On the surface this seems pretty silly, I know. You’re probably reading the heading thinking “fear of success? ALL I WANT IS TO SUCCEED!!”. And while this pay be true, there is an underpinning fear in all of us that centers around what that success really means, what we will need to sacrifice to get there, and that self-sabotaging truth of once I get it, it could all disappear before my eyes.
As a new coach, you dive into your career head first without a single speck of a clue what success is going to look like as a fitness or nutrition coach. You just think… “I’m UNSTOPPABLE! I’m going to change the world and make BANK doing it!!”
But once you jump, you quickly realize on the way down that there is no parachute, that you have to build your own damn parachute and that you didn’t bring the tools you needed to build one fast enough. You inevitably crash and burn a couple of times before you know what tools to bring with you, how to build one efficiently and that crashing isn’t so bad when you can get right back up and go at it again.
But there’s one thing we also learn subconsciously that inevitably can hold us back from ever truly succeeding. We learn that if it takes THIS much work and effort to FAIL…what’s it going to take to succeed? What will I need to sacrifice? What will people say about me if I do? Will it really be worth the risk? And because of this…sometimes our little dinosaur brain uses this for FUEL and puts thoughts in our head that causes us to self-sabotage our success.
In this blog, I want to peel back the layers of success and our fear of it, and leave you with some actionable steps you can take to make sure the fear of the thing you want the most never holds you back from actually getting it.
Binary Thinking Around Success vs. Failure
When we first launch ourselves into this career path, most of us have a very clear idea of what success looks like and what failure looks like. And unfortunately for us newbies we view these in very binary ways. We either succeed, or we fail in everything we attempt to do. There is NO middle ground and we have very distinct emotional reactions to these successes and failures which only further reinforces this thought pattern.
It wasn’t until I started working with a mentor that I realized there was the option to define success for myself and to view my “failures” instead as lessons that were happening for me instead of something that was happening to me holding me back from my happiness and freedom.
Success and failure are not mutually exclusive, and are not meant to be viewed through a binary lens. We naturally view success as being positive and failure as being negative, however once you go through enough failures you realize that there may, in fact, be more positive in the failures than success will ever give you.
It’s important, then, to begin your journey with the understanding that no matter how you define either, they are both inevitably going to happen and that there’s absolutely nothing you can do to avoid that truth.
It’s our perceptions of both that ultimately shape our experience with them. If, for example, you believe that achieving your goals is going to be super hard, you’re never going to have time to see your friends and family, you will need to work 15 hours a day and grind just to maintain that level of success…you are allowing your perception of that success to sabotage the effort you will put in to actually achieving it because ultimately you don’t see success as a gateway to the life you want to live.
This is one of the primary reasons why I encourage all of my clients to first understand whole-heartedly what success really means and looks like to them. Without defining this lifestyle first, it’s very easy to allow the fear of success take over and paralyze us from staying consistent in our growth. The more susceptible we become to the negative thoughts around “what if”, comparison, guilt, and fear shape our actions and ultimately our outcomes.
What Succeeding Teaches Us And How To Use It To Grow
You know what success taught ME?
That there’s always another goal. That you’re never done. That if you can’t be happy with what you have and all that you are, you will never be happy with all that you want. That you’re always going to be pushing for the next level, and that you will need to purposely take the time to step away and celebrate what you are accomplishing because it’s really hard to recognize that and give ourselves permission to feel good about it when we are in the middle of it (and it doesn’t yet look like what we think it SHOULD).
That I wasted so much time and energy worrying about nothing, that if I stay the course success is inevitable and that my failures were there to push me in the direction I was meant to go in.
I think the biggest thing success taught me is to start paying more attention to the ordinary moments and less to the extraordinary ones. That if you wait until a certain milestone to give yourself permission to start living life, then you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of failure because even when you DO hit that milestone it’s not going to feel the way you thought it would and you’ll just blow right past it to the next goal. Success taught me that the failures were there for a reason and that each mini success was just as important as the big ones and not to overlook those.
That every time I was afraid of what success would cost me, I was out of alignment with my purpose, my why and my passion…and that when I came back to that success was not only exciting again but inevitable. Which is why I need for you to become really clear on your WHY right now. What is your purpose, what is most aligned with how you want to show up in this world and how do you want to live your life?
What are the metrics you’re using to measure your progress right now? Are they aligned with the life you want to live or are they rooted in comparison, ego and status? When we are out of alignment, we get this icky yucky feeling in our stomach that inherently causes us to self-sabotage as a means of protection. When we get on the path that does not match our fulfillment, we become fearful of the outcomes.
But if we can come back to our WHY and stay true to that, success becomes a natural part of the journey that we can enjoy, celebrate, and embrace but not use as a means to measure our self worth up against. When we allow ourselves to compare our success to the versions of others this is where we fall into the trap our dinosaur brains try to help us avoid. It’s like we open the floodgates to the self-sabotaging thoughts that we choose to believe and lead to unnecessary setbacks on our path to fulfillment.
Rewriting Your Success Story
We’ve identified so far that success isn’t black and white, we need to re-define it for ourselves, and that if we aren’t careful we can fall out of alignment which leads to success self-sabotage.
So how do we overcome the success trap and start to view it through a new, unique lens?
We rewrite our success story! When we first enter the health and wellness industry we have big ambitions, bit dreams and big ideas of how success will look and feel. Remember, it’s not enough to just read this and move on, you need to take an active role in your future and re-write your story.
First, start with what you’re afraid of? What do you think it’s going to take to be successful that you aren’t ready for? What do you feel like you’re going to need to sacrifice or give up? What’s the vision you have in your mind right now that you think success looks like?
Next, call bullshit on yourself…which of those stories are true and which are rooted in assumptions your dinosaur brain is making for you? Which thoughts are you going to choose to believe and which ones are you going to rewrite? Which beliefs do you hold that serve you and which ones do you need to let go of?
Last, redefine success for yourself. Begin with the vision you have in your head…does that feel aligned with what would really make you happy, or are you frankensteining this vision together based on what you perceive success to be from media influence? Are you staying true to you or are you allowing others opinions and drivers influence your own?
Often when we take a step back to analyze this we realize that we are living out someone else’s dream and that our own version of success is much more simple than that standard we were holding ourselves up against. That we have the power to embrace success NOW and not force ourselves to wait until “one day” when we summit our massive mountain. THat there are a lot of amazing lookouts along the way to the top that can fulfill us just as much as looking down from the top.
Begin with where you are, and write your manifesto. What will your life look like, how will you be living, how will this feel, how will you spend your days, how will this impact you, how will this change your life, why is this in alignment with you, how can you silence the noise around you?
Success is not meant to fear. But success is also not meant to be binary. It’s not something you either have or you don’t. It’s something you can experience every day if you allow yourself to. Success starts with your passion and it ends with your perception and your daily experiences and the gratitude you show them on a regular basis. Give yourself the gift of success today and you’ll be amazed just how incredible you will start to feel day after day as you build success on top of success and progress towards that elusive summit.
OH and by the way, I’d love for you to join my free 5 day Superpower Boost challenge where you’re going to learn to define this success for yourself and reverse engineer it so that you can build your dream business from the inside, out. CLICK HERE to join up for the next one: https://www.confidencecatalystlive.com/5-day-challenge