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Holding Yourself Back Test

Most of the world’s cultures have expressions that describe people who are holding themselves back. Susan Whitbourne and her colleagues at the University of Massachusetts now believe they can scientifically quantify the seven elements that make a person hold themselves back.

Are you holding yourself back? For each of the following statements, indicate how well it applies to you below.

Question 1 of 35

I blame myself when things go badly for me.



The IDRlabs Holding Yourself Back Test (IDR-HYBT) was developed by IDRlabs. The IDR-HYBT is based on the work of Dr. Susan Whitbourne, Ph.D. and her colleagues, who researched the structure of not reaching one’s full potential. The IDR-HYBT is not associated with any specific researchers in the field of personality psychology, psychopathology, or any affiliated research institutions.

The IDRlabs Holding Yourself Back Test was informed by Dr. Whitbourne’s treatment of a paper by: Boudreaux, M. J., Lengel, G. J., Oltmanns, T. F., & Ozer, D. J. (2021). Assessment of self-related problems in functioning: Intrapersonal Problems Rating Scales. Psychological Assessment, 33(6), 526–540, as well as: Stillman, J. (2021): The 7 Ways Your Personality Can Get in the Way of Your Success, According to Psychology, Inc., June 15, and Whitbourne herself in: Whitbourne, S.K. (2021): 7 Ways to Test Whether Your Personality Is Bringing You Down. Psychology Today, June 5.

The works cited above looked into key factors that may cause a person to hold themselves back. This work has also been illuminating when compared to the known predictors of success that have been extracted from the Big Five Test and traditional IQ Tests. The present test is provided for educational purposes only. IDRlabs and the present IDRlabs Holding Yourself Back Test are independent of all above-mentioned researchers, organizations, or their affiliated institutions.

The Holding Yourself Back Test is based on a peer-reviewed and published research into the traits of people who are standing in the way of their own success. However, free online tests and quizzes such as this one are solely initial explorations and indicators; they cannot provide accurate assessments of your personality traits. The test is to be used for educational purposes only. A definitive personality evaluation can be made only by a qualified mental health professional.

As the publishers of this free online Holding Yourself Back Quiz, which allows you to assess yourself for the seven characteristics of being likely to keep yourself from living your full potential, we have striven to make the test as reliable and valid as possible by subjecting it to statistical controls and validation. However, free online quizzes and tests such as the Holding Yourself Back Test provided here do not render professional assessments or recommendations of any kind; the test is provided entirely “as-is.” For more information about any of our online tests and quizzes, please consult our Terms of Service.

Why Use This Test?

1. Free. This Holding Yourself Back Test is delivered to you without the need for sign-ups or registration and will allow you to obtain your scores related to Getting Stressed, Self-criticism, Getting Distracted, Risky Behavior, Perfectionism, Lost in Fantasy, and No Enthusiasm.

2. Based on University Research. The Holding Yourself Back Test was created on the basis of peer-reviewed scientific findings.

3. Statistical controls. Statistical analysis of the test is conducted to ensure maximum accuracy and validity of the test scores.

4. Made by professionals. The present test has been made with the input of people who work professionally with psychology and individual differences research.