The Only Thing Holding You Back Is You

This might be an uncomfortable exercise for you to do, but I challenge you do it anyway.

Not sometime soon, but now. If you’re not alone, or can’t get complete privacy in this moment, book time for yourself in your calendar to do this self-awareness exercise.

Give yourself a full, uninterrupted five minutes to be completely present for this exercise.

Think of this as fitness for the mind…

The Mirror Exercise

Make sure you are completely alone, or somewhere where you will not be disturbed and have complete privacy.

Sit down with a hand-mirror or go into the bathroom. Turn off your phone and don’t bring any electronic devices with you. Close the door.

Look into the mirror and take a good look at yourself.

Next, look into your eyes and hold your gaze.

What do you see? How do you feel looking at yourself? How do you feel about yourself at this moment?

Ask yourself this one question, “What’s holding me back?”

Or if there’s something you’re not doing, but want to do, ask yourself, “Why?” For example, “Why am I not working out?” or “Why am I not eating healthy?”

What answers did you come up with?

How did that feel about your answers?

Now, look into your eyes again and without wavering, say to yourself, “I am the only one holding myself back.”

Sit quietly for a minute.

Look into your eyes and say it again, “I am the only one holding myself back.”

How do you feel, now?

Are you struggling with your feelings or the stories you’re telling yourself?

Are you making excuses? If yes, what are they? Are they your truth?

What emotions came up? Were they happy or sad? Did you feel guilt or shame; inner peace or release?

Remember that we can make all the excuses in the world for why we didn’t do something, but we alone are completely responsible for our choices and actions.

It’s never about not having enough time, instead it’s about priorities.

It doesn’t matter how much you want to work out or to lose 20 pounds. If that goal isn’t a top priority it won’t matter how important you value your health.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Nothing outside of you is responsible for the choices you make. The next time you tell yourself, “I can’t”, you’re right.

The next time you tell yourself, “I don’t have the time to eat well,” you won’t.

The only thing holding you back is you.

There is a solution, and this is the best part: The opposite holds equally true!

The next time you tell yourself, “I can…”, you will.

When you tell yourself, “I can”, you open the door to finding solutions that align with your priorities.

The inspiration for this post came to me while watching the TED Talk by Brené Brown: Listening to Shame.

Be well

Darren

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