I need to lose 10 pounds. I’m going to get out of debt. I’m finally going to write that novel. I want to open a bakery. Your friends and family encourage you. They say, Why not? I believe you can do it! In fact, there’s no reason why you couldn’t/shouldn’t! You appreciate them for cheering you on. You feel encouraged, you have a fire in your belly and lots of great ideas for execution. Woo HOOO!
Then . . . nothin’.
Why? Why is it so hard to get off Square One to accomplish our goals or to make our dreams reality? We think it’s possible. We believe in ourselves and believe we have the skills but sometimes we sabotage or undermine our progress because we’re actually afraid of success.
What?! Yes, it’s true. Sometimes it’s easier to subconsciously cause ourselves to give up (and rationalize why) than it is to push through and prove to ourselves how amazing our lives can be. But there is no reason to sabotage yourself–ever!
Don’t you love this quote from Marianne Williamson?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? . . . Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. . . . And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
My favorite part of that quote is “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”
Do you ever hold back for fear of looking bold or arrogant? Have you ever downplayed your luck, your looks, your talent, or your knowledge to make someone else feel more confident? Sometimes we’ve taught ourselves to be that way. We bragged about something totally excellent as little kids and we were shut down.
It happens as adults too. When I got my first ‘grown up’ job, I was excited about the pay. I told someone very close to me about it who asked, Did you tell them you’re not worth that? Ouch. In college, if I got a better grade than a friend of mine, she’d say, You suck! But she could hoot and holler when she rocked an assignment.
Sometimes your words and actions stay with people even though they shouldn’t.
Some people don’t seem to like when other people do better than they do (aren’t they called Haters?). Some of us condition ourselves for the negative response from those haters about our successes. Why? Why can’t we be happy about everybody else’s good fortune, talent, energy, and happiness? We should be.
Can you imagine not being delighted out of your mind when your kids (or people close to you) do well on something, learn a life lesson, or experience something wonderful? You love them so much that you couldn’t NOT be happy for them. Maybe that’s the trick. Maybe we need to have a little more love . . . to feel like we are operating from a place of I have enough for me—I can be happy for somebody else.
The flip side of that is having enough love for yourself to celebrate what’s great about you! No more playing small! Who are you not to be your very best self, accomplishing everything you want to in life? Who are you not to be successful?
Don’t sell yourself short. Be really honest with yourself about what you deserve, what you want, and what you really believe you can accomplish, and then do it! I’ll be cheering for you.