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Jul 27

What’s Holding You Back?

Do you criticize yourself? Most of us do, at least some of the time.

The “inner critic” can be especially harsh when you have attention issues and other challenges that keep you from reaching your goals.

With this critical voice reminding you of all the mistakes you’ve made and how many you’re still making, it becomes even harder to prioritize, organize, focus, and keep going until you complete whatever it is you set out to do.

But it’s also hard not to believe what the voice says.

You may look at the past and see how long you have struggled, how many obstacles you have faced.

You wonder if you will ever be able to accomplish the things you feel passionate about.

Sometimes it feels like no matter how hard you try, there’s always something holding you back.

In his book, The One Thing Holding You Back, Raphael Cushnir says that what’s often holding us back is the pain of past and present hurts, frustrations, and humiliations.

When we feel angry, sad, or upset about something, we try to push those feelings away, because we don’t want to experience the pain.

It’s only natural to want to avoid experiencing painful emotions. But when we don’t allow ourselves to feel them, these painful emotions create blocks. And the pain remains buried within us, causing even more problems.

We need to make an emotional connection, says Cushnir, to really feel our feelings.

And where are these feelings located? Feelings are located in our bodies.

By turning our attention to our bodies, we can eventually free our minds to be better able to focus, concentrate, and sustain attention. And that inner critic will quiet down.

The next time you feel blocked and frustrated, unable to take the next step, please allow yourself  to stop criticizing. Then:

*Notice where you feel this sensation in your body.

*Without analyzing or trying to change the feeling, remain focused on that place with care and compassion for yourself. This place may be in your heart area, stomach, or chest.

*You may find it helpful to gently place your hand on that spot, and breathe deeply into it.

*Try to stay with the feeling for a minute or two, or longer.

Does it have an emotional quality? If you experience any sadness or anger or fear or another emotion when you do this, can you stay with the feeling without judging and with compassion for yourself?

If you do, you may find that you will experience a greater sense of peace and freedom. Perhaps it won’t happen all at once, but if you repeat this practice, over time changes can occur.

As a result, you be be able to think more calmly and clearly about your next steps, and put them into action.

*If, however, you feel that the emotion is too much for you to handle, then stop and only continue with the help of a professional counselor.

“When emotional connection brings our minds into harmony, new ideas and choices naturally arise.”

Raphael Cushnir, author of The One Thing Holding You Back