5 Ways You're Probably Holding Yourself Back


We all do it.We have great intentions, lofty goals, but we somehow never see the results. Somehow, some way, we're stuck. Frustrating, isn't it? I've lived in this place a long time, and am currently clawing my way out.Beach Sunset Taking Picture in FloridaBut in the process of learning how to move forward, I've learned a little about the things that were holding me back. Perhaps they're not mind-blowing revelations for you, but identifying the problem is the first step in finding the solution.

1. You're Not Learning

It's easy to binge watch Netflix. Not that anyone here's done that before... Ahem. What's not easy is challenging yourself, pushing yourself, learning and absorbing all you can.Does it matter what you're learning? Not really. It's about training your mind to process and retain information. So learn anything and everything you can. I mean it. Want to learn the migrating patterns of a particular bird? If that's your thing, run after it. We have this amazing thing called "The Internet" that might help...Learning to learn can be a beautiful thing. And it helps you grow as a person; sometimes just the act of learning itself will help you grow. Just try it.

2. You're Thinking Horrible Things

Imagine you love someone a whole lot. Like a ton. Remember your first girlfriend maybe. Or think of your husband. Or your kids maybe. Now what would you do if you heard someone tell them they were worthless? Besides wanting to punch them in the face (don't do that), you would, in no uncertain terms, tell them to leave immediately and never speak that way to your loved one again.Have you ever told yourself those kinds of things? If you have, you're undoubtedly reading this right now with a lump in your throat. Push those thoughts as far away from you as you can by replacing every negative thought with at least one positive thought. Bonus: if you can find a way to make the negative a positive, you are well on your way to conquering that evil voice inside your head!I'll be the first to tell you that this is in no way easy, but it's well worth it, I promise.

3. You're Listening to the Wrong (External) Voices

Anyone ever tell you something you should do? No? So you've never been around people before? Everyone, whether they mean to or not, has at some point given you advice. It's not a bad thing - until we start listening to them more than we listen to our own voice.What's the best way to avoid this? Know yourself. It's hard, so hard. But completely worth it. Figure out who you are, and do it relentlessly. Then you'll be able to take all that advice, filter it through your personality, then use what serves you and discard what doesn't. Again, it's hard. But anything worth pursuing is.

4. You're Allowing Fear to Run Your Life

Ouch. I'm stepping on my own toes here. Always (read: every single time) ask yourself your motivation behind choosing to do or not do something. Is fear holding you back, telling you you won't succeed, or that you're not good enough, or that _________ (fill in the blank)?Don't let fear run your life anymore. Jeff Goins sums it up well: "...courage isn’t the absence of Fear; it’s the willingness to face it in spite of how you feel." So let's all do one thing to be courageous and laugh in the face of fear. Then another. And another. And soon, fear will go and bug someone else.

5. You're Convinced This is All There Is

You've been there, haven't you? Somehow someone (probably yourself) convinced you that where you are is where you'll stay. Sometimes it definitely feels like that. But here's a quote I love, and though I usually use it to pertain to travel, it fits here, too: "Life’s not meant to be lived in one place." (Author unknown) That isn't only talking about your geographical location, but maybe for you it is. Or maybe it means something else.The point here is that you learn, grow, venture out, try new things! The worst that can happen is that you find out something you don't like - but maybe you'll stumble onto your life's purpose. And what could be cooler than that? All that to say: we don't have to stay here, people. We can live in victory, in freedom, in complete and utter happiness, if only we discover how to let go.Because only in letting go can we find true freedom. (Tweet that)What one thing can you do today to start moving forward? Let me know in the comments!

Trust: Still Learning...


So I guess I'm trying this whole blogging thing. It promises to be an adventure!To start my first post, I thought I'd give you a little background on me. I've been writing my entire life (and doing music, too, but that's another post!) and I absolutely LOVE it. It is unquestionably something I've been called to do. So here I am, putting it out there, bounding forward with courage and determination.I don't profess to be a teacher of writing; I am simply a student, trying to learn the rules so I can figure out how to break them. My posts won't be perfect, but I hope you'll come along for the ride.Here goes nothing...cropped-2014-09-29-18-30-40.jpgI recently finished my first novel, The Secret of the Codex. Writing it was a huge learning experience and I can honestly say that I am not even close to the same person I was when I started. Yet, in some ways, I'm still learning the things God was trying to teach me through the writing process, even at the very beginning.In writing the book, I discovered, in many ways, who I was. And that kind of introspection, as you could likely surmise, dug up all sorts of issues I never knew I had. Issues I didn't really want to know I had.I'm sure you have no idea what I'm talking about.As it turns out, TRUST was the biggest of those issues. The theme was threaded throughout the book, woven in every word and phrase.Sometimes God just has to hit this stubborn girl over the head.It's been quite a journey. I can't say I trust easily now; I'm not even sure I've made much progress. But I do know that God calls us to trust. And the best part? He's trustworthy.I have to trust that I was given that story for a reason, that I was called to write for a reason. That everything in my life happened for a reason. Sometimes that's a hard truth to swallow.And while we're on the subject of hard truths... Here's another thing, though I don't often want to hear it: it may not be for me to know that reason. That's probably the hardest part.But He's still trustworthy.So here's the question I pose today, something that hit me between the eyes only a few days ago: Maybe I don't trust God because the God I think I know is too small?I hope to expand on that in a later post.Thanks for listening! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this:When do you find it hardest to trust?