The #1 Factor that Holds You Back From Living Your Best Life

Be mindful of the things you tell yourself — and what others tell you.

Christopher D. Connors
3 min readSep 21, 2021
Photo by theroyakash on Unsplash

The #1 factor that holds people back is fear. Fear stops you before you even begin to discover your true potential and it makes you self-conscious and doubtful. The truth is, the best advice we can heed sometimes is to mind our own business and focus on making ourselves the best we can — for us.

20 years ago, a hilarious experiment was conducted by a psychologist that serves as a microcosm for the way we see ourselves in the world. In fact, it’s also a reflection for the way we perceive society to see us. Psychologist Thomas Gilovich decided to take a deeper look at ego, self-consciousness and shame. What he and his peers found was truly remarkable.

Paul Bloom recounts from this 2000 experiment by Gilovich:

“Gilovich and his colleagues asked undergraduates to wear a piece of clothing that they found embarrassing — a t-shirt with a picture of singer-songwriter Barry Manilow on it. After putting on the shirt, the undergraduates had to spend some time in a room with other students and were later asked to guess how many of the other students noticed what they were wearing. The undergraduates tended to overestimate the proportion by a large margin, and…