Not everyone is accustomed to being successful, and while it’s true that most of us are afraid of failure, we also fear success because we don’t know how to live successfully. These may not be tools we acquired and therefore it frightens us. What we know is how to struggle, how to need or want, we don’t know how to be comfortable living with success.
We have mastered living scarcely or paycheck to paycheck, it’s familiar to us and although we don’t like it, we are most comfortable with what is familiar. We stay in unhealthy relationships because as negative or harmful as they are, it is what we know and feels familiar, therefore it is what we are “comfortable” with.
It’s time to stop accepting what is comfortable, to stop holding ourselves back or finding ways to self sabotage ourselves because we convince ourselves stepping out of our comfort zone is even more frightening. This contributes to staying right where we are and feeling like a failure for it.
We think we are doing the best we can and in some ways we are, but if we are not valuing and appreciating ourselves, if we are not being our “biggest fan”, then we are not doing the best we can.
Why is believing in ourselves so challenging? This lack of self worth or low self esteem shows up in many ways, such as not asking for more money because we don’t feel worth it. We fool ourselves with all sorts of excuses like they can’t afford to pay me more, the company or business isn’t doing well, and we even think, maybe I’m being greedy. Our ego wants us to believe these lies, but in truth,we are worth it, we are talented and good enough. Yes, in some cases the company you work for may not have the finances available to pay you more, or the clients you are servicing may truly not have the money to pay more, in these circumstances it’s important for you to at least recognize you are worthy of making more money and being successful, and that success is on it’s way. That you are on your way to success.
Being successful means different things to everyone. It may be about money, it may be about being in the best relationship possible, it may be about becoming famous. We have a bar that was set long ago, as children, and our inner children are frightened and influencing us into not raising that bar.
Those limitations that we impose upon ourselves came as a result of not receiving the recognition we required as children in order to grow up confident.
As it states here in the following article:
“Self esteem is shaped not only by the child’s own perceptions and expectations, but by the perceptions and expectations of significant people in his/her life – how he/she is thought of and treated by parents, teachers and friends.”
This article goes on to list these characteristics needed to develop or acquire a healthy self esteem; A sense of security, belonging and purpose. A sense of personal competence and pride, trust, responsibility and contribution. A sense of making real choices and decisions, a sense of self discipline and control, a sense of encouragement, support, and reward. A sense of making mistakes and failure, and a sense of family self esteem.
This is not meant to place the blame on our parents, teachers, or other significant people who were a part of our childhood, it’s meant to be a guiding tool as to how we created or accepted a life of not being as successful as we desire.
Most of us grew up lacking any number of the above, but now we have the power to change it!
First, you must become aware of what is holding you back by looking at that list again and determining what resonates with you the most? What triggers an emotional reaction or a memory that feels uncomfortable? If you become upset with these memories, remind yourself that you are alright, that these are just memories, and even though our bodies cannot discern between being a memory and re-living it again, we are able to remind ourselves that it’s only a thought, a memory, and in turn we can release it. Take a deep breath before moving on.
Now that you’ve brought some feelings up to the surface, and maybe thought of things you hadn’t thought of for a long time, you might be asking yourself, why do I want to focus on things that don’t feel good, things that weren’t right in my life. You aren’t going to focus on these things, you are only becoming aware of them and by doing so, you have already begun the healing step towards creating a more successful life.
This is where it gets a little deeper, if you cannot do the following exercise now, meaning you do not have the time or a quiet space to spend a few minutes, save this and at a later time create space where you can connect with those emotions again.
Take a couple of quiet moments, breathing easily and relaxing. Connect again with the list above, acknowledging that perhaps you did not have a sense of security growing up, maybe you weren’t allowed or did not learn how to make real choices and decisions for yourself, maybe you were expected to make decisions that should not have been put on you. Possibly you did not receive the encouragement and support that you needed in order to believe in yourself or to become confident and proud.
Whatever it is that you feel was lacking, unhealthy or distorted as you grew into adulthood, can now be nurtured and healed!
Give yourselves credit for wherever you are in life at this moment and realize that moving forward, you are already in a better place. All the thoughts and feeling we unconsciously dismiss, stuff down or ignore will continue to surface or fester into something worse. That younger, wounded, “lacking” version of you will heavily influence who you are as an adult, how you feel and treat yourself and others and affect every relationship you are in.
Healing your “inner child” may require much more in depth processing than what you’re practicing today, but you are already closer to leading a healthier, successful life than you were yesterday.
We long to be the best versions of ourselves possible and that prompts us to treat ourselves with extreme love, support and care. It’s imperative to give to ourselves all that we may have or have not received growing up and more.
There are many fortunate adults who experienced a healthy, happy and functional upbringing and may still find themselves in a “less than successful” place in life as adults. This is because they have not fully stepped in to pick up where their parents left off by nurturing themselves, and accepting and supporting themselves completely. In other words, parenting themselves in the abundant and healthy manner in which their parents did.
Regardless of what you grew up with, a healthy support system or not, in order to live successfully, and it’s important to remember, success comes in many forms, you must be your biggest fan, your own cheerleader, you must believe in yourself and be passionate about what you want out of life.
Now you have a better understanding of why you are more comfortable living a life that doesn’t feel supported, or isn’t as fulfilled as you’d like. You can see that it’s because that is what you are familiar with, and familiarity actually gives us a false sense of safety.
Everyone is fearful of leaving a space that provides them with safety, which in turn, is sending out a lot of energy through thought, of not wanting to leave a safe place. I’ll explain that again, contemplating stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t feel safe, so by focusing on the that fear, you are in turn mistaking opportunities for something that are possibly “unsafe” or risky. Sending all that energy towards not leaving that safe space will create obstacles again and again to keep you from moving forward. These obstacles come in many forms, they might be financial, emotional, actual-such as a job loss, failed relationships and may escalate to physical in the form of pain and dis-ease.
We see the chaos around us yet do not recognize our unconscious need to have that chaos so that we are kept in our unhealthy “safe” space.
Thankfully there are many ways to acquire the tools for living a capable, well rounded, happy and successful life and by doing the exercises you did today, you are already shifting that energy into being comfortable stepping outside your comfort zone and learning how it feels to live a successful life.
~Allow the feelings to surface and acknowledge where they came from – without blame or resentment.
~Know that you can give yourself what you need right now through self encouragement, self discipline, and learning to make healthy and responsible decisions.
~Create boundaries from others who do not support your highest self and do not believe in you, as you need to believe in yourself.
~Be courageous and engage how it feels to be successful in whatever your perception of success is.
~You can do this! You are fully capable of living as the best and highest version of you possible! It’s time to take off and live successfully!