While it's good to strive never to fall into the fruitless trap of comparing ourselves to other people, the truth is most of us have spent at least some time sizing ourselves up against peers, family, and even our former selves. And the hard truth is that there are several signs you're holding yourself back — including over-analyzing how you measure up to everyone else That's the not-so-good news, though. The good news is that we've all got room to grow.
A few years back, I was working a corporate desk job and had gotten to the point where all of my previous passion had been sapped. I no longer wanted to be at the job... and yet I stayed for years after my initial epiphany. I was miserable the entire time, but I didn't want to "upset the apple cart." When I finally did get up the nerve to submit my resignation, I realized I was the one who held the power to change my life all along. I just hadn't.
If you suspect you're not living life fully and with intention, you might be holding yourself back. Whether your sabotaging yourself sub-consciously, out of fear, or for whatever other reason, you have it in you to break the cycle. Here are a few signs you might need to loosen the reins on your own life.
1. You Feel Guilty When You Put Yourself First
You're a constant martyr — you make sure everyone else is taken care of before you take care of yourself. And while there is nothing wrong with that necessarily, never prioritizing your own wants, needs, and desires can make it difficult to experience any significant growth. It can be healthy to say no. It can be healthy to take time to pamper yourself when you need it. You can't be the best version of you if you aren't taking care of you. No need for guilt.
2. You Haven't Felt Excited About Anything Lately
When was the last time you felt really excited about something? Like, you were so fired up and inspired you could hardly sleep? If you can't remember, well, you aren't alone — many of us find ourselves kind of floating through life on cruise control at some point. But once you're aware of it, you can make a conscience effort to find something that ignites your passion and colors your world more.
3. You Do Just Enough To Get By
When you're stuck on cruise control, you don't have to put any additional effort into what you're doing. You're just coasting, after all. If you find yourself doing just enough to keep your relationship, job, friendships or other roles going, you're making the path to your potential personal (or successful or professional) growth that much longer. Which brings us to our next point....
4. You Aren't Happy With Your Career
A person who is really excited about their career doesn't just do the bare minimum. Rather, they pour every fiber of their being into what they're doing. They're usually the first to arrive, the last to leave, and always eager to lend a helping hand. When you think of your dream career, are you doing it? What's stopping you from going for it? Sure, there are always going to be obstacles and challenges along the way. But if you wait for the stars to align perfectly, you'll be waiting forever.
5. You Overthink Everything
It's not that you always second-guess yourself (although, to be fair, you do second-guess yourself sometimes). You just can't help but analyze every single thing until you're so discombobulated you don't know up from down. Not only is it not productive to do this, but it can also have some seriously unfortunate side effects on your sleep patterns. Ruling the world requires at least a little rest, y'all.
6. You Have Trouble Asking For Help
You aren't afraid to ask for help, and it probably isn't even your pride that's keeping you from reaching out. No, you simply hate to feel like you're imposing on anyone. You'd rather put too much on your own plate than ask someone else to help carry the load. Here's the thing, though: Behind every empowered person are other empowered people supporting them. The odds are good that whatever you've got coming your way, there's someone in your life who knows your needs and can help you with them.
7. You Feel Like Something Is Missing
With all of the over-thinking you do, you have plenty of time to dwell on the nagging voice in your brain telling you sometimes isn't quite right. If you're ignoring that voice, you're holding yourself back. Follow your gut. It could be that thing you're missing is the one thing you need to move forward.