Although someone can have the need to grow and develop, it doesn’t mean that they will be able to do so. One could find that they have been working hard and doing the “right” things but that they haven’t been able to get very far.

As a result of this, they could believe that, unlike others, they have very little control over their life. In fact, it could be as though someone or something “out there” is in control of what does or doesn’t happen to them.

Reaching Out

Now, if they were able to put this outlook to one side and looked into what they can do to change their life, they could soon come to conclude that they have “low self-esteem”. By not valuing themselves, then, they will be sabotaging their own success.

The key will be for them to increase their self-esteem and, as this takes place, they will know that they deserve to do well and will allow themselves to move forward. This, of course, won’t be something that will take place overnight.

One Direction

This is something that may take place by changing their thoughts and behaviour – the behavioural therapy approach. By talking to themselves differently and altering their behaviour, their view of themselves will start to change.

Then again, one may find that this approach doesn’t have much of an impact on their life. They could be filled with hope at the beginning, only to feel even more helpless as time goes by.

Round in Circles

If this is the case, they could come to the conclusion that they just need to keep doing the same thing. Doubling down on what they were doing before will be seen as the way for them to finally move forward.

This may allow them to make progress or it could just lead to the same outcome. If it does allow them to make progress, they could find that it doesn’t take long until their life reverts to how it was previously.

A Strange Scenario

What is clear is that they will want their life to progress - this is a normal and healthy need - yet for some reason, this won’t take place. Clearly, something is not right and increasing their self-esteem or working even harder is not the solution that they are looking for.

If they want to experience more frustration and to fall further into the feeling of being helpless, they can continue to do the same thing. However, this is not what they want, so it will be essential for them to try another approach.

Two Levels

They will want to move forward; there will be no doubt about that. Still, this doesn’t mean that every part of their being wants to move forward; another part of them could have a very different need.

At this point, one could wonder what is being spoken about here. What one will need to realise is that their conscious mind, the part of them that wants to move forward, is just one part of them.

Inner Conflict

Along with this part of their being, they also have what is classed as an unconscious mind. It is this part of them, not their conscious mind, which has the biggest impact on what they can and can’t experience.

So, while one can believe that someone or something “out there” is holding them back, it is likely that it is this part of them that is sabotaging their life. To say that it is sabotaging their life wouldn’t be completely accurate, though, as this part of them is simply trying to protect them.


Upon hearing this, one could struggle to understand how what is taking place is protecting them. For them to understand why this part of them believes that it is protecting them, they will need to reflect on what took place during their early years.

If they were able to connect to what took place at this stage of their life, they may find that they were not loved freely. Perhaps, the only that they were loved was when they were ill, were not doing very well and pleased their caregiver/s.

A Powerful Association

To go deeper, they may have only received approval, attention and acceptance when they were not in a good place and were hiding their true self. Through having these experiences on a regular basis, they would have come to believe that the only way that they would survive and be loved was if they stayed small and didn’t shine their light.

This is likely to show that their caregiver/s found it hard to love and this is why they couldn’t truly love them for who they were. The “love” that they did give them would have been based on them playing a certain role, and was, therefore, conditional.

Recycling The Past

Many, many years will have passed since this stage of their life, but the beliefs and associations that were formed will be controlling their life. At a conscious level, they will want to move forward, but at an unconscious level, this will be seen as something that will be a threat to their survival and cause them to be unloved.

For their life to change, it will be necessary for them to harmonise these two parts of their being when it comes to this area. Once they know that they can be successful and both survive and be loved, there can be no reason for them to hold themselves back.


If one can relate to this, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, inner child and inner awareness. With over two thousand, seven hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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