Are you holding you back from living your best life?

After a divorce we can feel demoralised and demotivated. This can be the case especially if it’s been a protracted ending with lots of hurtful exchanges going back and forth. For a time we may need to stop, lick our wounds and heal. Ultimately there comes a point where we decide it’s time to better ourselves. We may aspire to greater heights educationally or business-wise. We may also be keen to improve our personal traits and habits and as such aim to start living our best life.

However, when we're so full of good intentions what might it be that holds us back?

- One question might be, do we ever feel good enough?

However much we achieve there's always something more to aspire to. Is being content with ourselves an elusive goal, are we loathe to become self-satisfied or complacent? Whilst it's great to be motivated and look forward to our next opportunity or achievement is there also a time when it's okay to be okay?

- What about those negative conversations that are continually running in your head;

Do you recognise them as your own voice or are they someone else's, like a dissatisfied parent, partner or friend. What are they saying? Identify what's going on, what's being said and where it's coming from, then give yourself permission to disagree, ignore or answer back. Why not use this as the motivation you need to prove them wrong!

- Equally, always insisting on having the last word

can hold you back from living your best life. It's stressful and tiring to constantly feel the need to think up one final point, comment or example in an exchange. It's a fast and effective way of draining energy, good humour and causing stress in a relationship. Relax and let others have the final say sometimes. Ask yourself, does having the last word really matter that much!

- Fear of missing out or comparisonitis

can inhibit action and movement. Concern at being in the wrong place at the wrong time, not wanting to arrive late or leave too early can really get in the way of you doing what you need to do, so living your best life. When we're plagued with doubt or are chasing other people's dreams and opinions, desperate for approval or reassurance, we can end up doing very little as a consequence. That mindset can really hinder progress.

- Aiming to be perfect, needing to be the best

can cause us to hold ourselves back too. Doing a good job is important but if we're waiting until we're totally sure that every element is correct it can become almost impossible to live our best life and move forward. With that outlook we may feel compelled to check things over and over again, saying that 'just one more time' will be enough to reassure ourselves that everything's fine with our image or offering.

- Insisting on having the best is another impediment to living our best life.

What is the very best anyway? Being aspirational, only wanting what's deemed to be the creme de la creme, can result in a state of agitation. This is where we're always watching others and measuring our lives against some idealised yardstick. And yet it's often the case that when we see someone who has their own style, is unique, who looks and has original attitudes, tastes and approaches it's often those who we seek out, as being distinctive, quirky and inspirational.

- We can hold ourselves back through apportioning blame

and making excuses. Self-blame tells us that we're not slim, attractive or educated enough. We may blame others with an 'if only they'd been more helpful or supportive' commentary. Alternatively, we blame our financial state, claiming that we'll start when we're more financially secure. Or blame our past or our family in a variety of ways, but whilst excuses and reasons may hold some people back they can motivate others to do better, try harder and succeed.

Adopting a 'winner' mentality

Whatever time of year, state or situation we find ourselves in, there's always some way we can assign stepping-stones, mini-goals or results to work towards and feel focused, however small. Then we're able to feel good, that we're regularly accomplishing something extra, reaching levels of success. We’re adopting a more 'winner' mentality.

And remember to properly congratulate yourself, feel proud of each stage of your journey and nurture a positive attitude towards each day, so that you continue on the very best track, so living your best life.

Susan Leigh, Counsellor & Hypnotherapist has been a regular contributor to Smart Divorce since our inception. She is also a regular guest on BBC radio programmes across the country and hosts her own show in Trafford Sound.


If you enjoyed Susan's post, you may also enjoy reading "Wait until after Christmas" by Tamsin Caine. If you are reviewing your life and need some help to work out how you can use the money you have to live your best life, drop Tamsin an email to

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