You’ve been there before. You’ve stood at the cusp of something meaningful, some form of success but you remain frozen, unable to take that last step. Or worse, you can’t even take the first step towards realizing some form of new reality that you want to embody. What is that all about? Why do we do this to ourselves? Here are the reasons our subconscious brain tells us:
1. If you succeed, people will think you don’t need support anymore. In turn, you will feel guilty asking for support
There is something funny about our society where if you have some form of success (monetary or other), other people will think you have “figured it out” and therefore you don’t need support of any kind.
You now need to wear the veil of confidence and success even if just skin deep, you are freaking out with just as much doubt as before any success had come to you.
Oh you’ve succeeded? Well now you must relinquish your right to mentally struggle or ask for any help. Don’t be so selfish.
That’s a lonely proposition. We don’t want to be lonely so we often choose to not taste success.
2. If you succeed, then your friends will turn into haters
Success is heavily dependent on the intricate mental scaffolding of relationships. So, similar to the first bullet but ever more painful, if we fear that personal success will make the people closest to us ostracize us from our social sphere, we will run as far away from success as we possibly can.
The thought of the group talking about us behind our back compounds the discomfort of being able to vent, share struggles or seek feedback after any form of success. That equation’s result equals paralysis every single time.
3. We’re afraid that success won’t look like we dreamt it up
The first bit of success is always a lot less grand than our chariot a’blazing, swooning-crowds dodging, magazine-cover donning, global-impact assuming, disease eradicating story that our dreams have told us our success would look like.
We hate that.
We sometimes would rather dream about what success would look like than to experience even 5% of it. Why? See the first bullet. If we don’t succeed at anything then we feel like we can get the support of those around us and be part of a group who would-if-they-could. Shame on us.
So What Are We To Do?
First, we must understand that we still have the right to ask for support, no matter how much success we have. Psychologists have to see psychologists. Politicians have advisors. CEO’s have boards of directors. Every Olympic medal winner has a coach. Why is it that before success and in high levels of success, the more feedback and help you get, but in between it’s completely opposite?
The best thing to do is find people in your peer group who are going through a similar stage of success as you. Believe me, they are just as scared and unsure as you are! I still doubt myself everyday. Don’t be afraid to simply ask for some feedback.
Second, if your friends are the types of friends who would be really jealous about you succeeding or that any success you have would be your way of telling them that you are better than them, then you need to get new friends. This is the hardest thing on earth to do but there are meetup groups and coworking spaces everywhere. Find people who support, not demolish.
Your life is your life. Treat it with respect.
Third, we must enter the mindset that 5% of something is better than 100% of nothing. 100% of nothing might make you feel unlucky, oppressed, entitled and part of the lot who just never had the chance, but you’ll only be lying to yourself.
A small dose of success can be damn terrifying for a myriad of reasons. It makes it a lot easier when we can find people to admit that to.
Do you agree with those 3 bullets? What holds you back from succeeding?