Stop Standing In Your Own Way

Our biggest limiter is ourselves; we are the ones standing in our own way. We want to be the best at everything we are doing; work, training, relationships, volunteering, being a mom or dad, education, or whatever else it is that we have filled our lives with.

In a life where it is preached daily that we can have and do it all (and I do agree with this) we have a tendency to fill our days to the brim with everything that we have ever wanted and maybe not really wanted to do. On top of that we want to be the best at everything we are doing; work, training, relationships, volunteering, being a mom or dad, education, or whatever else it is that we have filled our lives with. While there is nothing wrong with that, in fact it can be very rewarding and motivating to constantly be striving for perfection and success, however it also can be very self destructive. For when all those “things” or “actions” that we are trying to accomplish become exhausting or don’t go exactly the way that we expect them to we tend to overthink, get anxious, dwell, sell ourselves short, and question every ounce of everything that we do. It becomes easy to think there is no way I am going to be ready for something so I’m just not even going to try now.


Our thoughts have more influence on ourselves than our actions do and in reality it is our thoughts that directly impact those actions.

You’ve had a couple of workouts that didn’t go perfectly so now you think you should drop of out of your race that is over 14 weeks away….

You lacked complete motivation one day and weren’t able to get your workout done that day so you beat yourself up badly the next day so much that you couldn’t do the next one…

You stress so much about an upcoming test, race, or workout constantly worrying about how hard it will be, that you aren’t ready, and that everyone else will be better than you….

The more you ruminate on these thoughts the more likely you are going to self destruct and then you will actually fail just as your brain is telling you you will. At this point you have already set yourself up for failure before you’ve even started.

Here are some standard roadblocks that we encounter in this act of Standing In Our Own Way:

Self - Doubt
Self - doubt is in everyone, no matter how motivated and confident it is there. Stop thinking about why you can’t but rather start thinking about what you need to do in order to succeed. Our thoughts have more influence on ourselves than our actions do and if we spend all our energy doubting ourselves than you are holding yourself back. Self doubt stops you from seizing your opportunities and can even prevent you from chasing your dreams because of the fear that you don’t have the strength to do something hard.

Rather than constantly focusing on the worry of whether you can’t do something it is better to direct your energy towards learning to accept yourself, and appreciate what you have accomplished already. When you find your inner doubts bubbling up to the surface and taking hold sometimes something as simple as talking back to that self doubt can be very powerful; you can say it out loud or in your mind but actually talking back, saying NO we are not going down that road again can help you get control of that doubt before it spins out of control.

These self-doubt monsters are meant to keep you in your comfort zone. Look back to the past to remind yourself just how far you’ve come. Remind yourself of the positive that you’ve accomplished, remind yourself of where you’ve started and how much you’ve changed. The more you focus on the positive that has happened in the past the easier it is to see the positive in the future.

In a world where our lives are constantly displayed on the internet it has become even easier to compare, if not judge yourself to others without even really knowing that we are doing it. You may see someone else who seems to be moving faster, doing more, or excelling faster than you and instantly think that you aren’t good enough, doing enough, or doing everything wrong.

While it isn’t easy you have to remember that it is your journey and no one else’s. On top of that everyone’s journey is different, we can’t all start at the exact same ability, the exact same spot in life, or really just be the same in general. One of the beautiful things about humanity is that we are all different and we have to remember to embrace our differences, and with this being the case how can we expect that our growth will match anyone else’s?

Comparison really can be the thief of joy, the thief of pride, and the thief progress. Stopping the act of comparing yourself and your journey to others is not easy, and it’s only gotten harder as our lives have become more public on social media. The key to decreasing the affects of comparison on your progress is to be aware of it, become conscious that you are comparing, bring those thoughts to the forefront so that you can acknowledge that you feel them. Secondly, you have to make the decision to just STOP THINKING THAT WAY. You don’t have to berate yourself for these thoughts because they are natural but you don’t want to let yourself become consumed by it. Acknowledge the thought and gently focus on changing the thought process. This can be done in two ways, both of which are very similar, 1) count your blessings - focus on what you have, what you are already blessed with, and how lucky you are for what it is that you have and 2) focus on your strengths - rather than thinking about your imperfections ask yourself what your strengths are. Celebrate those strengths, too often we forget to celebrate the good things in our life. Be proud of you and the journey that you are o.

If we waited for perfectionism to occur than no work would ever get done. Instead you would spend your life revising, re-doing, and going over and over our work and actions without ever getting anywhere. At some point we have to stop and trust that we are good enough, we have to accept our imperfections.

Never strive to be perfect, perfect does not exist, merely strive to be the best version of yourself that you can on that day. Part of how we grow, how we improve, and how we learn is to make mistakes if you strive to always be 100% perfect you’ll waste your time focusing on the perfection and not actually learning from your mistakes.

Over analysis

When we have big goals the path to accomplishing that goal can be extremely important and the importance of that path is something that takes a lot of thought. We have pages and pages of Pros and Cons, we go back and forth time and time again constantly worrying about our choice and if it is the right one. Here is the thing about pros and cons, they take away the trust you have in yourself about how you feel about the pieces on the list.

Trust your initial instinct. Listening to our gut has become old age, with all the information available to us on the internet and easy access to people who have done things previously we can get consumed with trying to analysis all of the data available that we forget to listen to our gut. This age old idea of listening to your gut to make your decision really comes down to what your heart is telling you, the more you put your heart into something the easier the journey will be.

When you find yourself thinking too much one of the best things to do is to step away from it. Put down the pen and paper, stow away the pros and cons list, don’t look it up on the internet, and don’t even talk about it much with others. Step away from it to give yourself some time to let your heart guide you.

The key to stopping over analysis is that once you make your decision you have to accept the decision you’ve made. Remember that you can’t predict the future the only thing you can do is to focus on making your journey the best and strongest you can be. Remove that all or nothing thought process and let your

Remember, you aren’t going to be perfect at stopping from standing in your own way. There are going to be days in which you do one or even all of the above. In fact there may even be multiple days in a row that you feel this way. The difference between someone who lets these roadblocks consume them and someone who moves past these thoughts comes down to acceptance and awareness. Acceptance that you will feel this way sometimes and that is ok, it’s just part of the journey, and awareness of the roadblocks and how they make you feel. Those that you see who are most successful, maybe not even in a “monetary or things way” but in a self-fulfillment and motivating way are the ones who can recognize these roadblocks and rather than letting them consume them move on from them and know that the next day is a new day with new opportunity.

Success is always what you make of it. You are the only person who can define your success, and you are the only person who can make the changes in your mindset towards that definition of success.


Kayla Bowker