10 reasons you can’t live in the moment

Written by Angela Atkinson

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”― John LennonLiving in the moment

Do you know someone who refuses to live for the “now,” preferring to focus on tomorrow or ten years from now? And, if so, does that person seem very happy to you? Do you see true joy in the person’s life? 

I find that putting off happiness and joy “until ______ happens” is really just putting off your life. If you’re always waiting “until” to find your joy, then you’re going to find yourself waiting forever, if you ask me. 

What makes people resist living in the moment? 

I think there are a pretty wide variety of reasons that people resist living in the moment. When you practice this kind of mindfulness, it calls you to stop allowing the past or the future to be your constant focus. A lot of people are stuck in rut thinking.

Top 10 Reasons People Can’t Live in the Moment

  1. They constantly dwell on thoughts of the past or the future. The reason that they do that is because they’re not completely happy with the present. It’s not where they want to be and they’re not who they want to be.
  2. They don’t realize that mindfulness can help them find that acceptance and peace in the present that they’re trying to find. People resist being mindful about the present because of fear about what they don’t know.
  3. They’re afraid of losing control. When you’re faced with changes, not knowing what those changes are and how they’ll affect your life can foster resistance. The problem is that change has somehow become associated with negative rather than being something that can open up new possibilities.
  4. When someone doesn’t fully understand what mindfulness is, that can cause them not to want to have anything to do with being mindful about the present. They resist the change because they don’t know what it’s all about.
  5. They don’t trust that being mindful about the present is going to help them in any way. There’s comfort in the familiar even if the familiar doesn’t make them happy. So they stay where they are, rather than step out and reach for what could change their lives for the good.
  6. Whenever you have fear of the unknown and comfort in the familiar, you have a recipe for resistance to any kind of change, not just mindfulness. The period in someone’s life can also cause them to resist being mindful about the present.
  7. If they’re going through a time where things are wonderful in their present, they can be reluctant to be mindful because they don’t want to rock the boat. It’s the same way if things are bad in their present.
  8. They won’t want to rock the boat and make changes because they’re afraid that things will only get worse. Sometimes, people resist being mindful about the present because they absolutely hate anything that pulls them out of their normal.
  9. Because they don’t have a good grasp of mindfulness, they can’t understand the positives associated with it. When a person has a mindset that’s always looking backward at how good things “used to be” they can resist mindful living in the present.
  10. If they have a mindset of how good things are going to be “in the future,” then they can resist the present. These people have created fences in their lives mentally and emotionally and they don’t want to stray beyond those fences.

There are some people who base their self esteem and love themselves based on where they used to be or where they’re going. They wrongly believe that to have to be mindful about the present, they’ll have to lose themselves. They don’t realize all that they stand to gain. Don’t be one of those people. 

Do you know someone who suffers with this kind of mindset? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. 


  • Angela Atkinson

    Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own. Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves. Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at QueenBeeing.com and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.

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