Four Steps to Releasing What Holds You Back


What hold us back from living the life we want or achieving the goals we have in mind is usually not others or circumstances, but what we allow to hold us back in ourselves.

How can you release what’s holding you back as you move into the next year of your life?

Look at both your internal and your external environments and start to bring in awareness about what you’ve allowed in that has a grip on your progress.

Use these four steps to start releasing the things that are holding you back. 

1. Bring awareness.

Where is your thought life? Where do you notice your thoughts going repeatedly? Start checking in every hour in your life initially – where do your thoughts and emotions go by default. Our brain has a negative bias, so it is always easiest to grasp at worst case scenario or negativity in general. How are you actively combatting this?

Don’t just look at where your thoughts go, notice how long they stay there. Are you getting trapped in spin cycles of negative thoughts and emotions? If you are, you are giving up valuable and essential mental, emotional, and physical energy in the wrong direction. This will keep you from living the life you want every time and this is the first place you need to step in, take charge, and take over.

Everything begins with awareness – now that you are aware of your internal patterns start looking at ways to counteract them.

2. Renegotiate the experience. When you find thoughts rolling around in your head that can’t be easily redirected start renegotiating them. Start changing and rewriting your memories and thoughts as if you were writing a movie script. Think in terms of…what would have been optimal, how could that have gone better, what resources was I missing that I can write into the script now? Bring in some resources from your imagination and play it out.

As you imagine it differently it will lay it down differently when it goes back into memory and have less impact on your nervous system. It will start bringing flow to the fixed.

3. Reframe.  Challenge your perceptions. Are you reviewing this accurately? What’s another way you could look at it? How could you reframe it to be more positive? Again, bring in your imagination to view it another way, entertain a different perspective. How would someone else you know that’s really grounded and rational view it.

4. Make an action plan. Take practical, positive steps to change your thoughts and behaviours for the next experience, for your daily living. Take what it was that happened or that you’re thinking about obsessively and change it to what you want it to be. In your mind first, and then through actionable steps that will move you forward.

Think about what you’re going to do to learn new skills, to build resiliency, to create a more accurate perceptions.

Start taking these thoughts hostage. Then renegotiate, reframe, extract learning and take action. Do this every day. It takes practice until it becomes a habit but start bringing consciousness to it now.

Manage your external environment. Look at where you work, who you live with, who you spend time with. If you are the strongest, smartest, best, healthiest, funniest person in the room at any given time you need to re-evaluate your time and energy expenditures.

If you’re the most positive person in the room in all areas of your life, your ego will adore this, but it’s not making you better…it’s making everyone else better.

You want to be around people that are better than you so that you can find new energy to match and seek to elevate yourself rather than be around anchors that are either going to bring you down or seek to draw from your energy alone.

If you are around people that are bringing you down, that are steeped in negativity, criticism, bitterness, gossip, insults, disrespect, or just pawns in the land of the boring…  you should cut them out entirely if not move them to the far periphery of your life.

Energy vampires are going to hold you back and you’re allowing that to happen.

Awareness is the beginning, but it’s not enough. You must take it to the next level to take action.

Once you have awareness in this area you are responsible for changing it. You can’t blame your internal or external environments any longer for why you aren’t achieving your goals or living the life you want. What have you allowed into your internal and external environments that are holding you back.

Begin to use this stream of consciousness – these four steps to make changes in your life by releasing the things you are allowing into your life to hold you back.

Reflect on this year as a way to begin this process. I hope you have had a great year and I challenge you to make the next year even better. Go beyond awareness and into action and be bold in this area of your life.