“Subconsciously, a person may fear rejection or ridicule from friends or loved ones if they don’t achieve their goals,” says Someone. For some, that pressure may lead to thoughts or behaviour that result in self loathing, procrastination and self-sabotage.

Here are the signs you’re subconsciously mind is holding your back.

Am I good enough?

Do I deserve to be happy?

Most days, it feels like I’m taking one step forward and two steps back.

Perhaps you want to further your education, get that promotion, or build a meaningful relationship with someone, but every time you try, a voice tells you that you can’t do it.

When you look at your life, do you feel stuck or lost and don’t know why?

You don’t realize just how powerful your subconscious mind is.

You might not be aware that negative thought patterns and behaviours are stopping you from thinking that you’re good enough, worthy, or can achieve anything you put your mind to.

If you can’t move forward to accomplish your goals and experience happiness or positivity, here are 7 signs you’re subconsciously holding you back from success.

1) You sabotage yourself

I worked for a small business for 4 years, and despite developing my skills, I hadn’t received a promotion or increase in pay.

Instead of saying something to my boss, I hung back and noticed that a few of my colleagues were talking about a pay raise. I became resentful and decided to leave.

When my boss questioned my decision to leave, I was arrogant about the situation. Even though he was determined to give me more than what I was asking for, I left anyway.

Complete self-sabotage.

You might not even realize that you bash yourself, avoid responsibility, or feel unworthy in situations that lead to detrimental or impulsive decision-making.

Do you procrastinate, put yourself down, or blame others when things go wrong?

Perhaps you have a history of failed relationships, which could be a sign that you’re subconsciously picking the wrong people.

These are all self-sabotaging behaviours.

Self-sabotage is not the same as failing at something.

Sabotaging yourself is not about making a mistake or external factors influencing your circumstances.

It’s about acting from a place of insecurity, in which you do or don’t do something that stops you from achieving your goals.

2) You aren’t living up to your potential

Living your true potential doesn’t mean that you have to change the world or launch a business to be successful.

While these are great things to strive for, living your potential is about recognizing your qualities, your worthiness, and being your best self.

How do you know that you aren’t reaching your potential in life?

You fear taking risks.

You’re too scared to take a chance, so you protect yourself from perceived failure by avoiding a situation or decision.

Subconsciously, you tell yourself, “I can’t do that.” You feel anxious when making decisions or delay working on your goals because you “just don’t have the time.”

Instead of always taking the easy way out, push yourself to do more and be more.

You are worth it.

If you fail, it’s not the end of the world. So many people have failed along their journey to success and in reaching their potential.

Keep your chin up and keep pushing forward.

3) You’re scared to fail

Do you feel overwhelmed by the word “achievement?” What exactly does it mean to you?

Achieving your goals and dreams requires hard work and persistence, but when you fear failure, you’ll do things to delay or avoid moving forward.

When you’re scared to fail, you aren’t aware of the subconscious behaviours and thought patterns that influence your decisions.

Eventually, you believe that the only outcome is failure, and you become stuck in a cycle of negative thought patterns that is called a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Not only does this fear stop you from achieving your goals, but it also causes low self-esteem and increases self-doubt.

When things do go wrong, it reinforces what you were thinking all along. You’re a failure. If you tell yourself that you can’t achieve or be successful at something and things don’t work out as planned, you feel justified because you were right. It eases the blow.

Stop and look within.

If you can recognize the thoughts or influences that are holding you back from your success, it’s the first step to achieving real and positive change.

Fear can create anxiety, and anxiety is an uncomfortable emotion.

But when you push through it and understand in your heart that failure is a part of life, the anxiety eventually goes away, and you can achieve your goals.

4) You’re not being your authentic self

When you’ve been on your feet all day, it’s understandable to feel tired. When you’ve had a regular day and feel exhausted, that’s a different story.

Are you emotionally drained?

We can’t be truly happy in life if we cannot be our authentic selves. If you’re constantly putting your guard up or being someone you aren’t, it’s emotionally and mentally exhausting.

When it comes to relationships, you hide who you really are because you aren’t sure if you’re good enough.

At work, socially, or romantically, if you focus too hard on being somebody you aren’t, you cannot experience true happiness.

If you cannot be your true self, you’re holding yourself back from building authentic relationships.

Subconsciously, your behaviouur doesn’t reflect your true self, and it is absolutely exhausting.

Why do you do this?

It’s easier to pretend than to be criticized or rejected for who you are.

You tell people what you think they want to hear because you want to be liked and accepted.

But if you don’t feel comfortable being yourself, then you’ll never experience fulfillment in life.

5) You settle for less than you deserve

When you don’t believe in yourself or that you’re worthy of the best in life, you settle for less than what you deserve.

I’m talking to you.

You do things because it’s easy, or you think that you won’t achieve anything, so you hold yourself back from taking chances and pursuing opportunities.

Let’s say that you had a dream to pursue a career in business marketing, but you ended up accepting a position outside of your goals because it helped you provide for your family at the time.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with financial stability, but have you let go of your dreams?

Many of us do this in relationships.

We settle into a relationship that doesn’t make us truly happy. You’re taken advantage of or manipulated, but you’re scared of being alone, so you justify the actions of your partner.

To protect yourself from failure and disappointment, you settle because it’s easier that way.

Subconsciously, your fear of the unknown is preventing you from seeking a career, relationship, or goals that would bring fulfillment and a true sense of achievement in your life.

6) You live for tomorrow

Are you a tomorrow person? By this, I mean, do you tend to procrastinate or delay taking action because you fear failure?

Perhaps you’ve been discussing going back to school or getting a new job, but rather than act to make these goals a reality, you daydream and stall.

Stalling could be a way of protecting yourself from failure.

If you don’t try, you can’t fail, right?


All you’re doing is failing yourself. You might not be fully aware of your tendency to dream and talk about your plans to change and never take the steps to get to where you want to be.

When you constantly put off what you can do today for tomorrow, you’re being held back by fear and anxiety.

Ask yourself…

Why do I delay things or dream about what I want to achieve but never take the steps to make these dreams a reality?

Your subconscious fears are holding you back from pursuing your goals and successes.

7) You have negative thoughts

If you spend most of your time telling yourself that you can’t do something and that you’re not good enough, it eventually becomes your reality.

Your thoughts have a powerful influence on your behaviour. If you hold onto negativity, subconsciously, you end up feeling demoralized, helpless, and upset.

The way you think impacts how you feel and behave.

For example, you’re preparing for a job interview, but you don’t feel good about it and doubt yourself throughout the process.

This comes across as a lack of confidence and ruins the interview.

You can stop the cycle of negative thought patterns when you become aware of them.

If you constantly feel down and out, where is it coming from?

If you can identify those self-limiting beliefs, that’s already the first step to making a positive change.

When we hold ourselves back in life, we miss opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment.

Part of the problem is subconsciously telling yourself that you can’t achieve success, whether that be achievement, happiness, or motivation.

Only you are responsible for the choices that you make, and if you’re holding yourself back, it’s time to make a serious change.