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healthy lifestyle yoga Are You Guilty Of Getting In Your Own Way?

If you look back and reflect on your life, can you see that some of the best things that have ever happened to you, actively happened without any of your effort, yet some of the worst things that happened, you actively made happen! If you can relate you probably already know the struggle between consistently pushing for something to happen regardless of how much push back the universe may be dishing out to you and when to simply let go. It’s this exact dance between making it happen and letting it happen that becomes the test.

I am willing to bet that at some point in your life, you would have felt a bit stuck, whether it’s in a relationship that wasn’t making you happy, a job that didn’t quite suit or a goal that always felt just out of reach. Rather frustratingly, for whatever reason, you were unable to create the change or find the fulfilment you were after which lead to a sense of stagnation or complacency. Often the answer to these kinds of situations lies within: whether you realise it or not, YOU may actually be what’s holding you back!

Knowing when we are getting in our own way is an important disciple to learn because no matter how brilliant our lives may seem we should always be open to the idea that something even more magnificent than we could ever imagine could happen to us at any moment.

Here are 10 ways you may be getting in your own way and holding you back in the process.


A deep-seated belief system manifesting from low self-esteem is often the number one reason people get in their own way. Their belief system is geared towards believing they are unworthy of their dreams and goals. This low self-esteem is a common hurdle and is often further complicated by a fear of failure, creating an experience whereby the person may not reach their expectations and perceive that they have failed which validates their low self worth. This self-perpetuating cycle is hard to break, as habits form for the individual to find excuses or reasons as to why they didn’t reach their goals or dreams. It’s these stories we all hold that often hold us back and make us guilty of getting in our own way.


Another common form of self-sabotage is delaying action. This is actually quite common among perfectionists as perfectionism often leads to procrastination, which can paralyse you as you can get caught up in the small stuff and can’t distinguish what is important and what is not. Overthinking is also connected to procrastination, as over-thinkers tend to fear making a mistake, so they come up with many scenarios that might go wrong and then feel they must come up with plans to counter those possibilities. Is this starting to sound familiar? The result is they feel overwhelmed and therefore procrastinate! Give yourself permission to finish the project with the knowledge that you can edit and hone it later.


Degenerative or negative language is one of the biggest perpetuators of getting in your own way. Not only is it essentially self-sabotaging, it is also past-based language that serves as a negative self-fulfilling prophecy, which keeps you in a negative space about yourself and your achievements. The negative thoughts demotivate you from taking positive steps toward your goals. Be present and proud that you are doing it at all!


In some cases; your ambitions may indeed be misguided - or simply not possible for where you are in your life right now - which sets you up for failure from the onset. This can lead to a huge waste of energy and feelings of guilt or shame as you feel you have failed. An easy way to end this pattern is to be realistic about what’s actually possible for you.


This is the most common self-sabotaging behaviour – not taking responsibility for your own life. You may say you can’t do X,Y & Z because you have to look after your husband, children, elderly parent or something else you deem more important than your own needs. It’s very easy for our subconscious minds to use these responsibilities as excuses not to go after our dreams because if we do, we may fail or be disappointed. In effect, you’re holding up your hands and saying, ‘Oh well, it’s not my fault I can’t do that!’ We all have responsibilities but owning them as part of your journey rather than using them as excuses is the key here and if you don’t like some of your responsibilities maybe you should start to look at how you can change some of them so they become more empowering for you.


From staying in a bad relationship to continually agreeing to have drinks with your energy draining friend. Engaging with people who don’t add anything positive to your life prevents you from seeking out healthier bonds - and just depletes you emotionally. A lot of people rationalise and justify these relationships because they have core beliefs that the needs of others are more important than their own needs. Unfortunately what lands up happening is that they then beat themselves up for staying in the relationship. It’s a vicious cycle. While every relationship is unique to each person, it’s worth evaluating how you feel after you spend time with certain people in your life. Ask yourself what your mood is after you grab a cup of coffee or chat over the phone. If you feel drained or stressed rather than fulfilled, you know it’s time to dial back that relationship.


Conditioned thoughts lead to conditioned actions, which keep you stuck in belief systems that may not actually apply to you. These habits can come from your upbringing - or even one comment you may have heard a long time ago from a person of influence - and affects you, even today, on a daily basis. It can influence whom you decide to date, to the types of job you apply for, to even what you wear.


Adult peer pressure can be a powerful thing, and it’s important to resist the urge to give in. This is particularly true when it comes to making healthy choices, social drinking etc.


Expecting the worst can be a form of self-preservation that leads to self-sabotage. This is more common among those who have suffered in the past. If you don’t demand more of your life and from those around you, then you aren’t risking anything. You’ll never be let down if you approach life like this, but you may also miss out. If you’ve built up a layer of protection to ensure that you never get hurt, no one can blame you. But you’ll likely find that there aren’t many people who are willing to fight their way through your layers.


Perhaps you are skilled at accomplishing your goals, but you lack the proper follow-through to keep them going. People are typically great at building momentum - and then walking away from it when things start to move in a positive direction. The solution to this is all about willpower. My advice is to stay on task and don’t allow the usual excuses to win out.

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