Is fear of success secretly torpedoing your career?

So I had an epiphany the other day. We’ve all heard of ‘fear of success’ and on the surface you go ‘Yeah, ok, I can sort of see how some people might be bothered by that. But not me’

But then a funny thing happened. I was just walking up the road minding my own business (as you do) when this thought came barrelling through my head:

‘Agghhh I just haven’t got the energy for any more clients, I’m so knackered’ and then it hit me.

‘Oh so this it what fear of success looks like!’ It was not how I imagined it at all!

So me being me and liking to know the ins and outs of everything went,

 ‘Well where the hell did that come from?’

You see I love my job. I love helping people. And I love getting paid, obviously. Yes im knackered. But hey I’ve got 4 kids, that’s normal. I haven’t had a decent nights kip since 2009!

So I took a closer look. When I thought of being busy in work I got this anxiety knot in my stomach. And do you know where it stems from? All the way back in 2005!

I used to work for a very famous rail company who bought a fleet of shiny new silver trains costing several million each. So in order to recuperate those losses they cut back on staff. Big time.

Ever heard the term Maximum Working Minimum Rest? Yeah that was our life back then. I had to do 12 hours shifts by myself on trains that were what we call ‘Full and Standing’ which in laymen’s terms means crammed in like sardines. I got verbally abused, threatened, intimidated by a fella who was twice my height and twice my width. (it didn’t work though. I may be petite but im a scouser, we don’t scare easily!) Anyway, one of my colleagues got sexually assaulted because a customer thought it would be a perfectly fine to shove his hand up her skirt. It was hell! I remember getting off a particularly bad football train with my hands shaking, my head pounding  and my throat horse from having to shout over the noise all day long.

Then there was the time I worked in a casino. On race night. When every sucka who’d ever watched a james bond film thought he was a big lick. (No one likes to be handed money straight from someones sweaty cleavage thank you very much. Needless to say that women never tried that again and FYI that little scruffy old smelly man next to you, yeah he’s just gambled away £10k in the last two hours so put you’re your big ‘I am’ attitude away dude) Casino’s aint like they show on TV! It involves a lot of shouting, constantly being on alert and more often than not, being swore at in Chinese!

So what I learned is: more customers equals more stress. And boom there you go. Fear of success. Which was quite a shocker as im very confident (some would even say cocky) and I’ve always striven to be the best at everything I do. So this was quite an eye opener to realise I was delibertly shying away from my own success.

So I figured well, if my subconscious is being a bit of know, maybe yours is secretly sabotaging you too. So I want you to keep an eye out. You know what your goals are right? You know what you want to achieve yeah? So I want you to take a good long look at yourself and see what comes up. What are the negative consequences of you achieving those thing? What’s your brain worrying about that you aren’t even consciously aware of?

I’m an optimist. I always look on the bright side. But what I’ve learned is that your subconscious tries to protect you because even those of us with an adventurist nature still have that little small caveman (or women) worrying at the back of minds.  And it tries to keep us small. Tries to keep us safe.

So if you’re not hitting your goals yet. Have  a word with yourself and find out actually deep down, why. Because once you know what you’re really worried about it’s easy enough to overcome. Half the time just knowing where the problem stems from takes the power away from it.

I want you to live the life you’ve always dreamed of. I know you can. I believe in you. So sort yourself out dude. And tell your little Neanderthal brain to pack it in. There’s a world out there that needs changin’ and you’re just the person to help do it.

career coach