“It’s so obvious to me now, I don’t know why I didn’t see it this way before,” she says. “I was so focused on trying to lose weight that I didn’t look at the reasons I had gained weight in the first place.”

I’m on the phone with a client and we are really getting to the heart of the matter now. “Right,” I agree. “It’s like finding a solution to the symptom and not the root cause.”

“Yes!” she enthusiastically replies. “If I can get my STRESS under control, then my life will feel less chaotic, and I won’t eat and drink as much!”

I smile.

“And,” she continues, “I knew my lack of confidence and the way I talk negatively to myself wasn’t helping, but until I started the mindset work and self-care stuff with you, I didn’t know how much it was holding myself back.”


I’m glowing as I witness her have this huge epiphany that her health and happiness is rooted in self-care and self-love. She now understands that she needs to look at solving the root causes, in this case stress and low self-esteem, instead of the symptoms, like weight gain, no zest for life, and alcohol addiction.

In my practice, I see 5 common pain points and excuses that people use to resist expanding into their highest potential for health, happiness and success.

Feeling Unworthy

At the subconscious level, if you think you don’t deserve to feel good, then you aren’t going to be motivated to do things that make you feel good. These limiting core beliefs form in childhood, and can stem from any number of circumstances, such as neglect, abuse, and witnessing parents being violent.

When someone feels fundamentally flawed or unworthy of happiness, they will unconsciously sabotage themselves. This can happen when they get into an intimate relationship, when they begin a new fitness routine, start a new job or get a promotion. One way or another, they will “mess it up” to go back to their comfort level. Unless they do the deep inner work to heal that wound, this pattern will repeat and continue to limit how good they let things get.

Putting Yourself Last

This can happen to anyone who has a strong caregiver tendency, but it is more prevalent in women. Either by nurture or nature, this woman becomes habituated to sublimating her needs and putting everyone else’s needs first. Over time, she fails to place importance on what she needs or desires, and instead focuses on ensuring everyone under her care is well looked after.

This classic Mother archetype may seem to have more than enough energy to nurture her family, but gives to the point of being depleted and resentful. If this sounds like you, then you must realize that taking care of yourself equally as well as you take care of everyone else is a win-win. Begin to re-direct some of your loving energy to yourself and adopt a daily self-care practice of some kind. It will benefit you and your family immeasurably.

I’m Too Busy

How many people do you know say that they have enough time for everything they want to do? None, I’ll bet. Most of us have adopted a scarcity mindset in our relationship to time; there is never enough of it and we are hapless victims. In fact, it is one of the few equal resources available to humans, we all have the same number of hours in a day. What differentiates our use of this resource is in what we choose to fill those hours with.

The excuses of “I’m too busy” and “I don’t have any time” have become socially accepted “reasons” why people can’t find love, can’t exercise, can’t spend time with friends and family, can’t eat well, and can’t pursue their dreams. Yet these same people have enough time for their two-hour commute every day, social media, and the latest Netflix series. Choices, choices, choices.

No Passion or Purpose

If we metaphorically look at our life like a car, passion is the engine and purpose is the steering wheel. Without them, you stay put and rust. If you’ve forgotten your passion and purpose, then go back in your memory to see when you misplaced them. Kind of like a mental treasure hunt. What did you aspire to be, create and achieve? Might you pick up where you left off, or is there a new avenue that is an evolution of your former ambition?

We take better care of ourselves when we are excited to be alive. It’s that simple. Why bother living longer, or improving your current quality of life, if you don’t feel inspired? This is why reaching for your highest potential is good for your health and well-being.

Pain Avoidance

I think we can all agree that in general we like to avoid pain. However, since pain is unavoidable we need to have the tools and willingness to work through it and heal. This is sometimes related to the first pain point of feeling unworthy, but can look different for people with different limiting beliefs.

When we avoid grief or healing old hurts, many people choose to numb themselves with food and media. This lends itself to inactivity and mindless eating, which can result in weight gain, lack of muscle tone, and low energy and self-esteem. When we are hurting, we need extra self- love and care in the form of clean food, being with loved ones, fresh air and physical activity. Most people also need professional help to get through the grieving process or healing their past.

Which one resonates the most strongly with you? Now that you see the root cause, does this change how you want to approach your health and happiness?

If you feel blocked from expanding into your potential in health, happiness, and success, build a foundation of self-love and self-care and you will soar to new heights.

Originally published at strengthandsoulwellness.com on February 8, 2017.

Originally published at medium.com