There is no such thing as standing still in life. If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.

It’s baffling how some people seem to identify a problem in their lives, decide they want t change themselves, and start changing; while others don’t seem to be to take positive steps like that.

Some people seem to stay stuck no matter how hard they try. They might read-help books, talk to friends and family, go to therapy, or even see multiple therapists. But nevertheless, their issues don’t seem to improve.

If this is someone you care about, you might watch helplessly from the sidelines as they continue to be their own worse enemy. They might seem to repeating patterns that are self-destructive, unable to hear or take others advice, or distant and unreachable. It is painful to watch.

It’s even more painful when it’s you, and you are watching yourself live this way.

In my last 7 years of experience as facilitator of a mental illness group. I’ve seen some traits that can stall even the most deserving and lovable people.

Here are some of those traits:

You Can’t See The Path

When you’ve spent years living a certain way, that becomes your reality and your worldview. Other people seem to be living on a different planet, and you can’t understand how they got there. It’s hard to attain something that you can’t even imagine.

You Are Walled Off

Growing up feeling unloved, unacceptable or unsafe can force a child to erect walls around themselves for their protection. Those walls are helpful in childhood, but in adulthood, they block out the people who can help you the most. It can be difficult to trust the people who could be supporting you. You find yourself safe but alone; trapped within walls that are holding you back.

I tell you from experience that those walls are very difficult to break down. I fought this for years, but when you see a glimmer of hope don’t give up.

Comfortably Uncomfortable

Self-destructive or damaging life-patterns can also be so enriched that they’ve been a part of who you are. No matter what’s wrong in your life, you can get accustomed to it. Our brains store life patterns, and we have a natural tendency to settle into them. We are who we are, and on some level, we get comfortable with that, even if it makes us miserable. The idea of changing can feel very discomforting and scary. It feels easier and safer to choose the devil.

Depression

Depression interferes with growth in three important ways. It saps your energy and motivation, which makes it harder to take on a challenge; it makes you isolate yourself so that you have less support to change; and it makes you feel hopeless, so there seems no point in even trying to change.

Angry At Youself

Self-directed anger has a way of breaking you down. Like drops of water n a stone, there is gradual erosion of your self-worth. How can you change when you don’t feel you’re worth the effort it requires?

Setting Boundaries

We often have trouble setting boundaries for yourselves. It’s easier to just do every thing yourself that to tell people what you do or don’t want. If you don’t tell people what you like and don’t like how are they supposed to know.

I struggled with setting boundaries myself. I chose to let people walk all over me and then cry or complain about it every night. Setting boundaries can be as simply as telling someone. I don’t like it when you… “walk right by me unloading groceries and don’t offer to even help.”