Why do we intentionally hold ourselves back? #5TTT

Hi all,

You are your own worst enemy.

It’s a line that I write over and over again. Its truth never ceases to end…

We can all cite many reasons as to why we are not doing what we want to do this exact second. Money, time, energy, opportunity, circumstance etc I could list for days. But have you actually debated as to whether or not you are the reason for holding yourself back? Are you your own blockade?

Some say we hold ourselves back because we are afraid of succeeding. But I know from my own personal experience that success doesn’t even come into my head when I hold myself back from entering new territory. When you are frozen by your own hand the easy option is to continue being cold.

For this weeks 5 Top Tips on a Tuesday I am going to delve into why we intentionally hold ourselves back. From your career to relationships, hobbies and health, reflect on the questions and information below so we can remove your own personal blockade in life.intentionally - chase the red grape


Do you remember when you were young and you had a hobby or interest that you just loved and took so much pleasure from? But you actually ditched the interest because others thought it was uncool or stupid? We always felt like we were being judged by our peers when we were younger and what others thought of us meant the world. But time has passed. You are now a grown up. Why do you still allow that fear of judgement to stop you from doing something you love? Do you really care nowadays what other people think? We are all different. We all like different things. Don’t allow the judgement from others to rule and dictate your life. Be you, be loud and be proud.

Fear of change

Change is scary. Always has been, always will be. But your dreams and goals are achieved through change. Don’t hold yourself back because you are afraid of what the future may hold if you change the status quo. No one knows what it will hold. Maybe that change will be just what you need.

Unwillingness to be seen

So let me use myself as an example here. I love what I do. I love to write. According to every single personality test out there I am an extrovert. Yet I find it hard to talk about myself. I put up walls to protect myself from being hurt by others. I find it difficult to trust. I find it hard to really describe and talk about what I do. So I don’t. I listen often but rarely talk. I want people to notice me but I don’t allow myself to be seen. And therein lies my answer. How can anyone see me unless I remove my own wall?

Comfort in the now

Comfort in the now is different to fear of change. Fear of change refers to a fear of the future. Comfort in the now is where living in the present can paralyze us. We live our routines day in and day out like clock work. They are our comfort blankets. For some, they help us to thrive. For others they can shield you eyes. So how do you know which is you? Happiness. Are you entirely happy right now with your life? Yes? Then great. No? Then start removing your hands from over your eyes. See the world around you. How can you create change?

We feel we need more – comparison

Ah yes the good old comparison trap. It gets us every time, whether we realise it or not. But do you ever hold yourself back because you know, even if you go for it, you won’t be as good as someone else? What’s the point then? They will always be better, faster, more intelligent etc. Because you are you. You need to find comfort in your own achievements, regardless of what others have done. Be proud of what you can do and continue to do. Do your best not to compare. If there is anything out there you want to do – simply try. You may not succeed or be as good as others but you will be inspiration to so many, including yourself, because you to took down your barriers, went out there and tried.

Is there any area of your life where you intentionally hold yourself back?

Do you like being seen by others?

Is routine a good or bad comfort for you?5 top tips on a tuesday - chase the red grape

11 thoughts on “Why do we intentionally hold ourselves back? #5TTT

    • Jen says:

      I am with you there Susie – having been burnt, those wounds run deep. But then I always try and remember not to let my past dictate my future. It’s hard but I’m working on it!

  1. Juli@1000lovelythings says:

    Unwillingness to be seen – that’s spot on for me. Though it’s such a contradiction considering that I share a good chunk of my life on the internet.
    I think when you open up about things you’re passionate about it’s the most vulnerable you can make yourself. And it’s only normal that this causes fear. And so if you don’t have to why not just keep things to yourself. It might work but it will for sure not create any opportunities.
    Juli@1000lovelythings recently posted…Week in Review – The Bouncy and Happy OneMy Profile

    • Jen says:

      I think that really is the answer. It’s as blunt as – just keep things to yourself, that’s ok, but you will not gain the opportunities to grow. I know my passion makes me vulnerable, as you mentioned, although I have pushed myself to do 2 things this week that were very uncomfortable! Maybe they will lead to something, who knows, but I know if I never even tried I would never find out! And I am proud to have just made the leap!

  2. Cora says:

    I see so much of my past self in this post. When i was in high school and college, i absolutely downplayed my own potential out of two things: judgement of others and fear of not living up to my own (or others) expectations. Its ironic how doing this actually CAUSES both those things to occur. Now i do not think i am holding myself back, but because that is still so new to me, it is what is making me feel so crazy. Like you no longer have a shell and are completely exposing yourself and putting yourself out there for risk. But if i do not succeed, at least i will no longer have the burden of knowing i did not try or that i was the one holding myself back.
    Cora recently posted…Let’s Talk About…Food. Recent Foodie Catchup.My Profile

    • Jen says:

      Ah yes I was the same throughout high school and university – I think I would have done anything if it would have made someone else proud…
      But you are doing so well on being out there, being seen and living your dreams. Gosh it’s a scary time but as you said, no matter what happens you will know that you put yourself out there and did your best, all for you.

    • Jen says:

      Excuses are so easy to find. They are my downfall too… it’s just so simple to work out a reason not to do something. But I think knowing where we need to push ourselves is the first step… then we can just move small steps at a time to achieving what we want. No need to go all or nothing!

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