What’s Holding You Back?

Are you full and complete? Do you feel ‘alive’ and so grateful to be so? Are you where you want to be? And if not… could you, as with any self-limiting beliefs… let it go?


In memory perhaps – of all those who died before they had truly lived!


In My Prison (I so want to be free!)

I openly share with you what I share with clients in whom I observe, the way I also was. I spent the first four decades, or so, wanting things to be different!


When I get my driving licence… it’ll be alright, I thought; When I get a partner… life will be complete;  When I get the job or promotion… it’ll be great! (It never was!)


None of the above, and so many besides, brought me what I thought I needed to be content. None of the above released me from being where I did not want to be. Sure, there was pleasure, even pride at times, but it was nothing more than a ‘quick fix’, destined to be just another target hit before looking at the next “It’ll be alright when…!

So, how did I get out of prison? I started looking in the right place – (there is only one!). Do you know where that might be? Here is a fantastically interesting view from the author at Wait but Why. Be advised, the content can mess with your mind! Another area holding people back is an inability to ‘let go’ and forgive…

Holding onto Anger (Drinking the poison – expecting the other person to die!)

Forgiveness is an alien thing for many, yet, when we can rationalise about what we think we’ve lost, how we believe we have been besmirched, cheated on, treated disrespectfully – we could choose to consider just how is holding onto the pain serving us, and affecting the other! Let go of the limiting belief that “I cannot live in peace until that individual has paid for…” It’s not about being ‘rolled-over’. It’s more about self-compassion. Or else, I will continue to be hurt each and every time I remember in a way that provokes strong emotions. Here is a link to an amazing organisation that educates what is possible around forgiveness!

Permission to ‘Be’

“Who are you?” I often ask clients. The answer will usually be along the lines of what they have heard from others. I am ‘nice’, easy to get along with, angry, loving, depressed… (Many of which are observations made by others; judgements, if you will.) Quite often individuals recognise they are carrying what they have been taught, by their parents or significant others during their formative years – and certainly there is some truth to that. But, “who you are” isn’t what others say or you think of you! (Or, what you think they think of you!)

It’s a tricky one, but a crucial question, nonetheless.

A ‘Special’ Poem for You!

If you never read poems, do read this one! I’m certain this poem has been read by millions, yet, I heard it for the first time just last week at a yoga workshop (thanks Chrissie!)… and I thought “If I hadn’t read it – there must be others too!” I also read it aloud for a workshop I was co-running – and the response was perfect! (It’s for men too!)

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

She Let Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgements. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.

She didn’t analyse whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

She Let Go, by Ernest Holmes (1887 – 1960)

As relevant today as it was then!


If you’d like to learn how to get out of your self-limiting prison – and move forward from whatever may be holding you back, let me know.

About the author
Managing Director / Counsellor at Anglia Counselling Ltd | 07747042899 | [email protected] | Business Website

Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.

Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).


  1. Tm

    For many years I felt I needed someone else’s permission to let go. I found I had to grant myself that permission since none was forthcoming, nor would it ever be forthcoming, not from the person whose permission I thought I needed.

    In a nutshell, I, a 62 year old man, fell, at 13, in love with a 13 year old schoolfriend, a boy, as am I. I never told him, and it turned to placing him on a pedestal he did nothing to merit, and an obsessive adoration of the boy, then young adult, then man, on that pedestal. I saw him last in 1970, and yet built my prison around what I considered to be my love for him.

    After many years, when I was 49, I tried to reconnect, on a simple level, with the objective of obtaining closure – getting his permission to live my life without the obsession – but that was withheld from me. I blamed him for this and hurt myself more.

    Over time I worked through my self inflicted pain. I am still working through the tail of the pain, something that has less and less power over me. I used many tools. I talked to as many people as would listen to me. I bared my soul in public, for the world to see. I tried to reconnect with him more than once, by letter.

    Nothing worked until I went back to my teenage years and wrote, in diary form, all of the events and longings of my teenage years as if they were written at the time. As I wrote at the start of the period I relived all the raw emotions. It was horrible. As I was half way through it was less raw, somehow. At the end I came to realise that, while I may have loved him, I found him and his teenage behaviour to be increasingly repellent. He was a lad who thrived on the affection and adoration of others, using that to be himself, but he never returned it, not to anyone.

    As I became sad for him I found my prison bars to be less solid, though still present. As I saw me for who I have been and him for what he was then and, by his lack of reaction today appears to be now, I started to see the bars dissolve. I no longer blame him.

    I am sad for him, and sad, to an extent, for the way I imprisoned myself, but I am out of that prison now. I never needed his permission to be free. I needed to realise that. I never gave myself permission to be free, either, but I allowed the prison I had built with consummate care to dismantle itself.

    The poem interests me, but it does not resonate with me. It was not without a word or a thought. It was with many words and a deal of thought. And it was painful to become free. Or as free as I am today. I think I am released but on parole!

      • Tim

        All of this was by my choices. Not the initial falling in love, that we cannot help, but I chose how I handled it. I made poor choices and heaped poor choices on top of those, perhaps to seek to justify the initial poor choices.

        It was the recognition that I had made choices that started to dawn on my subconscious and emotional state, despite my intellectual state knowing it. Emotion trumps intellect every time.

  2. Kathy

    Thank you truly for sharing the poem! It affirms what I am learning organically within myself and know in small epiphanies the real, not forced, feeling of letting go. Aah. .so freeing.

    • Thank you, Kathy – appreciate the feedback and you sharing your important and unique story. This always means a great deal. Wishing you every peace on your journey as we move into 2016.

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