In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I face down the task of sharing a somewhat private struggle — fear of failure, fear of success.
Some nuggets about help versus support from the episode:
“One of the great myths that a lot of people peddle to themselves is this notion that once you’ve done a little bit of self-work, or once you get into a relationship; or once you have the job you want (or the business/child/house/money/right breasts/waist size or whatever it is) that everything will come together. That you won’t have to do any more work — and that’s just not true.”
“What we want, including me, is to do a little bit of work and be sorted. We don’t want to have lessons all the time. We’re like, ‘Jaysus, what the hell’s going on with this? Why have I got another lesson?”
Everybody has a struggle. Mine is fear of failure, fear of success. Other people I know it’s fertility or not being in the relationship they want. There’s something.
I talk about this sense of being behind schedule and needing to catch up, and how we settle for less than what we need, desire and deserve as a result.
Sometimes we need to talk to our loved ones about our struggles so that they can mirror to us who we really are.
As we move up in our life, our old fears rear their heads in new ways. “New level, new devil” as Denise Duffield-Thomas says.
I talk about how you think stuff like, This doesn’t look how I thought it would look after I worked for it so I must be failing. I must be getting it wrong. I must be no the wrong path. This kind of thinking causes us to go round in circles.
We don’t know how growth looks so sometimes when we’re in the raw, when we’re in the deep, when we’re in the pain is when we’re actually doing the greatest amount of growth. But for us, we think we’re sinking right down to the bottom with rocks tied around our bloody ankles.”
I talk about the murky world of business Facebook groups that have an almost pyramid scheme feel to them.
Sometimes when we listen to our inner voice, and it’s asking us to trust ourselves or to keep going, our rational brain goes, “You’re not a business expert” or “You don’t know about email marketing” or “You don’t know how to get a relationship”. This is us being simplistic with our inner voice or intuition. We then keep turning back to the gurus and disregard innate knowledge that we have from within.
A lot of the time, we want the gratification. We want the pat on the back. At every step. “I would try something and not get an instant result. You’ve just taken one step. Maybe you’ve got to take ten, maybe you’ve got to take twenty. But you want an immediate pat on the back, immediate signs that you’re on the right path.”
“Sometimes we want one step to cover off all steps.”
We want certainty. We want to know that if we take this step that we have proof that everything is going to go our way and go according to plan. That’s just not how life works. We’ve got to take a step, any step, however imperfect it might be… and then take another and tweak and listen along the way.”
If your role within your family is to be the one who doesn’t do as well as someone else (or who has to be the high achiever), you will sabotage your growth. You will grapple with conflicting feelings from being over-responsible.
Sometimes my inner critic tells me that I should be setting a better example. I’m not setting an example by being a perfectionist. What kind of example is that going to set?
When people say stuff like ‘Why are you still single? Why aren’t you more successful? Why don’t you have a book deal?’ it feels to us as if they’re looking for the bad smell, the horns and tail, the secret problem. It’s like, ‘You should be able to get it together by society’s standards so, what’s wrong with you?’ This stuff worms its way into your psyche when you’re vulnerable due to going through challenges.
I have reckoned with this silent shame. We all have it. Everybody has something. Business is therapy so you what you won’t deal with in your interpersonal relationships, you’ll deal with at (or through your) work.
We have to be careful of hanging everything on a particular outcome while missing lots of other things along the way.
“Sometimes we want something so badly that it feels like a need, and it because it feels like a need, we start doing things that take us out of alignment. Whereas if we can acknowledge that yeah, we want this stuff, but we’re not about to crucify ourselves in order to get it, then we can actually move towards these things while still trying to enjoy our life and without losing sight of who we are.”
My plan is not the plan. “I’m not supposed to be the forty-year-old celebrated, best-selling author.”
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Have a great weekend!
Read more: baggagereclaim.co.uk