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How to stop self-sabotaging your success

With big success comes big responsibilities, but it doesn’t have to suck.

Photo by Samuel Clara on Unsplash

I was sitting on the floor crying. “I want my $2,000 per month business back!” There, I said it! Too much money, too much responsibility – basically I have created everything entrepreneurs tend to dream of and yet I was completely overwhelmed. My multiple 6-figure business was growing over my head.

“Why am I so intimidated by success?”

One of the things I’ve realized during this breakdown is that it’s ok to have conflicting feelings about success at the same time.

We can be thriving for success and yet feel very intimidated by it. That can go as far as self-sabotaging your own success, out of fear of actually achieving it.

In order for you to grow as a business owner, you need to invite responsibility.

Running a successful business can mean a lot of freedom, but it goes hand in hand with a long agenda of to do’s as well. Paying your team on time, being responsible for their salary, putting taxes aside, understanding bookkeeping and making the right business decisions and investments… you name it.

For me as a full-time digital nomad, who mainly had to decide which mango shake on which beach bar is next, this was a bit of a shocker. Welcome to the “adult world”, which I thought I left behind when leaving the corporate world. I felt threatened in my freedom. And when success feels like a thread to one of our core values, conflicting feelings arise.

In order to grow you need to invite responsibility.

We hide behind what we don’t want because it’s really scary what we really want.

What I’ve come to realize is that responsibility and freedom can go hand in hand. I get to travel the world full time – whilst saving money, making smart investments and paying my employees on time.

So what can we do when we feel like giving up, when all the responsibility seems to grow over our heads and we’d rather play small again?

Don’t be scared of your own courage.

The more freedom you create in your life, the more is at stake – the more you have to lose. Learning to be ok with this conflict will set you free from self-sabotaging your success. Your desires to make a big impact are in your heart for a reason. It’s ok to have conflicting feelings about it.

Go through the feelings. Let them pass through you.

Something that you can do right now is having an honest look at what’s bothering you right now. What’s the conflict, what are you worried about? Now ask yourself honestly: Have you sat with this feeling?

Pushing our fears and uncomfortable feelings away causes even more resistance.

Letting the doubt and insecurity pass through me for a moment actually made me feel back in control. This doesn’t mean that you’re giving up on your ambition. It just means that you accept and allow yourself to feel whatever needs to be felt.

Make an active choice.

We tend to forget that we have plenty of choices in life. We feel like we “have to stay in this job to be safe” or we “can’t be rich because that’s not an honorable thing to wish for.”

You get to choose if you let your fears rule your world. After a moment of crying, I knew that I didn’t really mean it when I said: “I want my $2,000 business back”. It just felt like the easier path to take.

Ask yourself:

“Is this really what I want? Is this really what the highest version of myself wants to settle for?” We could totally accept to stay at a low income to avoid more responsibility or stay in our day job because it provides a secure salary. But what if you’re meant for more?

Make an active choice to accept everything that comes with success, and you will be set up to be successful. 

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