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What Gets in the Way of Moving Forward and What We Can Do About It

By Gloria Thiessen May 16, 2023 Mindset

Our desire to expand and become more than we are now is a built-in aspect of our nature.

It’s there to stimulate us to move beyond our pre-conceived notions of ourselves, and for some of us, the self-imposed limits that emerge when we try to do so.

Some would say to evolve our soul is our purpose for being on our planet.

Whether this is in fact the case isn’t as compelling to me as this:  

“Are we listening?”

Are we listening to that part of ourselves that longs to become more than what we are now?

Do we take it seriously, yield to it, give it some love in the form of our time and attention? As the ancients revealed so long ago, “What we give our attention to, grows.”

Or do we ignore it in favor of anything else that seduces our attention? TV comes to mind, so does YouTube watching, gossiping with friends, drinking wine, spending money, eating when we’re not hungry, or any of the other distractions we’ve crafted that do such a good job of diverting our attention from ourselves.

Why the Distractions?

Here’s a little secret when it comes to our innate desire to grow.

It stimulates internal resistance too. An energy that pushes back against our well-intentioned efforts to move toward that something we desire.

Resistance is a beast that demands our submission to a distraction when we don’t see it for what it really is: fear.

Whether it’s the fear of not reaching a special goal, or the fear of realizing it, resistance gets in the way of getting to where we want to go.

What Can We Do About It?

The answer to this life-changing query is stated beautifully in the title of the famed book by the American writer Susan Jeffers, Feel the Fear… and Do It Anyway.

Sounds simple.

However… what if we’re really stuck in our resistance? What if our resistance is entangled in the effects of psychological wounding from our past? What if the fear is so overwhelming, so debilitating, we just can’t “do it anyway,” as the book title suggests?

A Way Through

I remember learning in a philosophy class many moons ago about a beautiful metaphor on therapy: It’s like two people sharing a canoe together while travelling across a lake. One person paddles, while the other navigates. Once they arrive at the opposite shore, the one who paddled gets out of the canoe, says their good-byes, and with a renewed confidence in their heart, turns toward their new vista and carries on.

I love this metaphor because as we know, there are a few things in life we can’t do alone. Healing our pain is one of them.

Sometimes we need a little help getting to the other side of our proverbial lake, whatever that may mean to us. There’s no shame in having someone to travel with for a while. I know having someone in my “canoe” for a while has made all the difference at critical times in my life. It’s allowed me to do what I needed to do on the inside, in order to get to my desired destination, even if that destination simply meant out of the pain.

Moving Forward

So, what gets in the way of moving forward for you? Is it about not listening to yourself?

Or is it about letting yourself be distracted by the countless things that can zap your attention, and be pulled away from your path to your heart’s desire?

Frankly, there are times in life when stepping over the resistance and doing the thing we fear anyway, simply doesn’t work. We need to “put some love on it” in the form of our precious time and attention, get into the fear in order to get out of it, and then, get back on our path and carry on.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What gets in your way of moving forward? How open are you to listening to your inner promptings to grow? What form of distraction do you get caught in?

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Jeanne Quinn

i am stuck…after an earthshattering move I feel inert..I am giving myself ‘time’ to heal and then hopefully….growth/excitement./will return and fear’ will abate…I just might need help this time


How wise of you Jeanne, to give yourself time to heal, and to see that this time, you may need some help. There is life on the other side of this. You can get through it. I’d be happy to help.

Linn P

I get in my own way…….


Are you at peace with that, Linn?


How do you feel about this knowing, Linn, that you get in your own way? Are you okay with it?

A Shively

Thanks Gloria, for a thought-provoking message. It is so much easier to find distraction than to dare to dream, and this is a reminder that we CAN attain our vision for ourselves – if we decide to walk towards it.


Indeed. Well said, Shively.

The Author

Gloria Thiessen, M.A., RCC, CYT-500, C-IAYT is a seasoned psychotherapist, Yoga teacher and writer. She’s passionate about creating healing environments that restore balance to the body and mind, while nourishing the soul. She’s the founder of Nishka Therapy and can be reached at

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