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Emily Williams


Your Fear of Success May be Getting in Your Way

Emily Williams

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I know this might sound crazy, but fear of your own success might be getting in your way. 

Yes, you read that right. 

Fear of success.

It’s totally real. And a lot of people have it. 

Take my client, Joanne, for example. 

Joanne has a big vision for her coaching business, including some big goals she wants to start implementing this year. Now, Joanne knows that in order to scale her business the way she dreams of she is going to have to make some big changes– like expanding her team.

Here’s the thing, Joanne knows that her desires are meant for her (or that they are “divine,” as she says), so clarity around her desires is not her problem. 

It’s a fear of success that is holding her back. The fear of what that next level will bring. 

Does that resonate with you? 

Like with any fears, is all about mindset and flipping the script. It’s about taking action to avoid staying stuck. 

So, I wanted to share some of the big takeaways from my recent coaching session with Joanne so you have some strategies that you too can use to tackle any fears around success, around unlocking that next level, that might be holding you back. 

So, here are a few things you can do when fears of success and scaling come up for you

✨  Layout the benefits of your decision.

For Joanne, this meant getting clear around the benefits of expanding her two-person team (including herself). Once she started focusing on the benefits of a team, she knew a team was essential to her ability to scale her business. 

No matter what decision you’re facing, this is a great way to flip the script and ask yourself, “what are the benefits of doing this?” Literally, whatever it is that is creating that fear and overwhelm, take time to really recognize the advantages of moving forward. As long as the benefits outweigh any stress or disadvantages, you can move forward with confidence.

Make a list to help you make a change.

Whatever it is that you are debating doing or not doing, literally list out the things that you are doing in your business that are not in your zone of genius or aren’t the best use of your time. This will help you find clarity around what you need to do to help you get to that next level. 

Making this list can help you literally see your choice and help you move past your fear. (It helped Joanne find clarity around what roles she needs to hire first). It helps you realize what you need to do (or who you need to hire) to move your big vision forward. 

Use your past to guide you, not haunt you.

Joanne’s past experiences in corporate created resistance around building a team out of the fear of falling into step with her old job duties. Here’s the thing, if that’s not what you want, it doesn’t have to be what you do.

Read that again, (NAME).  Maybe, like for Joanne, this means taking the time and effort to hire the right people with the right skills that allow you to stay in your zone of genius. Regardless, you have the power to use your past to guide your decisions, not hold you back from making any at all (or playing it small when you are meant to play BIG). 

✨  Break down your BIG goals into smaller steps.

As visionaries, it can be easy to get caught up in the BIG picture. To get overwhelmed by the big picture, right? (trust me, I totally get it). The thing is, we don’t have to do all of the things or hire all of the people right this second. For Joanne, she doesn’t need to hire 10 people right away. She just had to start with one. 

So, whether it’s hiring a team, expanding your offerings, revamping a course– whatever it is– break up your goal into smaller steps and ask yourself, which of these would make the biggest impact toward your goal? 

The bottom line? Success is possible for you. It starts by uncovering the fears that are getting in your way. 

So, I ask you to get honest with yourself and identify the fears that are holding you back. Maybe they are the same fears as Joanne. Maybe not. Regardless, your desires deserve your attention. 

You are too special to stay stuck. Your gifts are too valuable to keep playing it small. 

So after you identify your fears, remember to implement these strategies while keeping your eye on the prize. When you start to feel those fears creeping back up (it happens), remind yourself of your big vision. Stay focused on your goals. Remind yourself of the why. Remind yourself of what is possible. 

I know big visions can be overwhelming. But I also know they are possible. 

The question is, what steps are you going to take to unlock that next level in your life and business? 

P.S. Did you resonate with Joanne’s fear of success? You can listen to my entire coaching session with Joanne on the latest episode of the I Heart My Life show. Follow along as we deep dive into her fears and the mindset shifts she can make and actions she can take to move past them.

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