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.

Are You At Peace About It?

It’s a simple question, but too often, in the face of a decision, we don’t ask it. Sure, logic is an important element of making a decision, but so too is intuition. Rather than ignore it or consider it secondary information, honor it. Peace is like an inner GPS system that leads you in the right direction. Even when the system looks like it’s taking you on a detour, it is often offering you a shortcut – saving you the time and energy of landing in a traffic jam of confusion, bad decisions or worse. Even in the most tumultuous situations, God can give you peace about a particular decision you need to make in the midst of the storm. You’ll feel calm even though everything around you is falling to pieces.

If you are honest, there have likely been times when you have felt compelled to move forward with something even when peace is lacking. Why is that? The reasons are probably rooted in fear – fear that somehow if you don’t make a decision now, you won’t get what you want later. It is the fear that you need to be in control and that means being able to see all the pieces of the puzzle. The ones you can’t see, you don’t trust. And you can’t “see” intuition – not in the natural, anyway. It is fear that maybe your intuition is wrong. “You don’t really have the ability to hear from God himself?” your doubt says. “Don’t be silly.” So rather than confidently going with your gut, you forge ahead with that gnawing feeling that something’s not quite right. Proverbs 22:3 promises, “A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Here are a few other ways fear shows up when it’s time to make a decision:


Have you ever made a decision out of impatience? You’re tired of waiting, so you move forward. Whether a simple everyday decision or a monumental one, such as who to marry or what career to choose, be patient. And choose peace while you are practicing patience. True patience isn’t about whether you wait, it’s about how you wait.


Lack of trust in God’s hand in your life shows up when you make decisions that are not rooted in peace. Trust Him. If you really trust Him, impatience won’t outweigh peace.


Some of us get very caught up in trying to figure things out. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.” In other words, stop trying to predict, reason and rationalize your way into the right decisions!

I don’t know what the most important decision is that you need to make right now, but I know for sure that going in the direction of peace is a demonstration of authentic confidence and spiritual wisdom. So today, I wonder if it’s time for you to slow down a bit. Get quiet. Breathe deeply. Listen. And ask, “In this decision I am making, what choice gives me peace?”

My challenge to you:

Use peace to guide you.

Coach Yourself:  

In a decision you need to make right now, are you at peace about your decision? What decision would give you peace? Leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

What Would it Look Like to Accept ‘What Is’?


We can spend so much of our energy pushing uphill against what is. You may wonder, “What is ‘what is’?” What is, is reality. It is the inevitable; it is the situation that you wish were not in existence. It is the fact that: You would prefer it if someone else was your boss … you wish that bad habit your spouse has would go away … your career that is off track. It is the divorce you didn’t want, the health challenge that burdens you, and the life that hasn’t turned out quite the way you planned it.

When you resist “what is,” you live in a state of denial. You focus your energy trying to control what is beyond your control. You spend countless days and hours focused on why it shouldn’t be this way. Frustration takes over. Anger prevails. You may even hide reality to avoid facing it. Rather than letting people in on your disappointment, you keep it entirely to yourself. You may even set out to prove that “what is” really isn’t. Rather than coming up with a plan to get your career back on track, you pretend to the world everything is fine. Instead of making the most of the life you have left, you spend most of your energy lamenting the fact that things are not where you believe they should be. Instead of accepting a loved one right where he is, you spend your energy trying to make him change.

What if you stopped pushing against the inevitable and trust your ability to handle reality? What would you do differently then? When you make that shift, it feels like releasing a heavy burden from your shoulders. It feels authentic. And let me be clear: It feels scary at first, but if you embrace reality – finally, truly embrace where you are right now – you can relax and begin to find the courage to confront your greatest fears. You can finally move forward. You can live authentically – not in denial or fear, but in acceptance and faith and love.

My challenge to you:
Embrace what is.

Coach yourself:
What is your “what is” right now? What reality do you resist? What would it look like to accept what is? Leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you!