What Holds Us Back?

When faced with new challenges, many of us become frustrated and find ourselves unable to move forward. When well laid out work schedules, travel plans, and other daily routines are thrown into disarray, it puts fear and doubt in our hearts.  So why do many of us struggle when faced with new challenges?  Why do we struggle to accept circumstances mostly beyond our control? What is it that holds us back?

Most of us enjoy our daily schedules and function best when everything goes to plan. We are creatures of habit and the simple day to day stuff bring us joy. It’s our comfort zone. So, when one thing or another throws a spanner in the works, we may find that we are suddenly stuck in one spot and struggle to move forward. Other things that hold us back from accepting new challenges or putting up with difficult circumstances could be:

  • Fear of the unknown.
  • Lack of self- confidence.
  • An absence of supportive family or friends.
  • The inability to work within limitations or adapt to new challenges.

Sadly, we neglect to remember that our God is faithful and has promised never to leave us or forsake us. The words from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 49:16) should surely reassure us: 

‘Jerusalem, I can never forget you! I have written your name on the palms of my hands’.

So, in order to accept the many new challenges that will inevitably come our way, we need to accept situations as they arise, trusting in God’s faithfulness. When we come to this realisation, no matter how trying the situation, we recognise that some things are only with us for a moment in time. This disposition enables us to accept new challenges as they occur, accept the given, and move forward trusting in God’s promise to be with us.

So how do we move forward? What is required of us to overcome new challenges?

I have found that the best ways to view new challenges as they arise is to:

  1. Trust God with all your heart.
  2. Name what you are grateful for. There is always something or someone to be grateful for. This makes the situation more bearable.
  3. Try changing your attitude regarding the situation from a negative to a positive.
  4. Accept those things that cannot be changed and look instead at ways of navigating through the new circumstance(s).  
  5. Recognise every setback as an opportunity for personal growth.
  6. Stay connected with those who offer support. Wisdom lies in good company.  
  7. Endeavour to take small steps forward, one day at a time.
  8. Remind yourself that each day is a gift from God, filled with new opportunities and the chance to start again.
  9. Be patient with yourself. All good things come to those who wait on the Lord.
  10. God is loving and faithful. He cares for us because we belong to Him.

Let this verse from John’s Gospel (John 10:10) encourage us:

'I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.'

So, let us have the courage to live our lives to the full, no matter what life throws at us. We have much to be thankful for.

God Bless and take care of yourself and each other.

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