It’s the HIDDEN Stuff That’s Holdin’ Ya Back

2 Questions to End Sneaky Self-Sabotage, Business Plateaus and Income Blockaroos 


Lately I’ve been exploring a whole new level of limiting beliefs I’ve been carrying about in my energetic backpack. Beliefs I had NO idea were lurking . . .

It’s a process I have to do regularly to keep pace with my ever-evolving, expanding soulful side.  So whenever I start hitting one of life’s many road-blocks, I have 2 choices:

1. Explore the inner-gremlins getting in my way. Or… 2. Do nothing (and suffer.)

It’s totally normal to hit bumps, blocks and plateaus. But it’s what you DO with them that matters most.

Thing is: Most of your inner-gremlins are hidden. If you never take the time to turn on your flashlight, grab ‘em by the scruff of their neck, and pull ‘em up out into the sunshine, you’re screwed. You’re literally at the mercy of your little leprechauny limitations — and they looooooove wreaking havoc on your dreams, business, relationships and health.

So when you’re just not getting results you KNOW you can (and should) be getting . . . then you have some icky gremlins a’ lurkin’.

And as the landlord of those sneaky inner-gremlins (those beliefs FAR beneath your naturally-awesome nature) – it’s up to you whether they get to stay and set up shop, or give ‘em their eviction notice, pronto.

But how do you do this? By asking yourself 2 VERY important questions . . .

The first question is:

“What’s the PAYOFF for not getting what you want?”

Sounds counter-intuitive, I know. But what could the benefit or perk be to staying stuck?

Don’t be logical or smart or “spiritual” — really let your brain speak honestly about what it believes, deep down inside.

Sure, many women’s first answer is: “NONE! There’s no freakin’ payoff!”

But dig deeper: if you HAD to make up a story to explain 1 very good reason why your brain might prefer playing small, what would it be?

(Be willing to see things that you normally might want to hide, or sweep under the proverbial rug.)

Here are some common answers that come up . . .


If I DON’T get what I want (ie. success, money, confidence, etc.):

• I would feel safer.

• I would be on familiar turf.

• My partner won’t leave me.

• I won’t leave my partner.

• I won’t have to give money away to friends, family or strangers.

• I won’t have to take care of my partner.

• I won’t us it (power, money, etc.) poorly, like I have in the past.  

• No one can take “it” away from me.

• I won’t have to grow up.

• People won’t find out I’m not good enough.

• People won’t criticize me.

• People won’t  find out I’m a fraud.

• I won’t have to work all the time.

• I wouldn’t have to give up my life and freedom.

• I’ll be able to have children.

• I won’t end up being a bad parent.

• People won’t think I’m stuck-up.

• My family won’t abandon me.

• I won’t fail miserably.

• I won’t have to take on more responsibility than I can handle.

• I’ll prevent something terrible from happening.

• I’ll be physically safe.

Sit with this for a minute – really get still, and listen closely: Which items from this list resonate with you? What other answers come up that aren’t on the list above?

*Write your answers in the comment box below right now…

If you’re feeling stuck, this might help:

With EVERY suck-o situation in your life – past, present and future – there is always, always, always a positive intention behind it.

(Did I mention ALWAYS?)

While the external ramifications may bite, your brain has a very savvy reason for creating it. It’s trying it’s best to make things better, keep you safe, and keep you alive.

Thing is: Your brain is creating it’s odd “rationale” out of seriously-lousy, uber-outdated programming that you’ve gobbled up since the very moment you were born.

Your brain is constantly making enormous life decisions out of total crap thoughts, irrational beliefs, and limiting logic.

And if you don’t get to the bottom of it, and bring the truth up to the surface, it will be running your entire life from behind the scenes — without you being the wiser.

And that results in depression, sabotage, inaction, self-hatred, self-blame and feelings of hopelessness.

Simply put: You become a puppet of your wee, silly brain.

But never you fear: If you uncover a fear that spooks the bejeezus out of you — rest easy! For example: If you suddenly discover a lurking belief that you might want to ditch your husband if you become a wealthy, successful gal, think again.

Just because that belief is lurking doesn’t mean that belief is actually TRUE.

Quite the contrary.

When women like you embrace your unconditionally-loving inner powerhouse, you have more compassion and understanding and patience and humility with everyone around you — especially your friends and family.

It’s likely that the last thing you’ll really want to do is kick ‘em to the curb. Sure, it’s possible. But until you’re standing fully in a full-out self-expressed scenario, you’re just not going to know for sure . . .

In the meantime, tell that adorable brain-o’-yours to take a chill-pill, my pet.

“But how long will it take to HEAL these beliefs once I recognize them?”

The great news is that often times, just becoming AWARE of why you do what you do causes a healing effect . . . Poof! It’s gone. . .

Other times, it’s just the huge momentum you need to begin cleaning out your mental-house and getting on with your life, opening the doorway to incorporate other healing modalities and mentors that guide you onward and upward!

Oh but wait – we’re not done yet…

My second favorite question to tackle these types of stuck-spots is this:

“What are you AFRAID would happen if you had what you wanted?”

Yup, it’s just another way of asking the first question – and often helps to dislodge whatever leftover denial is lingering about…

FYI: The answers to this question often look just like the flip-side of the list above:

• I won’t be safe.

• I won’t be on familiar turf.

• My partner might leave me.

• I might want to leave my partner.

• I’d have to give money away to friends, family or strangers.

• I’d have to take care of my partner.

• I’ll end up using “it” (power, money, etc.) poorly, like I have in the past.  

• Someone could take it all away from me.

• I’ll have to grow up.

• People would find out I’m not good enough.

• People would criticize me.

• People would find out I’m a fraud.

• I’ll have to work all the time, 24-7.

• I wouldn’t have a life.

• I couldn’t have children.

• I might lose everything.

• I would be a bad parent.

• I might be humiliated.

• I might discover I’m not good at what I do.

• People would think I was stuck-up.

• My family would abandon me.

• I’ll fail miserably.

• I’ll have to take on more responsibility than I can handle.

• I’m afraid something terrible will happen.

• Others would want to kill me.

While you may THINK that experiencing a Shangra-La life would be an obvious no-brainer — the truth is: If you don’t have that life yet, there’s something in the way.

(And that “something” usually smells like fear…)

From my professional experience, these fears are the things tripping up most all smart entrepreneurial women from having what they want.

You can study business, marketing, strategy and sales until the unstoppable cows come moseyin’ on home… But if these inner-gremlins have built themselves a hidden, high-rise in your gray-matter, you’re at their green, oozing mercy.

Ewwwwww…. grose.

That’s why this kind of belief-exploration is some of the most important work that you can do for yourself – especially if you’re hitting a roadblock, business plateau, or are just stuck motionless in life’s murky mud.

So have a ball this week uncovering your hidden limiting thoughts and release them back to wherever they came from. With love.

These beliefs are NOT you. Your core nature is so much more beautiful and capable and powerful than any ol’ goofy belief.

And while it can often feel big, scary or dramatic when you first make these realizations, they often dissipate quickly – and are NOTHING compared to the pain of living a life that’s waaaaaaaaay to small for your natural, unstoppable self.

So delight in some deep-diving this week – and share your insights with all of us below . . . I can’t wait to see what you uncover!


 © Copyright 2013 Stephanie McWilliams LLC




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  1. Barbara
    Posted November 16, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Stephanie, for tackling such a tough topic!

    My gremlin is one that continues to pop up like whack-a-mole: Fear of being overwhelmed (also, fear of not being able to handle the workload). I’m a very low-key person, and like to have plenty of breathing space in my life (time for rest, self-care, and just maintaining sanity).

    Problem is, how do I get past the fear, when overwhelm is such a commonplace thing? I mean, it seems like being overwhelmed is inevitable, to get where I want to go…

    • Ellen M.
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 4:18 am | Permalink

      What specifically do you fear about being overwhelmed? What would happen? Try to further define the fear and then you can deflate it.

    • Stephanie McWilliams
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      Hey Barbara! Fabulous post…

      For your feeling of overwhelm, you want to sit and write down the beliefs that are CAUSING the overwhelm. Overwhelm is simply a symptom of a belief. So the next step for you would be to ask yourself in those moments that you feel anxious or overloaded:

      “WHAT did I just think? What belief just ran through my mind that preceded this overwhelming sensation? What am I afraid will happen in the moment I’m feeling overwhelm?”

      Dig a bit deeper under the surface….

      Once you know those beliefs, then you have the opportunity to question those old, outdated thoughts that are throwing you out of alignment… You’re simply running beliefs that are untrue, and they’re causing you stress. So when you find those thoughts, ask yourself with each 1 of them: “Can I really be sure 1000% that this belief is true?” or sometimes I’ll ask myself: “Can I be POSITIVE that God would agree with my on this belief/perspective?”

      Start there, and share what you find. I’m happy to write more about this subject for a future newsletters as well — showing the you full process I use to question my thinking, and chase core beliefs to their very root. It’s the most powerful work that I’ve ever come across in the past 30-some years… VERY exciting!

      I hope that’s a helpful start! Enjoy the process, Barbara….

      Love + gratitude,


  2. Jessica
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    One of my favorite topics!!! Thank you, Stephanie! You are clearly in your genius zone. Love YOU!

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