In our last blog post, we talked about fear of success.
We talked about why I was scared to succeed, what I thought would happen in my life.
Well, let me tell you about something that has happened since then. Even when we’ve been working on this stuff for a long time, new things can still come to the surface!
A new fear of success
I was at a conference for coaches this past weekend. Any time a bunch of coaches are in a room together, we can’t help but start to dig into each others’ problems, looking for obstacles and other situations that might be holding us back.
Hey, we’re coaches, it’s what we do!
I discussed last week that I’ve known for quite a long time that fear of success was a big deal for me. How would it affect my family? How would it affect my other relationships?
Growing up, we were very firmly middle class. But we grew up in an area where we were more affluent than many of the families. In other words, while my best friend was growing up with 6 kids in a 800 square foot house, I was growing up in a 2500 square foot house where all 4 kids had their own bedrooms.
That type of thing.
So everyone always wanted to hang out at my house. Not because of me, per se, but because I had the coolest biggest house.
And I felt that discrepancy even back then. So I developed this story that if I became successful (in my brain at the time, that meant wealthy), then people would only want me for my money.
The fear amplifies
Then, life progressed. I was accepted into vet school, I graduated, I found a job. After several jobs, I eventually purchased a clinic. That was the logical next step in my brain, and something that I had always thought I would do since it was the natural progression of things, I thought.
The problem is, being a vet was hard and I’ve told you the stories about how miserable I was a few years ago. Owning a clinic only amplified that.
So succeeding in the two biggest goals in my life made me miserable.
Dramatic, but that’s the story that I developed.
The brain isn’t always logical, unfortunately. Or rather, the subconscious.
I finally realized I had this story this weekend in San Diego.
I was talking with several of the coaches, and we were sharing disappointments. What did we need to get off our chest, where were we feeling out of sorts?
And I shared a story about something that had happened in my life where I had failed, and I felt like I should have been way more upset than I was.
The coaches latched on and started digging.
And we discovered that there was a whole other layer to this thing.
I had thought that I was just worried about success because of what my family would think, and because the people in my life would only love me for my success.
I didn’t realize that I truly thought that if I succeeded, that success would make me miserable.
That was the story in my head.
Success = unhappiness.
I was shocked. I’ve been doing this work a long time, and I had no idea that was cooking in my brain.
The nice thing about these fears and stories, however, is that once you start to uncover them? They lose a whole lot of their weight.
And by working on them a little further, they can go away completely.
But, we have to discover them first.
And that’s why the work is never done. Because there are always more layers we can discover.
Have you ever discovered a belief like this? Something so strong but also so ridiculous?
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