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What’s holding you back?

September 12, 2018

By Aili Kuutan

Do you ever get in your own way?

I suspect many of us do. In fact, I have yet to meet a person who, if they’re being honest, doesn’t do this in some way at some point in their lives.

As a human being, I find it fascinating to notice this kind of behaviour. As a coach, I have tools and strategies to deal with such obstacles and have helped many people work through this kind of thing (including myself).

One of the most powerful things in figuring out how to move forward is being able to name specifically what is holding you back.

Whether it’s a belief, life circumstance, or limiting perspective, at the root of it all, most often, it comes down to one thing: fear.

The sneaky thing about fear is that sometimes we can be really good at hiding it from ourselves.

Because we’re so good at hiding fear from ourselves, we’re also good at avoiding it. We avoid it through procrastination and perfectionism, which feel way more comfortable than going outside our comfort zone.

The other day, I realized (yet again) that one of the things holding me back in my own life is fear. More specifically, the fear of not being able to handle whatever may come as the result of my actions.

…as if my future self wasn’t someone I could trust, or someone who would be good enough to deal with the consequences of my decisions today.

This explains a lot.

It’s also a dangerous path: When our fears win, we lose. Ultimately, fear can prevent us from achieving our full potential.

And once we start down that path, our fears gain momentum. We can get into the pattern of running from our fears and pretending it’s something else holding us back.

Which is why it’s so important to break the cycle when we realize it’s fear. So I just did something that scares me.

For now, ask yourself: What am I not taking action on? What is it that’s getting in the way?

Keep asking yourself that second question until you get to the root of it all.

And if you find that you need to break the pattern of running from your fears, ask yourself this: What’s one small thing can I do right now to step outside of my comfort zone?


Aili Kuutan is a Certified Integrative Health Coach and she serves as a mentor for the Duke Integrative Medicine Integrative Health Coach Professional Training program. If you would like to learn more about Integrative Health Coaching and how you too can become a Certified Integrative Health Coach, visit the Duke Integrative Medicine website and learn more about this training program.

This article was originally published on ailikuutan.com.

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