Merge's Blog

What bungee cords are preventing you from moving forward?

moving forwardLast April, here on the blog I asked the question: What’s stopping you from moving forward?  And to answer it, I used the metaphor of paddling a kayak.  Today, I have another metaphor to address the same question.

Imagine a bungee cord

Imagine a bungee cord.  One end is attached to a fixed object and the other is hooked to the back of your belt.  As long as you stay close to the stationary end, the cord remains loose and there is no tension.  But as you walk away, the slack in the cord will begin to tighten and you’ll feel a pull on your back.  Continue to step away and you’ll find that eventually it will be a struggle to keep going. In fact, not only will the bungee cord hold you back from moving forward, but you will also be at serious risk of either losing your pants or getting smacked by a broken bungee.

All of us have bungee cords attached to us, links to the past that hold us back from moving forward.  And the more we try to get ahead, the more the stress and tension grows forcing us to stay where we are.  And often the fear of losing our pants or getting smacked by the broken bungee keeps us from continuing to try.

What bungee cords are holding you back from moving forward?

As we start a new year, it is a good time to reflect on and identify your bungee cords.  What is holding you back from moving forward in your role as a professional and as a leader?  Has a past error made you question your abilities?  Have previous unsuccessful job interviews caused you to lose confidence?  Is your lack of topic knowledge preventing you from contributing intelligently to discussions on the subject?  Are your self-limiting beliefs blocking you from reaching a significant goal?

The bungee cords are not always obvious because each bungee has a different length.  The short ones may be easy to identify immediately, but the longer ones only come to light once you start trying to stride forward.  If you find yourself in similar undesirable situations repeatedly, it is very likely indicative of a bungee.  The good news is that once you identify a bungee, you can take positive steps to unhook yourself from it.

So … what bungee cords are holding you back?  If you’re willing to share, then I’m pretty certain that someone out here in cyberspace can offer you insights into how you can unhook yourself.  You just have to be willing to put it out there.  Please comment below so that others can respond and learn from your situation.


  • Brian Scudamore, the founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK is credited with the following quote: “It’s difficult for people to get rid of junk. They get attached to things and let them define who they are. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this business, it’s that you are what you can’t let go of.” Being able to let go of those things that are holding you back will retard your progress. Whether it is a bungee cord or something else, sometimes you have to simply let go and move on.

    • Jim, thanks (as always) for your insightful comment. I wonder if you have a word missing. Did you mean “NOT being able to let go …”?


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