What is Holding You Back? Four Major Psychological Roadblocks

A psychological roadblock is a behavioral, mental, or emotional barrier that prevents you from taking the necessary steps to create and sustain positive changes in your life. Instead of embracing and building yourself up to meet your goals, you remain stuck in the same situation as time goes by. Sometimes we are aware of the reasons why we can’t move forward with our intentions and plans. Other times we are not conscious or certain about what is holding us back. Here is a list of four major psychological roadblocks to help you think it through.

Imbalances in the Periphereal Nervous System

The Peripheral Nervous System is mostly composed of nerves that are responsible for carrying nervous signals and messages throughout the body. It comprises the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic nervous systems. These two systems work together to create mind-body balance and harmony. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) helps us respond to stress by regulating our fight, flight, or freeze response.

On another hand, the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) helps us be relaxed and at ease, regulating body functions such as rest, digestion, repair, and reproduction. When these two systems fail to work together, with one dominating over the other, we are not able to respond in a fully functioning manner. Domination of the SNS is often associated with stress, chronic illness, and poor well-being. Domination of the PNS is usually linked to poor concentration, depression, lethargy, and disorganization.

Negative Coping Strategies

Imbalances in our nervous system can lead us to seek strategies to restore balance and harmony. However, not all strategies are effective, efficient, and healthy. Negative coping strategies such as avoiding issues, drinking, binge eating, and gambling are sought to relieve pain and discomfort but their effect is short-lived. They can often lead to addiction and cause permanent damage to the body and mind.

Unaddressed Wounds

Psychological wounds can run deep and away from our conscious awareness. Although not all wounds result in trauma, psychological wounds can negatively impact our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. The loss of a parent or going through a divorce, for instance, produce wounds that if not addressed can leave us stuck in a perpetual state of imbalance, or even attached to unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Unaddressed psychological wounds can also lead to a life filled with shame, guilt, fear, and anxiety. All these experiences make it difficult to establish a healthy relationship with ourselves and others. It is not uncommon to have trust issues or a sense of diminished empathy as a result of unaddressed emotional wounds.

Unresolved Trauma

Trauma results from one or more highly stressful life events such as being assaulted or experiencing abuse. Trauma deals with wounds that are deeply rooted in someone’s being and which have a huge negative impact on a person’s health and well-being. Besides the consequences already mentioned regarding unaddressed wounds, trauma can strongly affect the way a person perceives and experiences reality on a regular basis.

Unresolved trauma can lead to an inability to think clearly, impaired memory, strong and intense negative emotions, the experience of flashbacks, irritability, and a lingering feeling of overall detachment. These psychological patterns are very challenging and difficult to deal with.

Concluding Thoughts

Sometimes we want to move on with our lives and create positive change only to find out we can’t or that we are not ready yet. Sometimes we know why we remain stuck in old ways of behaving, thinking, and feeling, but other times we don’t. This list of major psychological roadblocks may help you tap into some hidden reasons or factors that have prevented you from designing and living the life you wish for yourself. If you have found you are being affected by one or more of these factors, please know you are not alone and you can ask for help.

How to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition?

How do you know whether you are tapping into your intuition, or simply engaging and entertaining unhelpful, fear-based thoughts? Is that inner voice your intuition or your fear speaking? This is a complex topic, and yet it represents a skill we need and can develop as highly sensitive people. I believe everyone can benefit from learning to differentiate between intuition and fear, but highly sensitive people even more because struggling to understand which one is speaking to us can lead us to an endless spiral of doubt and confusion.

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How To Motivate Yourself? The Power of Mindset

I was thinking about why some people manage to accomplish their goals while others don’t. Sometimes it is easy to find answers in excuses or even comfort in expressions such as it’s easier said than done. There is no doubt there is truth in this expression because if accomplishing goals was easy then everyone would be happy by now, and there would be no place for the self-help book industry. Most of us wouldn’t fail New Year’s resolutions. So what’s up with motivation?

Why do we lack it? Is it a matter of willpower? Information? Tools? Time? Money? What makes a person win their game? While it’s important to remain compassionate towards ourselves, to what extent are we facilitating our own ruin? How much of our inaction can be credited to the lack of motivation and enthusiasm? I remember that when I first started being more serious regarding my bodybuilding training, I was pretty clear about one thing: there will be days in which it will not be fun to work out and yet I will have to find a way to make it happen.

The ego-mind is very likely to play tricks on us and unless we learn to master its game we can’t go very far. We will keep relapsing and breaking the promises we make to ourselves and others. It’s a tough job; it’s hard work really but you must become acquainted with the way the mind functions so that you can remove what’s preventing you from becoming the best version of yourself. You have to tame your mind by working on your mindset and programing your day-to-day routine so that you can be on top of your game.

If you don’t pay attention to your inner game and make amendments as you see fit, chances are that you will not be successful at accomplishing your goals, even if those goals are as simple as taking a 10-minute walk during your lunch break. You have to be constantly pressing through your mental limits and reinforcing the mindset that you can do it. This requires you to pay mindful attention to ego-based thoughts and feelings. When you notice them, embrace the experience of talking to yourself in a compassionate way. Talk to yourself as if you were your own coach: strong and yet kind.

You can also build your motivation by learning the art of boosting your energy through the power of positive and reinforcing messages. You can use inspiring quotes, texts, videos, and even music. Find what works best to keep your mind pumped and energized. What gets you pumped? Excited? Jumping? I have often used 90s music to remain positive and mentally active. Other times I use motivational videos to create a specific mindset. Explore and find what works best for you.

3 Life-Changing Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs

So I did a quick search, because there is no need to reinvent the wheel, and I found a couple of habits that are said to be part of the routine of multiple entrepreneurs. I think the most important thing about these habits is not exactly what you will get from them individually but the transformative energy you will generate while pursuing them. 

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How to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition?

How do you know whether you are tapping into your intuition, or simply engaging and entertaining unhelpful, fear-based thoughts? Is that inner voice your intuition or your fear speaking? This is a complex topic, and yet it represents a skill we need and can develop as highly sensitive people. I believe everyone can benefit from learning to differentiate between intuition and fear, but highly sensitive people even more because struggling to understand which one is speaking to us can lead us to an endless spiral of doubt and confusion.

Intuition comes from the Latin word intueri, a combination of in, which means “at, on”, and tueri, which means “to look at, watch over”. Intuition has been defined by De Quincey (1840) as the capacity to perceive directly without reasoning, know by immediate perception. In spiritual literature, it is often identified as our Higher or Wiser Self. This part of us offers us a broader vision of who we are, what we need, and the best way to make ends meet. It is a source of guidance and full alignment with our core essence.

On another hand, fear-based thoughts and beliefs come from our Ego Self. They result from unexamined experiences and the conditioning power of many external factors such as culture and family dynamics. They seem rampant and make us go into alert mode. They come almost automatically and with the sole aim of saving our most superficial identity and sense of self. Since both intuition and fear-based thoughts can arise within us very quickly, it takes some level of awareness and practice to learn to differentiate them.

The best way to go about it is to pay more attention to your own mental patterns. What is going on in your mind? Which part of you is talking? Embrace self-examination and self-discovery. Ask questions to yourself and observe what unfolds with no particular judgment. Pay attention to your body’s reactions too. With time and self-reflection, you will be able to discern whether you are being driven by fear or intuition. You will learn to observe how intuition comes as a soft and gentle inner voice, whereas ego-driven thoughts are often loud and sensory overwhelming.

As you pay more and more attention to the quality of your thoughts and feelings, I’m sure you will agree at some point that your intuition is stronger and clearer whenever you are calm and relaxed. That’s when we are able to hear it in the first place. When we are stressed, or feel that our well-being is threatened for some reason, we can’t connect so easily with that part of us that is intuitive and knowing. We tend to make it worse instead, feeding or fueling our Ego Self with more unhelpful thoughts.

Aim to practice and live with what Buddhists call “right mindfulness”, the ability to see and witness what is occurring inside and outside of yourself, with non-judgment, and from a place of acceptance of what is. Only then you will be able to hear and begin recognizing the soothing voice through which your intuition speaks to you. The more you practice and expand your awareness with mindfulness, the more you will be able to tune in and make decisions that are more aligned with who you truly are.

Is Happiness a Realistic Goal?

realistic goal and a desirable one. It is rather impossible to be happy all the time, of course, and it is rather difficult to be in a pure state of bliss on a regular basis. However, we can aim to develop skills and strategies that enhance our level of consciousness.

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