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5 Things You Need To Banish From Your Life…To Move Forward, Feel Empowered, And Thrive

Written by: Erica Addis, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Do you feel stuck in your circumstances, like someone else runs the show (metaphorically speaking)? Maybe the past has a hold on you or your life state feels like a murky grey puddle. Perhaps it is that you find it hard to focus on important things, such as self-care. How would it feel to take control of your life like never before? To wash away any self-doubts? To feel empowered to start living life on your terms, and to start doing things you have only ever dreamed about?

Moving forward towards your dreams, feeling empowered, and beginning to thrive in life, are some of the things I help clients with in their transformation journey. Over the years, I have come across different tools and techniques to help with this, many of which have benefits and seem to help in some way or another, and to some degree, if you put them into practice. However, it is these 5 things that come to mind while writing this, that often come up in my coaching sessions. Without even realizing it, these 5 things can hold you hostage, in a way, where you never really discover your true potential.

I acknowledge that we all do these things sometimes, however, it is how often we do them that is key. The first step is recognizing that you do them in the first place. Once you are consciously aware of your tendencies, you can start the journey of self-discovery by reflecting on what you did and why you did it. To move forward, sometimes a deeper approach, like Transformational Coaching is beneficial to understand more fully, where these arise from within you and how to move forward from them.

5 Things that hold us back from discovering our True Potential

1. STOP Comparing Yourself to Others!

Comparing yourself to others only leads to self-doubt, low self-esteem, or an ego problem. It can go both ways, you can either think that others are better than you and you are not good enough, not worthy enough and so on, or you can think that you are better than others ‒ putting yourself on a pedestal. Neither is productive! Instead, look at yourself, your accomplishments, and your goals in a reflective way, looking forward from this present moment. Try asking yourself these questions ‒ without bringing anyone else into the mix.

  • How can I do better?

  • What do I need to shift within myself (i.e. mindset, beliefs, perspective), to move forward?

  • Who do I want to become?

We often see other people's strengths and only focus on our weaknesses. So, realizing that we have strengths of our own, that are unique to us, can counterbalance the scales of feeling inferior. Plus, our weaknesses can turn into strengths when viewed in a different light.

In an inspiring talk I heard a few years back, Arnold Schwarzenegger said that people used to tell him that his accent and being too big and muscly would limit him (weaknesses) in the acting/film industry. But these very things became his assets (strengths) and set him apart from the rest. The director of Conan the Barbarian admitted that if they hadn't had Arnold's body, they would have had to build one, and when he got cast for Terminator, his machine-like accent was one of the things that James Cameron said made the movie work so well.

We are all so very unique and once realize this, you will see that there is no merit in comparing yourselves to others.

2. Excuses, Excuses...

Stop with all the excuses and take charge of your life and the journey you are on. Making excuses to others about why you haven't done something is one thing, but making excuses to yourself is on a whole other level. It is actually a form of self-sabotage.

Whether you say them out loud or not, coming up with excuses for not doing something is a major cop-out! Avoiding responsibility, backing out of a commitment, a goal you had, or just simply being lazy.

I am not talking about the times when you actually have a valid reason. I can think of numerous ones off the top of my head, such as: I ended up in hospital, my car battery went dead or my dog ate my homework (ha-ha, true story!). I think you get the gist and are adult enough to evaluate which side of the fence you sit on... So next time you want to back out of something or try to explain why you did/didn't do something, take a minute to think ‒ is it a valid reason or a mere excuse/blatant lie?

3. Living In The What Ifs And If Onlys.

How often have you heard yourself saying things like What if I had taken that job offer overseas years ago…; What if I had married that banker (even though I didn’t love him) …; If only I was born into a rich family, then maybe I would be happier; If only I was smarter… and so on.

It is perfectly normal to reflect on our lives and how we have gotten to where we are now. However, the past cannot be changed, and the more you dwell on the what ifs and if onlys the more you can be led down the road of regrets. Where you blame yourself or others for your current circumstance and the choices you have made.

Understand that when you are wanting to create a more joyful life, the what ifs and if onlys can vibrationally get in the way, by bringing forth negative vibes, as deep emotions and beliefs we have about ourselves (that are not yet aware of) often accompany them. Transformational Coaching can help you to work through these.

So, what emotions arise when you think of your what ifs and if onlys?

4. STOP Seeking Validation from Others...

Sometimes we look to others for validation, needing confirmation and the stamp of approval, in what we think, say, and do. No-one is above you, so why do you look to others to validate you? This can come from a desire to be part of a community with a sense of belonging, or from a deeper tendency of people-pleasing, where you feel the need to please others, often at the detriment to your own needs. There can be several layers of beliefs and past experiences, that make up your deep-seated tendencies of people-pleasing and seeking validation.

Craving validation from others can be a sign that you internally don't think you are good enough or are unable to validate things for yourself. Moving you away from being directly accountable, by passing on the responsibility to others to approve or not approve.

It goes without saying, that there will be times when you will want to seek the valid opinions of others (especially professionals in their field) such as do I look more approachable in this blue shirt or the grey one? Or, what hair colour will bring out my eyes more? However, their answers should support and even empower you, not drag you down. There is a difference!

At the end of the day, other people's opinions of us do not matter in the grand scheme of things, and worrying about what other people think of you is a never-ending cycle. When in reality, the only opinion that matters when it comes down to it, is your own ‒ How you see yourself and whether you are happy with the way you think, speak, act, behave, communicate, work, etc. If something is not up to par, then you are also the only one who can change it! You do not need anyone else to validate you or what you do!

5. Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS)

… The Disease of Distraction! This one is personal ‒ Yep, I'm not proud of it, but I admit this is something that I have had to recover from (like an addiction). Shiny Object Syndrome has affected the multi-tasking concept, which used to be seen as a positive trait in the workplace. Nowadays, it has gone from juggling several tasks to jumping from one thing to another, often with multiple tabs open and getting majorly sidetracked along the way.

For me, my shiny object syndrome was never about being distracted by meaninglessly scrolling on FB or Instagram, it came more in the form of empowering/inspiring YouTube ads that would pop up and play before the actual video, prompting me to sign up for a masterclass or short course, etc. Yes, I understand that this is how the algorithm works, but it would catch me out 90% of the time. It felt like these 'shiny objects' were calling to me, though they would lead me down a massive rabbit hole and I would end up not accomplishing the tasks I had set out to do that day... Once I came to terms with it, I had to unsubscribe from countless email subscriptions.

Now I observe it happening in others, often at the expense of productivity. For some, it is the new gadget/toy/device, for others it's the most talked about trend/strategy, and so on. Anything that takes your focus sideways, wasting valuable time and affecting your flow state.

Did you know, that it takes on average around 25 minutes to get back in the zone, and re-focused on the task at hand? Taking breaks at work, especially from screens, is a necessity for your mind, body, and soul, whereas being interrupted or distracted snaps you out of your flow and reduces your overall productivity.

When you are wanting to progress in your life transformation, you need to have a clear focus ‒ working out what tasks move you forward, and which ones distract you from your path. Letting shiny objects take your attention, can create a massive setback in the bigger picture.

Imagine you are on a voyage and you have your destination in clear sight in front of you on the horizon in the far distance, but every time you see an island out to the side, you turn the wheel and head off course to check out the small islands, time and time again. So instead of getting to your destination on time, in a straight-forward, smooth manner, you end up being 3 days late and have forgotten the reason for the voyage in the first place. Or perhaps you totally missed your destination altogether ‒ a one-degree shift in this instance, is all it takes to move you off course!

To Move Forward, Feel Empowered, and Thrive…

  • Remember you are unique in so many ways, so embody this and stop comparing yourself to others! Acknowledge your flaws and weaknesses, and choose to accept them as part of your journey… and STOP seeking validation from others!!!

  • Decide to stop making excuses, uncover what lies beneath them (for you) and name it! Is it fear, laziness, shame, overwhelm, or something else?

  • Moving forward (away from the what ifs and if onlys), try to focus on what you can do now in the present, that will re-write your story of where you want to be and who you want to become. Don't lose sight of your North Star!

  • Go cold turkey to banish your shiny objects addiction (you may need some rehab/coaching if the withdrawals become unbearable)

  • Focus your attention on tasks that matter most – the ones that move your dial towards your North Star, not away from it.

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Erica Addis, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Erica Addis is a Transformational Life Coach & founder of The Soaring Eagles Tribe. Her work focuses around mindset, banishing limiting beliefs, identity shifting & creating peace & balance in life. Having to overcome life’s many struggles, along with studying & applying Buddhism into her life, Erica has developed a solid life philosophy, understanding fundamental principles to breakthrough life’s challenges & shift into alignment with your soul’s purpose. Erica sees the inherent potential within each person, no matter what their life currently looks like. She thrives on nurturing others to believe in themselves, leading her clients on a journey of self-discovery & empowerment, to really soar in their life!



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