The Only Person Holding You Back From Your Goals Is You

Enough is enough.

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By Howard Rudnick

Have you ever had a moment where you think, “This is it, this is how I go,” and your life briefly flashes before your eyes?

That happened to me recently in a rainstorm as I hydroplaned across a couple of lanes. My vehicle spiraled as I frantically attempted to wrangle control of my car once again.

When I finally regained control and had a moment to gain my composure, I thought about how lucky I was in that experience.


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During the remainder of my drive, the cars stopped on the side of the road and the emergency vehicles showed me that many others were not as lucky as me.

The scariest part of having an incident like that is the fear of “what’s next.” It’s rare when these moments happen to you, but if you’re lucky, you may never have to experience one.


If anything, moments like these give me clarity that life is too short to worry about “what’s next” and future outcomes.

I’ve recently been on a personal journey of discovery, learning to make myself a priority, so sometimes I’m not too concerned with the future.

As humans, we are given a finite amount of time on this Earth, yet we do so little of it actually living. To quote my good friend and Grammy Award-winning artist Drake, “Everybody dies, but not everybody lives.” There is not a statement that rings truer than that.

We get bogged down with responsibilities, family, and other inconsequential tasks and it’s hard to find time to actually live. Living is having new experiences and making memories that don’t bum us out or have negative feelings attached to them.


How many times have you made excuses for not doing something you’ve wanted to do? Whether it was taking a quick getaway or going to that concert or spending a whole day in bed with no distractions.

To that effect, we’re programmed to find excuses and put our passions, interests, and hobbies on the back burner.

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I’m a firm believer that the only person holding us back from our goals, passions, and desires is the person we see in the mirror. We’re both our biggest fans and our worst enemies.

Until we reconcile that we’re the only person who matters at the end of the day, we’re going to be stuck. Stuck in our monotony, stuck at the fork in the road, and feel a sense of mediocrity.


Prioritizing what matters most can lead us to a path of inner happiness that only we know how to achieve. However, some of the goals we set are just to meet societal expectations.

Do you want to be married by 30? Start a family even though you’re not ready? Become a billionaire by 35? These goals are guidelines based on life’s “timelines” that society expects us to follow.

Spontaneity gives us that true feeling of joy and an overwhelming sense of excitement.

Overall, we need to reprogram the way we think. We need to think about what makes us happy, what makes us tick, and what is best for us.


If it’s long-term or short-term, our thoughts should guide us to our next chapter in life.

Don’t let anyone else ghostwrite your life. It’s up to you to determine the ending, so make it one you’ll never forget!

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Howard Rudnick is a former contributing author to Unwritten and podcast host of Rudnick Rants.