What’s holding you back? 3 Important Lessons From Therapy

As you can probably tell from the title, I am currently receiving therapy for what is a wealth of what my doctor likes to call “emotional wounds”. I know that not everyone believes in therapy, and I was one of those people too – but when you find the right person, they can really crack you open like the messed up egg you are and let all that poisonous yolk out. So in the event that you’re unable to pay for your own special happy-making doctor, I wanted to share with you some of the important lessons that I’ve personally been receiving in my incredibly expensive sessions that can apply to pretty much everyone. I’m thinking of starting a “Therapy Thursdays” since I find this to be pretty helpful stuff, but to start it off here are my first 3 important lessons from therapy:

1. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be

This was a big one for me, and I assume for most people. We create this image in our minds of where we should be at this point in our lives, and when that doesn’t match the life we are actually living, we cause ourselves a lot of suffering. We like to beat ourselves up for not doing things differently, for not accomplishing greater things in our careers, or for not having that perfect relationship we always dreamed of. When you do this, you set yourself up to feel helpless to change your situation, and of course you’re going to feel depressed and unworthy.

The fix: Remind yourself that you are doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing right now. When you stop beating yourself up and consider all of the things you have accomplished, you can start being nicer to yourself and therefore grow the confidence that will bring you everything you want out of life. Your path has gone this direction for a reason, so if you want a different life, remind yourself that you have the power to start making different decisions to get you there.

whats holding you back

2. Take responsibility for your own happiness

We all are guilty of this one. I cried to my therapist about how my boyfriend was causing me anxiety, but what was realized is that I was relying on him to do things that would make me happy, and setting us up for failure. We do this at work as well – we get upset when we aren’t congratulated or acknowledged, and we become disgruntled in our jobs. We rely on outside forces to produce a feeling of happiness and self-worth, and that always backfires as soon as those things become absent.

create happiness

The fix: Remember that only you can be responsible for your own happiness. Obstacles in our personal or professional lives need to be looked at as a way for us to learn about and better ourselves. We need to remove ourselves from situations or relationships that do not make us happy, and focus on the positives in our lives and not the negatives. When you can re-condition yourself to think positive instead of instantly going to all the things that are wrong, you can start making the best of any situation and become a happier person.

3. Get out of your comfort zone

One of the main emotional requirements for humans to be happy is to feel growth and progress in your life. This is probably why people who are in dead-end jobs don’t like going to work, or when a relationship has become stagnant and without passion people become depressed and anxious. We need to constantly feel challenged in our lives to truly feel happy, and many times this means getting out of that comfort zone that makes us feel safe but isn’t really  bringing us closer to where we want to be in our lives.

The fix: Raise your standards for yourself. When did you decide that you were going to stay in a dead-end job or relationship? When did you lower your standards for yourself and why? We tend to avoid the discomfort and fear that comes with leaving a safe, certain place for a path of uncertainty and potential failure. What needs to be realized is that everyone grows the most when things are uncertain, and the only difference between fear and excitement is your attitude about it!

whats holding you back

Hopefully some of these little tidbits of advice from my sessions resonated with you. As humans we all generally have the same hang-ups and fears that hold us back from reaching our true potential, it’s just a matter of figuring them out and overcoming them. I don’t know if I need to spend this kind of money to figure it out, but I figure it’s an investment in my mental health, which I suppose is pretty important.




  1. Number two is very important! You control your own happiness! Great post.

  2. Therapy is the best money I have ever spent. The key is finding a good therapist.

  3. Love this! I now know ehy my friends too are shelling out big bucks for therapy. Seems amazing. Thanks for your tips. You are inspirational. Love yout tweets and blog!!

    • Thanks so much Pamela! It’s worthwhile if you can afford it and you find the right person. Or I can keep giving info for free lol.

  4. Great post Ashley! Just as in anything it pays off to help an expert guide you through your feelings, thoughts and stresses. All really excellent points that are some the most important ones to guide you through life. #1 is the one I struggle with the most right now as a young professional and late 20’s unmarried/childless woman.

    • Thanks Kathryn! I think the first one is my hardest as well. I’m in the same place as you, and it causes a lot of anxiety. This has been great advice that has helped me calm down and not worry about keeping up with other people who seem to be where I want to be in life but are really unhappy!

  5. Great post! I definitely agree with the points in here. Therapy is, I think, good for everyone – even those who don’t feel like they need it. Therapists even go for therapy.

    • Thank you! I definitely think it’s good to have an understanding of what mental blocks you’re creating for yourself that could be holding you back in having the kind of life you want. Therapy has definitely helped me with that :)

  6. Thanks for sharing the free therapy session Ashley! It’s funny you mention #3, as “Progress” is my one word definition to describe happiness. I’ve written about this a lot. Progress in your career, your relationships, your savings, etc.

    Have you share any more info on the BF? You might be interested in reading a post about “Super Motivated Boyfriends” and how men see 30 as make or break. If the BF is not where he wants to be by 30, there is A LOT of agony that goes into a relationship.

    I’d love to get your feedback on the topic.

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  8. Love this post! I think therapy is very important at different stages in our lives, and that it is cool that you attend sessions and get help to work through things. :-)

    We need to speak to someone that gives us their unbiased feedback and also gives us insight into things that we wouldn’t necessarily consider on our own. Sometimes we are so caught up in the little details going on in our own world and we lose sight of what is really important, or we stew too long and turn small things into big issues in our minds. That is what happens to me…

    I attended therapy 15 years ago when I was going through a divorce and again about 9 years ago when I met a new man. Both times I was extremely grateful that I did.

    • Thank you so much for sharing that! It’s expensive, but most people’s insurance will cover it. Definitely worth the investment in your mental health — if it can help you to be more positive and understanding, your whole world changes.

  9. Pingback: What's Holding You Back? 3 Important Lessons From Therapy | Elite Daily

  10. Good Read!

  11. Loved this & discovered it on Pinterest at just the right time. This validated my choices & beliefs as well reminded me of others I have known, but as usual, pushed to the back of my mind. Thank you for sharing your journey. You can find me & my journey on Pinterest as J Morrow. Thank you again.

  12. Thanks for sharing! I think Therapy Thursday is a great idea and I look forward to reading more!

  13. Yes! As women, understanding that we are in charge of our own happiness (even when in a relationship) is the hardest thing to learn and understand. I love this post. I also went through a tough breakup because of these very issues. You are truly inspiring, I absolutely love your blog!

    • Thank you so much for this message Dara – I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. I’m so glad this post resonated with you – I think we all need these reminders sometimes!

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