What Are The Chains That Are Holding You Down?

Do you have chains that hold you down? I’m not talking about physical chains, of course, those could actually be cut off in just a couple of seconds with the adequate tool.  No, I am talking about mental, psychological, and emotional chains.  You know, the ones that you can’t see, but that are so strong that it would take more than a tool break through from.  You know what type of chains I’m talking about right? Do you have a few of them holding you down?  If you do, don’t be ashamed, I had more than I could count myself, and it took me a life time to get rid of them, or most of them anyway.  But it’s because I didn’t know any better. Today, however, because of the abundance of information available to us, we can know better. If only we wanted to!

What Types of Chains could be Holding you Down?  

We as humans are master creators of mental, emotional and psychological chains.  As society we invented them since the beginning of times, and some of them are quite resistant and strong.  So much so, that we are still under their heavy influence, and probably will be for quite some times.   Depending where you were born in the world, you may have more or less chains holding you down. Some could even have been added on along the road, and some you might have been added by your own self.  So, let see what type of chains could be holding you down and why they do.

The Tree Main Factors

Even though there might be multiple sub-factors that holds us down, my few years of studies and meditations on this topic have always brought me back to three main elements; Cultures, religions and beliefs.  As a matter of fact, there are all three forming a close net for the most part.


How can your culture be a chain that holds you down?  What is a culture, really?

Well, it’s a set of rules and beliefs that were created by a group of people living in a given area of the world.  It was then passed on from generation to generation.   Any group of people living by any culture rules have a tendency to have a certain mind set.  If you are thinking that I may be talking only about some Far East type of cultures, you’re wrong.  I am talking about any and all cultures.

We are all raised in some type of culture that puts boundaries in us, and we frown on those who dare thinking different.  Without you even being aware of it, you have a shaped behavior and belief system that is due to your culture.  Only by beginning to realize this fact, can you begin on the road of freedom.

Now, I’m not talking about the freedom of doing whatever you want even if it’s illegal or hurt others. Don’t get this wrong now; I’m talking about opening your mind to your higher self that is above any cultural beliefs of this world.  This is usually achieved through meditation.


Now what is religion? Well, religion is a culture within a culture. I happened to have studied religions for 10 years of my life while being in it.  I wouldn’t say that I am an expert in religions, but I can tell you that I did my homework, and learned a lot about it.

What religion does it’s take a group of people within a culture and teach them a set of beliefs on top of cultural beliefs.  In most cases, beliefs based on religion can be much heavier than cultural beliefs, because it makes the individual feel guilty or bad if they fail at following the rules.

As a matter of fact, some religious rules will turn out to make you feel bad without you doing anything wrong, but just by not doing your upmost.  Be outstanding! I remember a preacher who once said, “if you don’t feel like it’s hard, you’re doing something wrong”.  This was from a well known church in the US that also exist around the around the world.  Imaging the burden that this put on people?

Talking about chains that hold you down!   This can even go so far that individuals may feel that they will never be up to the task and make them feel worthless and depressed.  Now, I’m not affiliated to any religion anymore, and I am not defending or trying to put down any specific religion.  I am only speaking of them as the cultural movement in a culture.


Our overall beliefs come from a mixture of our culture, religion and the very family where we grew up in.  Beliefs are the results of a nucleus in a nucleus in nucleus. As you grew up, depending how you were raised you acquired different beliefs about life, success, education, money, marriage, lifestyle, values, etc.  The list could go on and on.

Your set of beliefs would be based on your culture (where you grew up in the world), you’re religion and the specific beliefs of the people who raised you.   All of these, pretty much, will shape your thinking process and ultimately your overall personality.  If you have what people call “a strong personality”, you might question everything and anything.  On the other hand, if you have a rather mellow personality, you might just take it as it comes.

So who are you? I’ve never been someone who just takes things.  Ever since I was a small child, I’ve questioned everything I’ve learned, especially, big deep stuff, and I had a very bad habit not to comply like others did.  Out of all my first cousins on both my mother and father’s side who were around my age and which whom I grew up with, I was always the “leader”, even though two of them were older than me.

Needless to say, I was a handful for my single (widow) mother.  Sometimes she would tell me, where are you coming from? And I would jokingly answer, you should know more than me where I come from!  I also made my share of enemies for being me, but looking back I don’t care about that at all anymore.

What about you? Are you letting chains holding your down, just taking it to the point that it completely blinds you? Or are you questioning things?  The more you will be questioning things the more you will revive that higher part of you, what coaches like to call your Higher Self.

When we do a little house cleaning, and get rid of the the man made sets of beliefs and meditate on life itself, we are letting our Higher Self speak to us. Once we do, we not only feel free, but our life take a turn for the better.

Your turn now, what types of chain are or might be holding you down?

24 thoughts on “What Are The Chains That Are Holding You Down?”

  1. This was really insightful and full of great ideas. Some people recognize that they’re being held down by their preconceived ideas but a lot of people don’t. A lot of people just think that the way things are is the only way they could be. It’s quite true that the way we’re raised and the circumstances we’re in have a lot to do with our outlook.

    You’re a rare gem in the mix! It’s not usual to find someone so challenging at such a young age. Kids may “rebel” and do things they’re not supposed to but ultimately they do it just to be contrary and not because they’re really thinking about the reasons why and challenging those reasons. Plus when kids grow out of that phase, you find a lot of people fall back into their parent’s belief systems and they teach the same things to their kids!

    To be honest I was never one to question. I did what I was told for a long, long time, even into adulthood. I only started questioning things slowly but once I started I couldn’t stop. Now I question everything. Nothing is good enough to just “be the way it is”. I guess I can be kind of a pain to people 🙂

    You’re absolutely right that physical chains are a lot easier to get rid of. You cut them off and they’re gone. It’s those weights we carry around in our heads that can really kill us! I hope people can realize this and begin to see another way.
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    1. Hi Carol,

      As always, thank you for your great input. The important thing is that you came to a point where you started questioning things while still a young adult. Some people never do. EVER!

      Me, I was just a pain in a butt to people, very early :), and had sometimes a bad reputation for it. And frankly to this day it’s a mastery to me as none of my parents were ever like that. And God forbid my grandparents, worse even. All in all my whole darn family.

      That’s why my mother was puzzled with me somtimes, but as she grew older, before she start getting sick, she was a lot like me. Over the years I guess I affected her thinking. It was just a bit too late for my mom, but my hope is that a blog such as this one can help some people while it would still be plenty of time for them to make a difference in their lives.

  2. What a wonderful post and topic Sylviane. You do cover some very interesting topics I must say.

    Like Carol stated, I use to just do as I was told. I always thought my parents knew best and I was the “good kid”. Okay, for the most part that is. I mean I always followed the rules and I never did anything that I knew could hurt me. I thought my parents were very wise and smart people who knew so much in this world so I always just did was I was told.

    It was early on though that I did start thinking a little differently. Like I understood that my parents grew up in a certain generation so some of the things they did possibly didn’t apply to us. I did have a mind of my own and started making my own decisions along the way.

    I know that a lot of us have these types of chains that can hold us back and we can easily fall into that trap of never wanting to break them. The sooner we all realize we are each our own individuals, the sooner we can all start thinking for ourselves.

    Thanks for giving us something to really thing about Sylviane.

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    1. Hi Adrienne,

      I have to admit, I had to think how to phrase that post not to be offensive to anyone, while still passing on the message that I wanted to convey which is not necessarily easy when you are talking about culture and religion, right?

      I always thought that I had the best mom in the world and she taught me so much, Adrienne, but yet, I did question things she believed in and things that she was taught and just swallowed without question her own parents. Many time I would tell her that my grandma needed me as a daughter instead of her 🙂 Oh boy! 🙂 As I was telling to Carol, she did improve a lot later on in life though.

      It’s good to be different than our parents even though we adore them, and you like many others have come to understand that. That is part of the normal human mind growth I suppose.

      Thanks for your input, Adrienne.

  3. Hi Sylviane,

    this is a very interesting article. Most people are so self-conscious in their “chains” that they’re not even aware they exist. The issue with getting rid of self-limiting beliefs or “chains” is this: We get rid of one self-limiting belief, and two new ones raise their ugly heads. It never stops, doesn’t it, because our mind is very good at creating them, inventing, redesigning and repackaging them. At least, my mind works overtime.

    I learned to really feel the pain of the chains which helped me to find out that they’re actually stored in the physical body as cell memories. Chasing the ghosts on the other hand only gives them more power. There’s nothing bad about them unless you give them any power.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.



    1. Hi Oliver,

      Yes, you’re right we are good at creating more problems than we already have. In my case, the more I’ve got involved in the learning and understanding of the mind and with help of meditation my overall behavior and outlook in life made a 180° turn. I would never want to get back where I was only 7years ago.

      Sometimes, as you are saying, accepting our pains and issues, and just moving on also help.

      Thank your for your input 🙂

  4. Hello Sylviane,

    Your artical is very interesting. I think many people feel as their are handcuffed for some reason or another. One can master working with the different cultures, I think you just have to learn their way of life and adapt it to yours, that is what I do, and it works. Religion, and Beliefs, mmmmm, that I would surely have to think on abit.

    Great Artical, and I will be back. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Hey Carol,

      I think that this is what this post will do on people, make them think. Thank you for coming and wanting to get back 🙂

  5. Hi Sylviane

    I love this post and these chains are there for most people I think and many never question them.

    I am like you I grew up questioning everything. Well not so much when I was young but from about 12. Then when I was in my early 20’s I started my search into personal development.

    My husband grew up in a very small country town in the south west of Australia. There are people he knows who have lived there all their lives and believe they cannot leave.

    Very interesting topic. Thanks for writing this post.

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    1. Hi Sue,

      Good for you. Well, 12 that is very young to start questioning believe me, especially when we know that the majority of people never do.

      Like your husband I’m from a small town full of people who lived their whole life there, and leaving? Well not in this life 🙂

      Thanks for your feedbacks 🙂

  6. Wonderful post Sylviane!

    I liked the way you blended everything so well to explain the chains that often hold us down. 🙂

    Speaking of myself, just like Adrienne mentioned, I always did what I was told to do when I was a child, and even through my teenage years. I guess my parents always taught me the right things, and I never did see anything wrong in their way of raising me. They were always perfect parents for me. But yes, once I stepped out into the outer world, things did change a bit and I had my views, thoughts, and ideas. Yet, that wasn’t as opposing or different from what I was taught too.

    However, now that I have my own kids, teaching them about beliefs, religion, and culture isn’t the same as we were taught by our parents. Times have changed and so has their way of looking at things. Yet, we as parents have to find a blend between both places and make things work.

    Most of us do get caught up in these chains and in-fact get trapped so often that finding a way out gets tough sometimes. I guess we need to be a mixture of the one who questions things at times where being professional and curious is concerned, while learn to take things as it comes also, which makes us a little relaxed and calmed down as a person.

    Thanks for sharing and making us realize more about what chains are really holding us down. 🙂
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    1. Hi Harleena,

      Well, I hope that this post didn’t sound like I didn’t appreciated the way my mother raised me, because she did a good job, and to this day a huge part of my behavior is how my mom raised me.

      However, what I did questions was things like superstition, we have to work hard to make money, you have to always try to please people before yourself and things like that…

      Another example, my mother gave her salary in full to her mother from age 14 until she got married. That I was not in agreement with at all either. See what I mean?

      Thank for your input, Harleena 🙂

  7. Very insightful post and interesting topic. We all have some sort of chains that hold us down but most of us rarely think of them. Some are unaware because they have had them for so long. Others get rid of them as they age. Teenagers try to break the chains all the time but then may revert back to them as they get older. (like rubber bands) I definitely question things but am not sure that I’ve broken any chains yet.
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    1. Hi Lisa,

      You really said it all in your comment here. I don’t think that any of us completely break all chains. There’s always going to be something that is going to stick, but as long as we manage to break through enough to feel free and happy, that’s what counts.

      Thank you for your input, Lisa 🙂

  8. I just love the way you look at life Sylviane!

    Do I have chains holding me down? I used to because of belief systems. They were a mix of cultural and religious. But I grew up…that took me a long time to do. I broke my chains that held me down half of my life.

    Now I turned to a victorious woman. No fear, nothing holding me back! I have a deep passion to grow. I guess it comes from those dark years that I spent repeating the same process. When I look back, or see a picture of me back then, it is like I was an entire different person. Well I guess that is true.

    Thank you for this wonderful post!
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    1. Amen to all you’re saying here, Donna.

      I could have had written this comment myself. I was exactly like you. I had many chains for what is still MOST of my life, since I’ve started to change only 7 years ago, which is still a very small portion of my life since I’m not 14 anymore 🙂 At least you started way before me 🙂

      Thank you for bringing this point out, Donna.

  9. Hi Sylviane,

    I have set of my own belief system 🙂 I’m following my culture and religion too. But only what I can analyze through my brain and understand the point of following ’em. As I grow up, I understand sensitive things too. I have some doubts time to time, and I’m not well trained to live with doubts 😉 I need a valid reason to believe in something and if I believed, it will comes through my actions naturally.

    I think some beliefs force people into stuff they don’t wanna do or even they don’t accept ’em. Religion is crucial too. World in not full of good or full of bad stuff. Some people define one thing as a holy and some believe same thing as an evil thing such as killing animals. I don’t try to judge people by their beliefs, and I don’t care what religion he/she believes in. But I care if they blindly accept or deny things. I always believe there is a reason for every thing happen around us though they are invisible 🙂

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    1. Hi Mayura,

      Your are saying a lot of smart things here. It’s true that what is evil for some may be sacred for others. What is bad for some religions of the western world, here in the US, for example, are common things for other neighboring religions. And it goes on and on. Why is that? Well, it’s because most of those rules are man made rules, aren’t they?

      What I feel is that when something doesn’t feel good to you, then it’s not good.

      Thanks for your excellent input, Mayura.

  10. Hi Sylviane,

    So I’m having a look at the posts you sent me in my confirmation email now!

    So interesting… don’t we all believe our parents walk on water, at least for a while? I know I did and it was such a shock to find out that they were wrong and imperfect in so many ways, but two lovely, lovely people nonetheless.

    I’d like to think I have an unconventional streak but I don’t think I’m brave enough to not conform entirely, and that’s definitely a form of insecurity of sorts, borne out of fear of not being accepted presumably, but at least I’m aware of it and not pretending to be otherwise, so there is hope for me!

    I’m enjoying your blog.

    All the best, Roz
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    1. Hi Roz,

      Your are totally right! I believed my mother walked on water too (my father died when I was only 5), but as you grow older you see and understand things that proves you different. But of course we still love them to death, nonetheless.

      We all have some fears of not conforming, you’re not alone, believe me. It’s just great that you are saying it while many people wouldn’t 🙂

      Thank your for your input 🙂

  11. I remember that when I was a child, I do not question the adults who tell me what to do, whereas I see other children who do not follow their own parents’ warnings, their lectures, etc. I actually see myself as a compliant little girl, but nowadays, I have nephews and nieces who are so different from how I behaved back then. My nephews tend to ask so many questions that I myself never bothered to ask my parents when I was that age, and some of my nephews are so stubborn that they do not care what other people think or they do not care if their parents scold or discipline them.
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  12. Hi Sylviane! Many thanks for another engrossing read–it’s always a good idea to identify the factors that seem to hold us down so we can ultimately resolve them and move forward. Sometimes these can hinder us from overcoming obstacles and establishing relationships.

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