Posted on March 17, 2014 by Debra Burdick
What gets in your way of success? In part 2 of this Unlocking Your Potential series we explored how you define success. Now that you are clear on what success looks like for you, the next step is to examine what gets in the way of creating and attracting the success you desire.
The 3 major ways that we block ourselves from attracting success involve our false beliefs, fears, and core wounds. They are all related to what we have stored in our subconscious mind. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to make the subconscious more conscious.
Whether or not we realize it we all have deeply ingrained beliefs that make us see the world in a certain way. Some of these beliefs were formed during childhood and may or may not be accurate. A belief is a thought that we think over and over again. We receive messages about ourselves from our world from infancy on. If we competed in a math competition in grade school and didn’t win, we may have developed a belief that we are not good in math. Or perhaps our parent became frustrated and told us we were stupid when they helped us with our spelling and we began to believe we were bad, or not good enough. Maybe we won an award at school and our sibling was jealous and beat us up. So we learned not to excel so we didn’t upset them. What if we fell and broke our arm the first time we tried to ride a bicycle and then decided it wasn’t safe to try new things?
These beliefs are often called ‘false beliefs’ by psychotherapists because they don’t accurately reflect reality. Instead they reflect what we have come to believe about the world based on our experiences. But just because a parent yells at us does not mean we are bad. And if we don’t win a math competition doesn’t mean we aren’t good at math, it simply means someone else did a better job in that particular instance. And if our sibling gets upset because we did better than they did does not reflect on our goodness or ability. If we stop trying new things because we failed, we will greatly limit our potential for success. In fact the successful invariably experience many failures along the path to success.
What are some of your beliefs about yourself and about your world that might impact your success? Some common false beliefs are “I am: I not good enough; not smart enough; not loveable; not attractive; not worthy; not important.” Others include: “I’m stupid, I’m selfish, no one will listen to me; rich people are bad; money is the root of all evil; it’s safer to stay hidden; the world is scary; it’s not safe to go after what I want; no one would pay me for what I do.” Being mindful of your false beliefs is the first step in changing them.
In order to clear your false beliefs you must first identify them, then understand where they came from, and then deconstruct them. Think back about where you got a particular belief. What made you believe that? Then replace self-sabotaging beliefs with positive reality based beliefs. For example: I can figure this out; I am more than enough; I am safe; I am important; I am worth it; I always have enough money; Even though I have had trouble before I am getting better and better at this; I am good at what I do; I already know enough; Success is getting easier.
The second block to success is fear. Success will be very limited if not impossible if your fear outweighs your desire for what you want. For example, if you fear not having enough money this fear will affect all your money and business decisions. You may be afraid to spend money at times when doing so would create more success and more money.
What fears do you have that hold you back from getting what you desire? Some common fears are: fear of not being good enough; fear of failure, fear of rejection; fear of not having enough money; fear of not knowing enough; fear of commitment; fear of being overwhelmed; fear of success.
In order to overcome your fears you need to identify them, figure out where you got them, and then face them head on. Courage is experiencing fear and TAKING ACTION anyway. Step into your fear. You may feel very uncomfortable at first because you are facing your fear and are acting outside your comfort zone. However, the more you do this, the more comfortable you will become. Especially when experience shows you that the thing you are most afraid of doesn’t actually happen.
The third block to success comes from our core wounds. We have all experienced some painful events in our lives. Perhaps we felt rejected by a parent, a sibling, or a friend, even when we were trying to do everything we could to be loved and accepted. Perhaps a mean and inappropriate teacher told us we would never amount to anything. Maybe our parents divorced and we never saw our dad again. Maybe our brother or sister criticized and made fun of us endlessly. We may have been treated unfairly or unjustly.
These events all add up to impact how we deal with our world. They may cause us to sell ourselves short, not take chances, or give up too soon. They may even prevent us from trying. We certainly cannot succeed if we don’t try.
Look at your own feelings about yourself and success and trace them back to your own core wounds. Write an outline for your life story including the major turning points in your life to find place-markers for your core wounds. Write it for yourself. No one else need ever read it. Focus on the meaning you have attached to these wounds. Get angry. Scream. Get the feelings out.
Now make up a new meaning for what happened to you. When you look back as an adult you can see things from a more mature and accurate perspective. When you do this you usually discover the issue was usually about ‘them’, not ‘you’. Then you can let go. Shift your perspective. If a teacher was mean, maybe they were feeling inadequate because you didn’t understand what they were teaching. If your brother beat you up when you won a game, maybe he felt stupid or jealous and couldn’t manage their feelings. If you didn’t win the math competition, maybe the winner had more math courses than you did and you could have won next year if you kept trying. If your parent abandoned you, maybe they didn’t feel like they could be a good parent. Think about all they missed.
Rewrite your false beliefs. Step into your fear. Heal your core wounds. Doing these three things will allow you to open up to create all the success you desire in your life.
I would love to hear your personal experiences with this topic.