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Fear of Success: How You Are Sabotaging Your Own Growth

Three common ways you might be sabotaging your growth that I learned from reading "The Big Leap" by Gay Hendricks.

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Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash
Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

Imagine you’ve achieved everything you wanted in your life and business. Maybe it’s finally being able to buy your dream home, or take that long awaited trip.

OR…

Maybe it’s waking up each day not worrying about money or what’s in your bank account.

How does this make you feel? What thoughts start popping up? And where in your body are you experiencing tension?

For me, I know failure wasn’t the thing I feared most; it was success. I was scared it would change me some how. So inadvertently I started sabotaging my own success. And I started seeing this very theme among clients of mine too.

Feeling things like:

What if this changes me?
What if I no longer have time to spend with my family?
What if I have to work harder?
What if I am not capable of serving at that capacity?

All the things that appear when we are thinking about our own success. But also all the things that are holding us back from achieving it.

And I never realized that I was sabotaging my own growth until I read the book, “The Big Leap,” by Gay Hendricks.

He talks about the ways we upper-limit ourselves, which is us essentially sabotaging our flow of positive energy. And when we prevent the positive flow, we block ourselves from receiving abundance aka the success we want.

Three common ways you might be sabotaging your growth or upper limiting yourself are:

1. Worrying

Our unconscious mind loves to keep us safe. And when things are going great, our unconscious kicks in with unnecessary worrying. And you and I both know worrying isn’t always useful.

Especially when we start to imagine things going wrong. Like what if I can’t support my clients or what if I don’t have time to spend with my family?

A mentor of mine talks about how we love to sit in our own suffering. We love to create problems that don’t exist. 

And the reality is we are worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet. So why not devote our energy to taking positive actions right now. 

What if things went right? What if your success allows you unlimited time with your family? What if your expansion allowed you to support more people?

Which feels better to you? For me the latter definitely feels more empowering. 

So, the next time those worry thoughts pop up, get curious about them. And ask yourself if the worrying is something you can control and if not what positive action can you take right now.

2. Deflecting

I became a master of deflecting. I hated being in the spotlight, and I’d instantly deflect compliments.

Gay Hendricks calls this the fear of outshinning others. Raise your hand if you relate to deflecting things away from you such as compliments, praise, or recognition. 

Well this is another form of upper-limiting yourself aka sabotaging your success. In order to receive everything you desire, you must become great at receiving. 

So the next time someone compliments you, try just saying thank you. Instead of following it up by complimenting them in return.

OR…

The next time you experience a win in your business or life, celebrate it. Praise yourself. And share these wins with others. This will open you up to receiving more as well.

3. Getting Sick, Getting Hurt

I’d love for you to look back at moments of time when you got sick, or hurt. 

Did they come right before or right after a big win in your business?

I grew up playing competitive sports. And I realize now, most of my injuries happened during major competitions. 

Sprained ankles.
Dislocated joints.
Broken wrist.

Just to name a few. And every single one of my injuries were right before or during major competitions.

I was upper-limiting myself without even knowing it. Perhaps yours look like migraines, vocal cord issues, terrible cold or stomach bugs. 

The more you become curious about your upper-limit behaviours, you’ll get good at identifying how you might be self-sabotaging your own success.

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