What's Holding You Back?

Valorie Burton is a bestselling author, speaker, and life coach dedicated
to helping you:

  • Be happier and have more fun, even when life seems routine.
  • Navigate setbacks or disappointments that make you better, not bitter.
  • Make a major life change that's exciting and scary at the same time.

5 Ways to Move into Your Season

As we usher in spring, I feel led to ask you, “Is it time to usher in a new season in your life?”  There are few things more frustrating than remaining stuck in the old when it’s time to embrace something new.  Sometimes the new thing is an inevitable change or transition, whether it was something you wanted or something that was thrust upon you. At other times, your new season is a goal you’ve been working towards, but now it’s time to notice that the thing you wished for is here.  You’ll have to shift your thinking so you can enjoy the vision that has finally come to fruition.  Whether your new season is related to your career, relationships, finances or health, consider these five ways to successfully step into a new phase of your life:

1. Say good-bye to the last season. In order to fully embrace what’s new, mark your passage from one season into the next.  If a child is about to head off to college, plan for a celebration to mark the milestone.  If you are moving from one place to another, acknowledge it in a meaningful way.  If you have lost someone or something important to you, grieve your loss so that you can eventually move forward in a healthy way.

2.  Embrace the new season. Once you’ve said good-bye, say “hello” to what’s new.  Dive in. Consider the things you are able to do now that you couldn’t before.  If you’re entering a difficult season, identify and embrace the help you will need to give you strength and perseverance.  Acknowledge your challenges, but be sure to open your eyes and notice the blessings, too.

3.  Ask, “What new habits do I need in this new season?” What worked in the last season, may not work in this new season. It’s like using your old house key to try to open the door to your new home.  What got you in the door there won’t work here.  Be flexible and adopt the new habits that will empower you to thrive in this new season.

4.  Ask, “Who do I need to connect with in this new season?” Relationships matter.  Don’t go it alone.  Reach out and connect with those who can help you and whom you can help.  When facing a major change, it’s your ability to connect with the right people that can make the difference between a smooth transition and a bumpy one.

5.  Ask, “What vision am I moving towards in my new season?” Often a new season means a new identity in some way.  Perhaps your role has changed, relationships have been severed, a job was lost or a move has put you in a totally new environment.  You may have had a vision – and even achieved it – in the previous season of your life, but now it’s time for something different.  Your old vision may not work in this new place.  What’s your new vision now?


My challenge to you this week: Let go of the old. Take hold of the new!


Journaling assignment: What new season are you stepping into? What new habits do you need? Who do you need to connect with? What’s your vision at this next stage? Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you!

Own Your Part

When I went through the most difficult challenge of my life, I made these five commitments that helped me come back better and not bitter. I shared them in a subsequent book, Where Will You Go From Here?: Moving forward when life doesn’t go as planned.

  • I will not feel sorry for myself.
  • I will not stare at the closed door.
  • I will direct my thoughts. My thoughts will not direct me.
  • I will dig deep to unearth all the courage I need.
  • I choose to believe all things work together for good.

But this week, I feel compelled to challenge you to consider one more commitment to help you grow through your mistakes and challenges:  Own the role you played in your setback.  Own it. Not to beat yourself up, but to avoid repeating the mistake.  Owning your role means letting go of blame.

The most successful people in life are often the ones who fail the most. They overcome their fears and go for it – whatever “it” is. They live fully, not wanting to fail, but also not afraid to fail.  They know that failure and mistakes offer the opportunity to make tweaks by learning what works well and what doesn’t.

What setback or challenge are you dealing with right now? What role did you play in the situation? What would shift if you admitted your role? When the situation involves others, and you seem to be at an impasse, it is powerful to simply acknowledge the role you played in the whole situation. It requires humility. It requires honesty. Both humility and honesty open the door to authentic relationships.  You can be dead wrong, but if you own your part, grace and forgiveness can emerge.  “I was so wrong about that. I am sorry.  Here’s what I would like to do moving forward.”

When the setback or mistake affects only you, you need to be just as humble and honest with yourself. In my biggest life setback, I did all that I could to fix the problem. Much of the problem wasn’t anything I created. It was simply the circumstances that presented themselves. However, there was one part I could own:  I didn’t wait on God before I had proceeded down the path that created the problem in the first place. In other words, if I had been patient, the whole mess would have never occurred. It wasn’t something I liked admitting, but it is was empowering because with one decision I could have saved myself the big mess I had to clean up.  It was a new perspective that gave me new wisdom that empowered me to make the right decision the next time around.

I don’t know what situation this applies to in your life right now, but I hope you’ll stop a moment and consider the way in which it is time to own your part. Let go of the blame and think critically about your choices. You have the power to change your entire life, but only when you look honestly at the choices you make and make adjustments that empower you to make better choices as you learn and grow along your journey.

My challenge to you this week: Own your part in the challenges you face.

Journaling assignment: What setback or challenge are you dealing with right now? What role did you play in the situation? What would shift if you admitted your role? Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you.