is relevant fourteen months ago is no longer appropriate today. Therefore remaining abreast of current trends is a vital requirement in your professional affairs. Continuing to learn by reading books or attending courses allows you to stay ahead.
- Living in the past or the future: Regrets stifle your personal growth. Holding on to the pain of yesterday by recycling it into the present moment, limits your potential to create a purposeful life. Let go of your mistakes and the associated pain by forgiving yourself and others who co-created the experiences with you. Similarly anticipating a future to arrive in a certain way may be limiting. The famous passage from Dan Millman’s book, Way of The Peaceful Warrior, encourages you to remain grounded, “The time is now, the place is here. Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for.”
- Elevated expectations: You may shoulder certain expectations of yourself, others and even life. When your expectations do not externalise as expected, you feel victimised. Let go of the HOW’s and WHAT’s of your expectations, while considering that everything you need reaches you at the right time, as you align with your deepest desires.
- Pleasing others: A constant need to please others in order to validate your self-worth has the opposite effect. People-pleasing implies you do not value your self-worth enough to form your own judgements. I wrote a blog about this recently titled, You Can’t Please Everyone, in which I outlined seven ways to balance pleasing others without abandoning your own needs.
- Shame: Shame is a destructive and toxic emotion which can cripple your life if left unchecked. It conceals itself deep within your sense of worth, while serving to remind you of your unworthiness. Dr Brené Brown has done extensive work in this area. In her book, Daring Greatly, she writes, “We’re afraid that our truth isn’t enough — that what we have to offer isn’t enough without the bells and whistles, without editing, and impressing.” In her famous TED speech, Dr Brown informs us, “Shame drives two big tapes — ‘Never good enough’ and, if you can talk it out of that one, ‘Who do you think you are?’ The thing to understand about shame is it’s not guilt.”