What’s Holding You Back



A few days ago I was in line at a store waiting to make a purchase. I was running a few minutes late and the woman in front of me was taking a lot of time putting away her money, wallet and other goods, so I reached over the magazine rack on the counter to hand the clerk my items. Generally that wouldn’t be an issue, but in this case, the woman took a great deal of offense, saying she had the ‘right to put her things away’ and telling me that this is how ‘stuff’ gets started.

Keep in mind, I hadn’t touched her or her belongings, she was clearly upset or having a bad day and decided this was a good way to express herself. I continued my process with the clerk, interacting with the woman as little as possible, and letting her have her anger.

As I left the store (she was still getting herself together), I had to take a few deep breaths to re-group. Once I got a handle on it, I started to think about how that kind of anger and frustration with the world can hold us back. Lashing out at the world, making someone else wrong (or, alternatively, ourselves), being angry… basically playing ‘victim’. It is probably one of the single most effective ways to DESTROY your success.

When you get caught up in that kind of loop, you can’t get excited, inspired or motivated. The great ideas don’t flow your way. People don’t want to spend time with you or hang around you – at least not the ones who are going places. The only people that want to be with you are the ones who want to gripe, complain and gossip with you – fanning the flames of the upset.

So, here’s my challenge to you… the next time you start to slide down that slippery slope, take yourself firmly in hand and SHIFT your perspective. I had to do it after leaving that store… for a few minutes I was really irritated. Then I decided it was more important for me to focus on where I was going, the people I was going to see and what came next. I pushed it out of my mind and it didn’t come back until I walked past the store on my way home, and then it only lasted a moment.

Do whatever it takes to let go and move onto something else in your mind. It’s ESSENTIAL to your success. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did… and just a little while later you’ll be wondering what all the fuss was about anyway. :- )

And, if you are ready to take full responsibility for your business growing the way you want it to, then you’ll definitely want to check out my upcoming Make Your Marketing Work webinar – we’ll be talking about the single most important shift you can make to bring in more clients and more cash this year. You can register here.


Be Sociable, Share!
Categories : Success Mindset


  1. Anita says:

    This was so cool. I don’t know how many times this has happened to me. I have even had the merchant reach over the customer to get my things so I can get waited on.


  2. Amen Payson, Amen. Well written to inspire people to just let it go.

  3. Lin E says:

    This was so good, Payson. The same thing happened to me recently, and while I had to work my a** off to clean up my thinking, it was so much better for ME to not get caught up in her sh*t. Sorry for the expletives… I must have some residual angst, still. LOLing

  4. Payson says:

    Thanks Anita. I usually slide over to the side so people can start their transactions, but I can understand how someone would get into a funk and want to take up space. This was the quickest I’ve managed to let something like this go though, so was very happy with how I handled it. :- )

  5. Payson says:

    Thank you Alison. It really struck me how we hand over our power and potential when we get caught up (or for some, even chronically spend time in that kind of a place) like that. Glad you enjoyed it! :- )

  6. Payson says:

    LOL Lin! Believe me, had some residual angst too… texted something to someone just before making that decision to let it go. It’s so funny how hard it is to drop stuff like that sometimes… it feels like pulling big hooks out of our sides, but it is SOOOO worth it! And, you are SO right – so much better for you not to get caught up in someone else’s crap. That would be giving them the ability to dictate your life, and none of us need that! :- )

  7. Gia E says:

    Read your post. The lady may have been moving a little slow but you invaded her space. This happens to me all the time when I am following another female. Unfortunately, as women we carry everything in our handbags and it can take a minute to get straight, and if we don’t we could have our handbags snatched right from under us. I say just slow down and think about the other person when you’re out and about, how much time would it have cost you, an extra 30 secs?

  8. Payson says:

    Hey Gia,
    Thanks for your comment. I can absolutely see your point of view, and I had waiting 20-30 seconds before the clerk reached over for my stuff. I generally slide down and make room for people to put their things on the counter even if I need some extra time. Am sure she perceived me as invading her space, even though I never entered it and only reached over the magazines directly in front of where I had been standing. I don’t think I would have even noticed if someone had done that behind me… Suspect it’s just different for each of us…

  9. Kenetia says:

    Great article! I want to acknowledge you for having compassion for her and considering she could have been having an off day. At the heart of letting go is being able to have compassion for ourselves and others. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Payson says:

    Thank you Kenetia… appreciate that so much. We all have tough days and you’re right, compassion for ourselves and others IS at the hear of letting go. :- )

  11. Martina says:

    Good post, and thanks for sharing Payson, but I actually have mixed feelings about it.

    From her perspective: Yes, this women should have had enough control to back it down a notch and communicate coherently if there was a real issue. Or, she could have said she was sorry after the incident was done, and she realized that her reaction was over the top.

    From the perspective of the next person in life. Yes, if someone gives such a response, the only thing we can control well in these situations is oir reaction. And yes, do what you need to do and move forward.

    However having said all that, we must be mindful that people have space issues, and things going on that we cannot possibly know about. I am certain that my personal reaction would not have been this huge, but i might have been bothered by someone moving into my “space” while I was putting away my money and credit cards.

    Yes, we all hurry through life, and we want to get all of our stuff done, and move on to the next big thing for us, but so does everyone else. Sometimes, we have to remember or learn back off a little bit, and let people be who they are.

    And yes, I have been annoyed by people taking “too long”…

  12. Payson says:

    Thanks for such a thoughtful response Martina. It is a bit of a ‘tough call’ – I may have been in the wrong by ‘pushing’ her a bit, and she may have been slowing things down. I appreciate you laying out both sides of the process so clearly. It certainly helps if we can remember to see things from the other person’s point of view and remember we can’t know what is going on with them. :- )

    And, yes, as you said, the only thing we can control is our own reaction. You can be sure I’ll be considering all of this the next time I’m in a similar situation! :- )

    Bottom line though, I am more determined than ever to let go of the ‘frustrations’ that I can sometimes become very attached to, to manage my own state of mind throughout.

    I SO appreciate all of these thoughtful comments and the different perspectives you and everyone are bringing to this conversation. Thank you!

  13. Thank you for the gentle reminder that how I deal with the issue is the Issue. In other words what I make the focus will no doubt be the focus.

    In our community we make it a habit everyday to give thanks for the ability to clearly hold self and others in a place of compassion because underneath the anger we understand that there is hurt and that the intention is to get to the loving of self and other no matter what. Demonstrating self-love is the root of all loving.

    We are never upset ( peace disturbance) for the reason we think we are….

    So where ever that woman is right now, I send her light and waves of compassion to make it through the day out of harms way and that we all take a moment to check our ability to respond to the highest good that lives in us. (as you demonstrated). Thanks for the great insight and reminder.
    It was the right aid we all could use:)

    Coach Selby

  14. Payson says:

    Thank you so much Selby – what a beautiful message. It also (like some of the other messages here) has made me want to breathe more and remember was are all the same – good days and bad days – and truly, we are all one. If it is possible to stay in that space, there is nothing but love and any situation like this one would shift into a new space for all participants and open possibilities instead of the alternative. :- )

    And LOL! Love your last comment, I hadn’t even noticed! :- )

    What a wonderful learning experience that moment in time is turning out to be for me! :- )

  15. Lucy says:

    Not to bring you down but I can’t stand it when the person behind me doesn’t give me time to ‘wrap’ things up. Sorry, just a different perspective. You may have not touched anything but she felt rushed and she clearly decided to not take it anymore. Maybe the better thing would have been to apologize to her. We all need to be more patient and polite. We teach our kids to wait and take their turn and as adults we need to do the same thing. I know two wrongs don’t make a right but maybe you might learn a little bit, slow down, wait your turn,the world won’t end and if it does you will be ready for that next big adventure Because you have been a nicer person :)

  16. Payson says:

    Thanks for your perspective Lucy.
    There is more to the story than I’ve chosen to share here, and due to those other factors I generally don’t feel like I did rush or push her, but I can certainly understand your point of view. I was probably not completely in the right, but also think, given all the circumstances, this is a pretty grey area… which is being shown by the mixed comments as well.

    It’s actually been very tough for me to choose to leave this post up on my website, and to approve all the comments. I want to keep this as a space for open conversation and make room for everyone to have their thoughts… at the same time, it’s been super hard for me to stay vulnerable and allow what feels to me like people telling me I did something ‘wrong’. The main reason I’ve left this up is to keep opening myself, and to (hopefully) model for my clients and readers that even if people don’t agree, it’s ok, we’ll all survive.

    I know that the bigger my business becomes and the more I put myself out there, the more likely it will be that some people don’t agree with me, don’t like something I’m doing or saying or even don’t like me (I didn’t get that from your post – I actually felt yours was a gentle offer of a different point of view – as most have been).

    Honestly, I never expected this to bring so much conversation, but I’m really glad it has. It has reminding me that we can’t know how people will respond to something and that it’s important to really be ourselves, be open, honest and allow ourselves and other’s the space to be.

    Thanks again for the comment. :- )

  17. Patty says:

    I instantly responded to this post when I read it. For the last two weeks I have sensed an overwhelming message in my own life that how other people respond to us in completely “their stuff.” This post seems to encapsulate that. Everyone is experiencing something related to this post based on what they bring to the table.

    I loved it. I agreed. I like to get my wallet organized and leave a store feeling together but I go out of my way to make sure that personal need of mine does not hold others up. When someone in front of me decides that their organizational needs take precedence over my schedule I get a little peeved.

    Could I be patient – yes. I try to be mostly but at the end of the day my experience of the world is that this woman was infringing on your time Payson. Of course I wasn’t there and my reaction has nothing to do with THE reality – it simply is a reflection of MY reality.

    How interesting to see this played out here. I think the important message is “What do we do with our anger?” I’m going to work on that because I know even though I don’t show it all the time their is a wisp of anger when someone infringes on me and really its up to me to hold my boundaries.

    Personally I applaud you for holding your boundaries, Payson. But of course that is just my perspective 😉

  18. Payson says:

    Thank you so much for this comment Patty. I think you nailed it perfectly. When I’m taking extra time, I slide over and work to make space so I don’t hold someone else up, and there was probably a part of me that was frustrated at that lack of consideration. I can definitely see both sides of this… And, as you said, the bigger message about taking responsibility for our own feelings, managing them and DECIDING how we are going to react and be in the world is super important. It’s so easy to get stuck in that loop – whether it’s anger and thinking about what you could have said or done, or feeling badly for something that took place and worrying incessantly about what people think. We are the only ones who can manage our thoughts, and we are the only ones responsible for the results and outcomes of each moment of each day.

    Appreciate you and your perspective too! :-)

  19. Saba says:

    Very insightful. I can understand from both perspectives and connect to both. One is not to let others’ moods get in the way of yours. Other is for me especially, to step back and be patient. I am always in a rush and on the go go go. Sometimes I need to take a break and okay to slow down in life sometimes.