What is holding you back in life?

I am going to be straight with you, I’m going to be saying things you probably don’t want to hear in this article, but if you get through it, maybe you can break free of whatever it is that is holding you back from achieving whatever it is you want. I have never been one to coddle or sugarcoat things, not in my therapy practice, not in life, and I certainly will not start doing so here. So, here it goes…

You are holding yourself back!

That’s it, it’s both as complex and as simple as that!

You need to take responsibility for yourself, your actions, inactions, your work ethic, your sloth, everything is resting on your shoulders. Your dreams and nightmares in life are also often on you and your poor or good decision-making ability. If you spend life as a victim, you will never taste victory, and society at large is banking on it!

Today, everything is in place to coddle people, everyone is offended and if they aren’t yet, they will make up something to be offended by. The fact of the matter is, if you look for anything hard enough, you’ll find it, and that goes for almost anything in life. Evil secret cabals, whole ethnic, minority, or immigrant groups of individuals, governments, government agents, everyone is out to get you, to hold you back from attaining greatness, but are they really?

Let’s say for the sake of argument that it’s true, then how does anyone similar to yourself have success? How have the people who look like you or come from similar backgrounds as you have any success whatsoever? Trust me, people who look like you and have similar backgrounds have had amazing success, so how did they do it?

What if the answer was that they made good decisions, they refused to be a victim, they invested in themselves and their futures, and their work ethic earned them their successes? I don’t care what you think is holding you back, it’s bullshit and do you know how I know it’s bullshit? 

Is it some evil secret cabal? No, sure there are wealthy elites, but no one thinks that you are so important that they are planning and plotting in that cabal to single you out for failure!

Is it [insert ethnic, minority, immigrant]? No, you can make opportunities for yourself, you can choose to stand out, you can choose to do and be better. There’s enough opportunity for all of us and none of those groups, not Jews, blacks, Latinos, Asians, nor any immigrant group can hold you back…period. Especially not immigrants, in America I think we have Shrodinger’s immigrants according to most… who are simultaneously taking all of the jobs and yet are too lazy mooching off of welfare. If you believe corporations are greedy and many practice crony capitalism and not capitalism itself, then you know if anyone, regardless of how cheap the labor is, threatens the bottom line of the company, they’re gone!

If it is the government, vote them out, in our democratic republic we vote in our elected officials. The problem is partisanism whereas people vote down the party line, instead of for the candidate that best represents and would help them. They refuse to listen to anyone outside of their party and treat voting as if it helps their favorite sports team, instead of making real change.

Is it government agents, it’s gotta be them right? We live in the age of cellphones with cameras today, we can watch and observe their work on a daily basis, so if it were solely government agents holding you back, we’d know about it.

It’s not your parents, it’s not your teachers, it’s not “just what life dealt you,” it’s simply not…so, who are we left with that holds you back from achieving your success? You!

…and before you decide to brush me off as a right-winger, a left-winger, some privileged class, someone who “just doesn’t know,” ask yourself something. What did you do in the last hour to help improve your chances of succeeding in whatever it is you want to do? How about the last two hours? Honestly, what moves did you make or decisions that are actionable did you make, that will genuinely make a difference in your life?

Now, success is subjective, the view from the top of the mountain will differ from person to person, but it’s still the top. That’s what you need to do first, try to see what success looks like to you… close your eyes and imagine it, because if you can’t even imagine it, you can’t achieve it. If imagining it doesn’t well you up with energy, tears, some form of emotion, then it isn’t truly what you want, it isn’t your true ideal of success. 

Once you know what success looks like, you have an end goal, and if you can imagine it, you have fuel to inspire and keep you motivated towards it. 

Now, back on track…

If you don’t believe you can achieve success, you can’t, if you can’t put all the blame for failures on yourself, you can’t achieve success. Failing isn’t the end, try again, fail bigger, a fantastic Japanese proverb is “Nana korobi, ya oki” which means “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” If you learn from your failures and don’t give up, are they really that bad, or did you gain insight and some lessons to help you better shoot for success? Failure is only bad when you throw in the towel and accept defeat!

If by now you’re still blaming others instead of bearing the weight of your own success on your shoulders, you will not be successful. If more and more reasons and excuses continue to pop up for you to be a perpetual victim, you’ve thrown in the towel already and should just accept the yoke of society. That’s it ladies and gentlemen, exit stage left, mediocrity will be waiting for you outside. That sounds harsh, but isn’t it true after all?

 If you can’t say “screw everyone saying I can’t, screw everything I thought was holding me back,” then you’re done, no need to complain, we understand your victimhood perfectly…

Now, if you’re still brushing me off as a right-winger, a left-winger, some privileged class, someone who “just doesn’t know,” bear in mind this; I grew up hard in the slums of little Cambodia, I have lived in ghettos and barrios in Philadelphia and Arizona, I have no political affiliations, nor do I care for either side of the political spectrum, and I was once homeless. Sure, I’m a white-passing sexy Semite who is too legit to quit, but that has never gotten me anything and in fact, has held me back several times due to where I lived. 

I’ve fought tooth and nail to have a roof over my head, I’ve had to literally restart life with nothing but a backpack of clothing, I’m hard of hearing and legally blind, and I started my dream business (Twice). 

Look, if this article pissed you off, or has made you sad, take that energy and use it to do something more, something better, and for God’s sake do some growing as a person in the process. I’m not your mommy or daddy, but who I am is someone who deeply cares about others and will not accept that they “can’t,” and will try to push them to “Can,” as much as possible. Unload your baggage, step up to the plate and take a swing at the ball, then keep swinging until you hit a homerun!