Lifestyle self-growth

The Beauty of Letting Go: 4 Things That are Holding You Back in Life

Things that are holding you back in life

“No one is coming to save you.”

I remember a friend saying this to me many years ago. The particulars of that conversation are foggy, but I can tell you that while at first hearing that felt a bit like a slap in the face, those words would later end up changing my life. The unfortunate thing about these life lessons though, is that sometimes we forget all about them.

Every once in a while I will find myself falling into this same pattern of assigning blame or using some of those less pleasant things that happen in life, as an excuse. That’s usually when I have to once again remind myself that change doesn’t happen on its own; that a goal without a plan to take action ends up being just a wish that never comes true. That’s when I have to remind myself, once again, that no one is coming to save me.

So, how do you find what’s holding you back in life, exactly? How do you learn to let go? Well, sometimes you have to take a nice, long look within- more often than not, that “thing” that stands in your way, is you.


Things that are holding you back in life #selfgrowth #fear #goals


Resentment is one of those stubborn emotions that’s quite difficult to just “turn off.” It can also act as a major roadblock to your learning (and allowing yourself) to just let go. You use it as a perfect excuse to put yourself through those never-ending negative loops.

And so, it ends up holding you back, simply because you just refuse to let go.

We resent other people for the things they do or don’t do. When we resent ourselves, most of the time it’s for the same exact reasons. We don’t always love others the way they are, and we don’t always love ourselves the way we are. Your loved one commits a small act of injustice (your boyfriend forgets your anniversary, a group of friends goes out for drinks without inviting you) and you begin to resent them for days (perhaps even weeks, when faced with the whole “boyfriend forgot our anniversary” thing).

But wait, there’s more!

Because you’re quite a generous person, you are also kind enough to throw some of that resentment your way, too. You need to work on an important project and keep putting it off until the last minute, and then you resent yourself for procrastinating. Maybe, at times, you fall into a pattern of beating yourself up over a mistake you made, or a shitty situation you found yourself in? Shortly thereafter, blame and resentment find their way in.

Strong resentment takes some time to move on from- usually there needs to be a lot of forgiveness and letting go involved- which is almost never easy, simple, or quick to do. Those small resentments, though? You can easily overcome them by working on being less harsh and critical. You can try practicing more mindfulness and kindness- both towards yourself and others. What I really want to say, is that you should try to give a little more love and not waste too much time re-living those situations that bring out resentment.  Those small acts of injustice” that others sometimes commit are usually just a small part of the people we love. Those small “mistakes” you sometimes resent yourself for are also just a small part of who you are.


Fear, and its constant presence in life, is one of the biggest things that are holding you back. You fear failure, rejection, you fear that you might not be good enough or strong enough. This fear stops you from trying new things. It stops you from going after your dreams. Sometimes it also stops you from opening up to new relationships because you’re afraid of rejection or abandonment. Occasionally, we equally fear things that at first seem good and positive, like success. Why? Because with success often come more responsibilities, having to take more risks, and, let’s not forget, success also takes a lot of work.

So how do you stop fear from holding you back?

You feel it, and you do those things that scare you, anyway. Once you understand how fear works and why it can sometimes feel so paralyzing, you will realize that a lot (if not most) of your fears are simply baseless. It also helps to remember that fear is just a standard part of life and it’s something all of us feel. Without exceptions.


Right here, we’re not talking about other people holding us back, directly. Yes, there are toxic relationships and toxic environments that often hold us back. We also have very close relationships with people (like friends or family) who discourage us at times. Sometimes though, it’s us putting too much value onto other people’s opinions that eventually end up holding us back. Some of us tend to immerse ourselves in other people’s lives so deeply, that we forget to live out our own. At times, we’re also guilty of being too concerned with what everyone else is doing, to work on ourselves or goals.

Another way in which “other people” can hold you back is… when they’re not even a part of your life. Those who have yet to find love, for example, often believe that being in a relationship is something that will finally complete them. You might even think to yourself “There’s something missing in my life and only another person can make that feeling go away. That is my key to happiness.” Well, that is when you start attracting experiences into your life that match exactly what you’re feeling inside.

Instead of hyper-focusing on other people, their lives, opinions, or finding love, devote more time to focusing on yourself. Ask yourself:

What can I do for me?

What do I want out of my life?

How can I grow?

What are some things that I’ve always wanted to try?

What’s stopping me from trying them now?

How can I practice self-love and improve the relationship I have with myself?

Don’t be afraid to explore your own feelings, emotions, fears. Find things that will bring you peace and joy, things that will help you grow, things that will challenge you and help you get to know yourself a little better. Having strong friendships and having love in your life is important, but ultimately, the relationship you have with yourself will always be one of the most important relationships in your life. There will be times where other people will try to discount your strengths, criticize your ideas or make you doubt yourself. Only you can stop them from holding you back.


It doesn’t matter if you’re a confident person, and it doesn’t matter how much you’ve already accomplished. You probably have doubts about yourself. Even if we don’t always think about them, even if they’re not always overwhelming, those doubts are there. Some of us don’t even realize that it’s that doubt that’s holding us back. Some doubt sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Other times it’s right in your face, trying to convince you that you’re not good enough, or strong enough, or that you don’t have what it takes to overcome your struggles.

Question is, are you going to allow it to stop you?

One way to stop doubt from holding you back is to simply take action. To start now, to do, to learn, to try, and get better at it. Doubt will always be there. You can believe the lies it tells, or you can work on building your confidence and stop these doubts from holding you back.

There comes a time in life when you realize that the only person standing in your way, is you. Most of the things that are holding us back in life are things we do, things we believe (or would like to believe) to be true. The experiences we go through in life build up some of those insecurities and limits, often making them all stronger. Fear, doubt, resentment- we give them too much power. You waste your time waiting for something to change, something to finally “click,” for someone to save you; you put too much faith into thinking that things will just “happen” or “work out” one day. Truth is, no one is coming to save you-you’ll have to do that on your own.


  • Reply
    Debbie Keough
    January 11, 2019 at 10:24 am

    The truth hurts. This is 100% true. It all starts with us. Love your content. Swift kick in the butt we all need.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    I LOVED reading this, puts it all into perspective doesn’t it! This year I’m really going to try my best not to let these things get in the way, particularly toxic friendships!

    Becca / becc4

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    My roommate pretty much embodies resentment and the vibes around him are just toxic, but he either can’t or refuses to let go of all the ways people have “wronged” him in his life. I see how it holds him back and keeps him from moving forward in life in a healthy way. And I don’t want that to become me, so absolute yes to letting go of resentment.

    Doubt is an interesting one for me, because it implies a level of uncertainty about a situation or belief. For some people I guess that can be a negative experience, but I love uncertainty because I love to research and dig deeper into ideas and situations. It drives me to learn and understand more, seeking to eliminate that doubt one way or another.

    Does that make sense? I guess it’s just flipping the perspective a bit.

    Fantastic post! Letting go really is a gratifying and healthy thing to do for ourselves.

  • Reply
    Danielle Alexa
    January 12, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    I feel like your blog posts are always so beautifully put together, I always thoroughly enjoy reading them sweetie!

    Danielle xx

  • Reply
    Lisa Autumn
    January 12, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    Fear is such a big one for me and I am really trying to work on this this year!

    x Lisa |

  • Reply
    January 12, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    Fear and doubt are definitely two things I know have held me back in the past. I’m trying to systematically work towards diminishing those restraints when it comes to achieving goals.

  • Reply
    January 14, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    I think I’ve allowed all of these to hold me back at one time or another! This post is a great one to help put things into perspective. x

    Kate Louise Blogs

  • Reply
    Andrea Mazzola
    January 14, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Resentment is definitely my #1. I have a hard time letting go of the past and it really affects my relationships and my happiness. Definitely something I need to work on.

  • Reply
    The Sunday Mode
    January 14, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    I love how you said that fear is baseless, I don’t know why but reading that I had a penny drop kind of moment where I realised I feel fear toward so many things (especially new, unknown things coming my way). Really when I think about it though, all those fears are laying on a basis of just about nothing…

    I swear I need to start employing you as my therapist or something Paula, haha

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

  • Reply
    January 15, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    I think placing too much value on what someone else thinks is one thing I need to stop doing. I need to live my life on my own terms and do what is best for me. Thanks for this Paula

  • Reply
    January 18, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    So true!

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