Have you ever wondered what’s holding you back from succeeding in specific areas of your life? I know I have, and I found at least one solution that’s seems to work. Watch this short video and I’ll look forward to your comments. P.S. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the robust discussion on the Mormon post. I appreciate everyone’s willingness to opine.   Steve Siebold  (3:00)

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Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.

17 thoughts on “What’s Holding You Back?”

  1. Steve, I don’t necessarily agree with not striving to be better, but I do under stand that you don’t need to let it frustrate you

  2. Steve,
    How do you know that we really wouldn’t want to hear you play the guitar? Seriously. However, I think I know what you mean. I decided to let go of the idea that ‘nobody would want to see me play tennis’…(because I’m not very good, and in fact, I am not very good, really…) however, soon after making a conscious decision to just play tennis because I love to play tennis – I played a match where I was actually playing the ball – and not being distracted by my opponent’s quirky service motion, the wind, etc. I’m sure I’ve done this before in matches where 2 hours seemed like 20 minutes and the winning points were mine…but I certainly remember feeling the pressure in those instances to be ‘great’…and this is certainly a distraction in itself.

  3. Success is truly in the mind of the beholder!! If we think we can or think we can’t, we’re right!! There are so many things in our lives that we can really enjoy – things that can really fulfill us – once we get that it is about us and our relationship to those things, not our relationship to others’ relationship to those things. We might find we are happy with how we play the guitar (or the bodhran that I am just learning to play) or, imagine, we might find that we can excel where we hadn’t before . . . both are very nice, eh!

  4. I have to find a PC to play the video (iPhone/iPad user) but based on the comments here is my input:

    “You’ll see it when you BELIEVE it!”


    Ward D Lyon

  5. I used to be held back by always being late. ALWAYS~ 5 minutes late! How I changed that, or let that go, was by changing the voice in my head which was a broken record saying “you’re gonna be late, you’re gonna be late…” Ugggghhhhh! I didn’t stand a chance of being on time with that recording. So I simply caught myself when I realized what I was doing and created an affirmation saying “I’m always 5 minutes early.” And now I am 🙂

  6. It works, and I thank you for the reminder. Letting go of negative thoughts is So important. Now I need to let go of my job, which is holding me back in more than one way. Never been to Denver, but hope to one day – as you are – enjoying it after a speaking gig! Safe travel to you, and thanks for the inspiration.
    Denise Fowble, The Tailored Speaker

  7. Hey Steve,

    You want to learn to play better guitar? You’re in luck!! I have a program that will get you to where you want to go…from just entertaining yourself to playing in a stadium.

    Email and I will send you a free copy: rpm4guitarsolo@hotmail.com

    You’ve helped me, now I can pay it back.

    Michael Lee

  8. Learning to accept every thing as it is. That is total surrender. It works because we open up to the flow rather than the resistance. Being mindful of our deepest desires also sheds light .It takes practice each day to open our selves to goodness.Accept that you can play the guitar and that is a gift . Wheter any one else wants to hear it is irelevant.

  9. Hey Mike!

    I seriously doubt Steve will let me publish my MT book so at least we know what’s holding me back! 🙂

    You sound like you have an incredible talent! You remind me of a guy I know out here that plays guitar, writes his own country western songs, and also plays multiple instruments. He made a studio in his basement, then records separate tracks of his instruments plays, then combines them so it sounds like a whole band is playing while he sings. Believe me when I tell you he’s incredible–his songs are hilarious and top notch. He makes CD’s of all his songs, but never publishes them and just gives them away to friends and acquaintances. I was fortunate enough to get one of his CD’s and I have to ask the same question Steve is posing here: What’s holding him back? This guy simply has no desire to publish his work despite the fact he is GREAT.

    Perhaps it’s different for everyone and there may be no one-size-fits-all answer. Fun to explore though! Maybe Steve can get us all together for a night of fun and I’d be delighted to cook for everyone…With your musical gift and Steve’s–I think we’d have a ball! Maybe doing it just for fun is a key….



  10. What came through for me was the expectations I have on myself to be the best in the field in my present and aspiring career. I am very competitive by nature and feel an obligation to my customers/clients to give the best possible service. I feel good about that goal and have aspired to do so and more times than not, have succeeded. So that’s not the issue for me…but what is, is letting go of this model of perfection I ‘think’ I have to be…based on whose ideals?..family?..society?…this is actually not as complex as we ‘think’ it has to be. You would think that you could see what is holding you back, and you probably can, if you let go of the notion that it has to be ‘complex’…perhaps for some, their pathology or history has made it more challenging to embrace this new way of thinking, i.e. ‘letting go’…it’s a good topic and I’m glad you brought it up…I’ve learned alot of valuable info from the readers’ comments here…thank you! :o)

  11. This catches me at an interesting time. I am trying to set aside fear in order to step up and accomplish an important personal goal. Finding my original enthusiasm for the project overwhelmed by the fear of what will happen if I allow myself to put forward my best effort, I signed up for this blog, hoping to be able to figure out how I can become mentally tough enough to persevere. I have failed in the past to get 100% behind myself and go all out to develop my talents, and I don’t want to let go of my dream again.

    I know what would happen in the short term if I could let go of my fear, but I don’t yet have the imagination for how to do that. Everything I have accomplished so far in my life has been done while battling fear. That saying that if you think you can, you can, but if you think you can’t, you can’t, doesn’t hold true for me. I have never thought I could do things. If I could let go of the fear, it would at least be a more pleasant journey, even if I don’t achieve my goal.

  12. I’ve had to let go a few times in my life, and have found for the most part that it has been a release from being ‘tied’ to sometimes unrealisable ambitions/goals. Mental toughness is a must when going through the process of letting go as is the ability to recognise just when something is holding me back, neither of which seems to be a natural ability, but can be developed.

  13. Great thought & oddly enough it is the fourth time I heard “let it go” in the last 3 days. Perhaps this is a sign?! I think it is valuable to choose your battles & stop trying to make bad become good. Instead get your good to great. I can’t judge your mmusic abilities, but I do know your success coaching is great!

  14. Hey there Steve–

    You play guitar? Well, I DO want to hear it; including the voice that goes with it. Why the heck has somebody with your clout not tried out for “America’s Got Talent?” You’ll be the first keynote singer!

    Next time you wander out here to Utah, bring Dawn and Mike Michelozzi along and we’ll strap your guitar cases to the back of our Arctic Cat ATV’s and we’ll take your musical mental toughness to the 11,000 foot level and find a great place by a campfire where no one has inhibitions! There’s the cure! I’ll cook! I was the city’s Dutch oven cook-off chairman for 4 years and I can treat y’all to my Hawaiian ribs and rolls. This oughtta be good!

    What a contrasting yet benign topic this time, as opposed to religious debate that brings out the “god-cops” in a few of us–LOL!

    Ya know it’s funny you bring up this topic because I was speaking before a group of execs last week and in my study and interactions of thousands of people in my business I told them I believe most of what holds people back are inhibitions, born of subconscious perspectives that are not fact based. In fact, most people are slaves to their perspectives. The key is understanding that people are unaware they’re doing it.

    In my latest book “Mental Toughness Secrets #178–#312” I quote: “World class thinkers recognize that perspective is created and can be harnessed. They develop the skills of recognizing when inhibitions are formed from perspectives that harness us and know how to turn those perspectives into their polar opposites to serve as leverage.”

    There’s my two cents, brother. BTW, when you & Dawn come next time, bring jeans, a couple of T-shirts, and hang on….

    Keep strummin’–


  15. I get your point Steve. It’s kind of like you’re giving up your resistance to perceived failure and in doing so you are setting yourself free of the struggle to achieve, which will then allow you to be more relaxed which in turn will help you be more creative which will actually accelerate your progress. This is something we all need to apply in at least one area of our lives. Interesting and thought provoking once again. Thanks for your interesting perspective. :0)

  16. This is a great question; perhaps not always great advice, but more often than not it may be.

    Certainly, if happiness or peace of mind is the goal, it is an absolute must! For many of us the things we won’t let go are those that we believe that once attained will allow us to “let go.”

    I bet that upon reflection many of ours goal is to get to that point at which we are free to “let go.”

  17. I’ve heard, during my travels through personal development, that no matter what appears to be happening and no matter what I think about those appearances that everything is unfolding in its perfect time and I must remember to enjoy where I am now, in relationship to where I think I’m going.

    I’ve learned that being content where I am, but always eager for more, is the perfect vibrational stance.

    Be Well,


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