Advice, Breakthroughs, Careers, Empowerment, Following Your Dreams, Inspiration for Change, Kathy Caprino, Living Real, success, Wake Up Calls 12 Blocks to a Joyful Life: What to Let Go of to Reach Your Happiest Life Written by: Kathy Caprino

As I deliver my coaching and professional development programs to women around the country, I continue to observe a fascinating phenomenon: thousands of women are in emotional pain about their lives and careers, but the vast majority will only make change when the pain becomes intolerable

We seem to cognitively understand that we want so much more from our lives and careers, but don’t muster the courage and commitment necessary to create a breakthrough, or a “paradigm shift” (as I like to call it), until we experience a true “breakdown” moment or a resounding wake-up call. 

But we don’t need a wake-up call to tell us change is required!  There are signs all along the way.

Please…take action earlier than your breakdown moment– make continual adjustments when you get a sign that change is necessary.  And make minor modifications each and every day, as an integrated process of living.

If you could decide earlier rather than later that, “Today’s is the day I want change,” then joy and fulfillment will be within your reach much sooner, with a lot less struggle.

What blocks you from saying, “OK, I’m ready for change and for full-out joy!” 

My research with Women Succeeding Abundantly has taught me that there are 12 common blocks to great joy and success, and until we’re ready to address and overcome these blocks, we remain stuck in a life situation that is definitely less than our best and happiest life – and much less than our full potential.

The 12 common blocks to joy and success are as follows: (listed below are the blocks, and how we rationalize them to ourselves):

1.         Fear of the unknown – “What’s out there if I leave this behind?”

2.         Insecurity – “I can’t do this!”

3.         Pessimism – “It won’t work out for me.”

4.         Self-reproach – “I’m a failure.”

5.         Energy leaks – “I don’t have the energy (or time, money, support, etc.) for this.”

6.         Connection to struggle – “I don’t feel joy very often, so why should I try to achieve it?”

7.         Diminished self-worth – “I don’t deserve great things.”

 8.         Faulty conditioning – “Life is supposed to be unfulfilling and hard.”

9.         Diffuse boundaries – “I need to please everyone else before myself.”

10.        Confusion paralysis – “Where do I start?”

11.        Commitment fatigue – “I tried, but it didn’t work.”

12.        Higher-Self Disconnect – “This is all there is – there is no greater purpose or meaning to life.”

Read through this list again.  Do any of these blocks resonate with you?  If so, today is your lucky day!  You’ve just averted a breakdown experience because you realize that you want to embrace positive change in your life, and you understand that today is the best day to start.

If any of these sound familiar, take this step today – Call a friend you love and trust and tell him/her that you’ve just realized that you may have a real block to experiencing more joy and success, and you want to do something about it.  Ask them to help you become accountable to overcome this block starting today, and ask if they could be your mentor to do it.  Then brainstorm together one action you can take to move away from being blocked in this area. 

For instance, if you want a new career direction but are afraid of the unknown, do some online research and interview people who are in this new field you’re interested in, and get more familiar with what’s involved to pursue it. 

Or if you feel you don’t have the energy for change, commit to bringing forward one new activity in your life that will give you great joy and energy, and in turn, say “no” to doing that something you do that always drains you.

Overcoming blocks like the ones above takes: 1) awareness, 2) commitment, and 3) empowered action.   You can do it!

Please share your feedback – I’d love to hear which of the blocks above resonates with you most, and what one step you brainstormed with your friend to take to get you moving towards joy.

Thanks SO much for sharing!

5 thoughts on “12 Blocks to a Joyful Life: What to Let Go of to Reach Your Happiest Life”

  1. After 30 years owning a jewelry store in a small coastal town in Maine, I can no longer stand the routine of retail. My partner is my understanding and helpful husband, but my concern is that if I leave , the store will suffer. If I knew what my next move could be I would aim for it, but I am stumped. Any ideas?

  2. Thanks for your note, Frieda. I certainly hear your frustration, along with your heartfelt desire to change directions, and your confusion as to where to go next. I can tell you this – if you can no longer “stand” the routine of retail, it’s time to shift away from what you’re doing as soon as possible.

    I’d suggest:
    1) Take my Career Path Assessment survey (you can access it here: – these are insight-producing, thoughtful questions that will help you gain greater clarity and a new understanding of where you’ve been, and what you want to create in the next chapter of life and work – your Life Intentions, Standards of Integrity, your dreams and wishes and real-life goals for what you want in life and work.

    2) Get on the path today to shifting out of the routine of retail – explore some possibilities such as:
    – hiring a replacement (find a person who’s absolutely jazzed about retail, and the store might do MUCH better!)
    – moving away from a full-time to a part-time commitment
    – “Try on” some other new professional paths (research, research, research what you might want to do – do online research, take a class in something you’ve been longing to do (designing jewelry, perhaps?), volunteer to help a cause you’ve always wanted to assist with – find avenues that light you up from the inside out)

    3) Read my articles on career change ( and be open to what these career change strategies and concepts offer you in terms of motivation to take some new action

    4) Private consultation – finally, call me! In an hour, I can help you see more clearly what you want to do and create in this next exciting new chapter (check out my private consultatons here:

    Hope that moves you forward, Frieda. All best wishes, and hope to hear from you soon. Kathy

  3. Hello, Kathy –

    Thanks for the resonse! Have been moving forward and am pursuing writing. I’ve done a humor column for the local weekly newspaper for 4 years now and haved just joined the group Maine Media Women to expand that idea. I did design some jewelry for the store which has all sold and may do more, and did volunteer at a local veteran’s hospital. Simply reaching out to a professional like you has helped. I read some blogs through your site and they were very helpful, too. Think the retail is going down to part time and it is a relief which may actually re-excite my involvement there and elsewhere. Maybe that’s all it will take, but time will tell. Wanted to go to your assessment page, but it showed “Error”. Will check in again. If not before, have a lovely Holiday Season! Frieda

  4. Thanks Frieda, for the update. Great to hear all the directions you’re pursuing and exploring. You’re “trying on” these new identifies to find the right fit, which is exactly the right process. Beautiful! About the Career Path Assessment, it’s now a free download on my homepage. Please see top right box on That should be helpful in moving you forward as well. Thanks again for writing, and keep me posted. All best!

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