Do you ever have the feeling that you can’t seem to make any progress in life? You may be at loggerheads with your spouse over everything. Maybe you have a sister or brother that you haven’t spoken to in a long time. Perhaps you feel a bit lost because things around you are changing so much and making you feel fearful and uneasy. Maybe you are wondering how on earth you are going to get through this next year.

Then you look around you and it seems like everyone is happily going on with their life. They look happy. The Jones are doing fine – everything is working out for them. So “what is wrong with me?”, you may wonder. “Why can’t I get my act together”?  There are many things that can appear to stand in our way between us and a life where we can laugh, learn, grow and enjoy living. In fact, we can there are 5 main ways which we can actually use to sabotage ourselves.

Door Number One

We resist change. Change makes us very uncomfortable; we are used to our routines and ways of doing things.  So why are we so resistant?

  1. We don’t see the need for change or to change. We need to have a reason to change.

  2. We are afraid of the unknown. New circumstances make us very uneasy. We imagine the change will be for the worse instead of the better.

  3. We feel that we may lack competency and that someone might find out how incompetent we imagine that we are.

  4.  We are stuck in the old pattern of doing things and they “work for us.”  We are hardwired to stick to the old path.

  5. We lack trust and belief in the future and in the change.

  6. We may think it ( the change) is just a passing thing and it will eventually go away.

  7. We don,t feel that we were consulted (our opinion wasn’t asked for).

  8. There was inefficient communication, We weren’t told anything.

  9. It upsets our routine.

  10. Depending on our personality, change may be more or less difficult to handle.


Unlocking Door Number One

Acceptance will break down resistance. It does not mean surrendering out of weakness, but opening up new doors giving you more choices and options.


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
(The Serenity Prayer)


Door Number Two

We get defensive. Most of our defensiveness happens in our close relationships: families. Defensiveness is a disease of modern days. So why do people go on defense?  It is because they anticipate or perceive some kind of threat or danger to themselves. The defensiveness is protection in order to feel emotionally safe. There is usually a trust issue going on when defensiveness is present.


Unlocking Door Number Two

Be open and transparent. Openness gives us the freedom to express our feelings and our opinions. This is the opposite of a threatening environment. Trying to defend ourselves will always make the situation worse. When we take things personally, we lose out on opportunities to learn, grow and make new connections.


Door Number Three

We judge others. Usually, we judge others because of some character flaw in ourselves. Often we see the same character flaw in other people and, rather than address our deficiency, we criticize another. Being judgemental is a compensating behavior; we do it to somehow make ourselves look better. But the opposite happens; when we tear others down, we bring ourselves down too and create a chasm between ourselves and other people.

There are people who like to think they have everything under control and don’t need anyone’s help. They also expect perfection from others and come down on them when they fail to meet this expectation. It creates a lose-lose situation.


Unlocking Door Number Three

Be genuinely interested in other people. Ask questions about them and their families or interests. And then, listen to them. Let them talk. Let them give their perspectives. Accept them as they are, not for how you think they should be. Find something to like about them and let them know you value them.


Door Number Four

We get jealous. We see others around us who have it better than us and wonder why life is so unfair. Of course, we don’t always know the backstory of anyone’s life. We just tend to look at the outside and stew in our envy.

Jealousy is a fear-based emotion; it gives a feeling of loss or never getting something that we want. But jealousy will grow like cancer and cause rifts between family members, friends, and colleagues. It closes the door to communication and cooperation. The media feeds into this fear, creating false desires and needs, which in turn unstabilizes our sense of priorities.


Unlocking Door Number Four

Be thankful. There are so many benefits to having an “attitude of gratitude.” Here are a few:

1. A thankful spirit makes us happier.

2. A thankful spirit reduces anxiety and stress.

3. A thankful spirit boosts our immune system.

4. A thankful spirit strengthens relationships

5. A thankful spirit promotes forgiveness.


To fight against jealousy (or envy), be thankful, celebrate what you have in your life and serve others.


Door Number Five

We hold grudges. We hold onto hurts, perceived or real and nurture them, bake them until well done. We don’t want to let go of them because that would mean we would have to let go of our pride. It is better for us (we think) to ‘”let the other person know they are wrong.” So we stew in our resentment and it can go on for a long time. We can resent other people getting what we think we should have gotten by rights. We can resent that someone didn’t “understand” us. in the end, though, holding on to a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.


Unlocking Door Number Five

Forgive. That’s it, just forgive. Forgiveness will break the anger cycle and sense of being wronged. It breaks down the wall that has been erected. Forgiveness is more for ourselves than it is for the other person although it does free up the other person in our eyes. They are no longer on the blacklist. Forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves: a gift of life and freedom.

The Takeaway

Often we can be our own worst enemy without even realizing it. We sabotage our progress, our relationships, and our happiness simply out of human pride. We actually don’t need enemies; we do a great job, sometimes of hurting ourselves.

Let’s be kind to ourselves and give others a little slack. We can’t have everything we want. People are going to do stupid things and say stupid things. Life is not fair. And, while we’re at it, let’s not be so hard on ourselves either. Life is too short to be worrying about who got what and who hurt whom, right? Let,s live and let’s forgive and move on.

Has this post been helpful to you? Let me know in a comment.

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through