In today’s episode, I’m going to break it down for you: How do you overcome a fear of success?
And, first and foremost, do you HAVE a fear of success?
Here for the links referenced in the show notes?
30-Day Business Blast Udemy course: tashcorbin.com/udemy
I’ve also got a super juicy deal for you at the end of this episode!
Let’s dive into this one…
Before we work out how you overcome your fear of success, let’s first check-in on whether you have a fear of success.
Actually, we all do. We all have a fear of success at some level.
There is a level of success that we could achieve, or a type of success that we could achieve, that we feel will have negative consequences – whether we are conscious of those beliefs around the negative consequences or whether it is a subconscious belief.
Let’s consider hitting your financial goals…
Maybe you’ve set financial targets that are nice and safe for you. BUT if you were to double that result, you have either a conscious or subconscious belief system that that might expose you to trolls. Or that might mean you pay so much tax and you HATE paying tax. Or that might mean that an ex will see your success and try to bring you down.
There are so many different negative consequences that our brains like to imagine when it comes to that level of success.
You might have a goal to have a million-dollar business, but you want to try and have that million-dollar business quietly, because there’s actually a fear of success in there.
There’s a belief system around, ‘I want to have the million dollars, but if I do it loud and proud, that’s going to open me up to certain negative consequences. And therefore, I want the success but only with these particular caveats.’
I truly believe that we all do have a fear of success.
For some of us, it’s about a particular type of success, or it’s a particular level of success at which it is sparked off.
You might right now feel very comfortable, and your biggest fear is around having failures come up and you fear making mistakes. But you may also be throttling your success, because that fear of success is there at some point.
When I first started my business, I definitely felt that my biggest fear was the fear of failure – particularly public failure, public mistakes, sharing something on Facebook and having no one reply or comment, and people seeing me try to have my little business instead of seeing me succeed at having a business.
My fear of success wasn’t particularly engaged until I reached the same level of income as I was getting in my corporate career.
Once I got back to that same level of income, that’s when I started to notice these little pop-up thoughts telling me to be careful. ‘Be careful, you’re going to start getting trolls. Be careful, your boss might see. Just be careful!’
There were all these little ‘Be careful’s that popped up in my thoughts.
By paying attention to those, I could see that it was actually starting to set off that fear of success.
How do you overcome a fear of success if it’s presenting itself to you?
It might present itself to you by you noticing some of those pop-up thoughts. Or it might present itself to you because you see that you keep hitting an income plateau, or you keep hitting a level of money that you can have in your life – whether it be income or what you’ve held onto.
Your set point from an income perspective or from a cash-in-hand perspective.
I also personally found I had some issues around income in the over-$150,000 range. But my comfortable set point in terms of how much money I had access to at any point in time was pretty much zero… if not like less or being in debt.
My income grew very quickly in my business, but the amount of money that was left in my bank at the end of each month stayed the same.
It turned out to be a discomfort with excess money sticking around that was due to my fear of success popping up for me.
I noticed that not through pop up thoughts, but just by seeing that whenever I had a bulk of money coming in, it went out. And whenever I thought I was able to build up that buffer of income and have that money sitting in the bank, something would happen and I would need to bring it back to zero.
I saw this pattern of always bouncing back to that same level – that same energetic setpoint – and that’s what told me there was some fear of success going on, I had a discomfort with that excess money hanging around.
Now how do you overcome this?
I’ve got three key steps…
1. Pay attention
Pay attention to the thoughts, and pay attention to the evidence that you are seeing.
Notice what’s happening. Do you have some of those pop-up thoughts telling you to just be careful? Do you have evidence because you notice that once you hit $5,000 income for the month, it’s like it dries up and nothing else comes in for the rest of the month? Or maybe you have three or four sales in quick succession, and then it’s just dried up until you really need those sales to come in again… or even beyond that.
Not just paying attention and noticing the thoughts (they’re very powerful to pay attention to), but also listening to and paying attention to the evidence – the signs that there could be a potential upper limit that you might be hitting.
I’m going to recommend a book here called The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.
I highly recommend getting it on Audible. It’s read by Gay Hendricks himself, and he’s this older man with a really beautiful voice, so it’s like having a very wise granddad figure reading this book to you and talking to you about overcoming those upper limits.
I definitely recommend that book.
I have both the print version and the audible version. My print version is full of bookmarks and notes, and I listen to my Audible version at least once a year, because as I hit new upper limits, I’m seeing different signs (or maybe the same sign in different forms) showing up and it’s a really powerful time in my life to be going through and listening to The Big Leap.
I like to listen to The Big Leap (this is all about seasons now – I’m just going on a little sidebar) towards the end of winter each year.
I feel like in the spring, that’s when I’m coming out with this new renewed energy. Winter can sometimes be a real closing down period where things might be a little quieter. And so at the start of spring/end of winter, I like to listen to The Big Leap each year because I feel like it’s such a solid platform to then just spring into spring.
You can listen to it whenever, but that’s just my personal preference.
Notice those thoughts, write them down, listen to those pop-up thoughts, and give yourself little opportunities to notice as well.
Pay attention to the evidence. Keep track of what your overall net worth is at the end of every month. Just pay attention to that, and jot it down every month.
Write down different types of success and visualise yourself achieving different goals. Then pay attention to what thoughts pop up.
I noticed when I was visualising myself with a really beautiful fancy beach house, walking along the beach with Davey and having a very low mortgage (or something along those lines), that I’d have these pop-up thoughts about how everyone was going to want to come and stay with us. There are some people that I’d be happy to stay with us all the time, but there are others that I don’t really want to come and stay with us all the time because I want it to be our sanctuary.
That’s a negative consequence, right?
I was feeling like if I manifest that goal and if I have that level of success, my home needs to be a free-for-all for anyone who wants to come and stay at it because I have a belief that all of my successes must be shared with all of my immediate and not so immediate friends and family.
That’s a really important one to pay attention to.
I wouldn’t have noticed that pop up thought if I didn’t consistently spend time visualising those different parts of my success or different goals and what it would be like if I achieved those.
Give yourself some time and space to notice these thoughts as well.
2. Get curious about those thoughts/pieces of evidence
Where might this have come from? Where have you experienced it before? And where have you heard those telling lessons?
For example, maybe there’s a limiting belief or a pop-up thought that if you have lots of money, your relationship is going to be miserable and your kids are going to be spoiled.
Where have you heard that before? Where did that particular lesson or belief come from?
Get curious about that.
Why? Why do you assume that that’s going to be the outcome?
A really powerful thing to pay attention to (especially with those pop-up thoughts), is whose voice is it?
I know that with a lot of my fear of success, the voice that is popping up for me is either my younger self (maybe 7 to 10-year-old Tash), or the voice is a family member, particularly my mum. My mum was a very strong voice in my upbringing, so of course, all of those wise pieces of advice that she would talk about, or those things that she would notice about people who had more money than us was hard-wired into my system – what my mom said was true!
Think about whose voice you might be hearing that in.
Just pay attention to those things – be curious about where they come from. Without judgement, just be really curious.
3. Come up with some strategies to address it
You will notice here that my advice when it comes to a fear of success is not just to bottle it all up and white knuckle through it. It’s NOT to just achieve the success and go through all of that awkwardness and that sensation and fear and just suck it up and go through it anyway.
I honestly truly believe that that is the equivalent of pushing down the rubbish, spraying some perfume on it, and then expecting it to never stink again.
I think sometimes we can have that sense of almost toxic positivity, where if you have one of those pop-up thoughts, you just tell yourself that you can’t think like that. And actually, all you’re doing is giving energy to that thought and that negative belief. Instead of calmly unpacking it and letting it go and clearing it, you’ve made it the problem.
You get a whiff of the garbage and you just squash it down and spray more perfume.
And whilst I think there’s always a place for choosing your thoughts and programming your brain to the positive, I don’t think that needs to be at the expense of paying attention to some of those limiting beliefs and getting curious about them and giving yourself time and space to move through them.
Take some action to move through that, clear it or address it.
I break this down into two parts.
I think that any problem of this nature, any limit of this nature or any fear of this nature, you can have strategy solutions and mindset solutions or energetic solutions.
And I like to choose one of each or a few of each.
On the strategy side, you could have some kind of strategy to deal with it if it happened.
For example, once we get that giant beach house, I’m going to be very clear on when I do and do not want people coming and staying with us.
During a launch is not a good time for visitors. When I am in deep creativity mode, that’s not a great time for visitors.
Boundaries will be put up about the times when people can come and stay with us.
I’m going to be more mindful about that reflex mechanism that I have where whenever I speak to someone about a place we’re staying in, I want to invite people to it just as a reflex. I’m going to think it through and I’m going to stop myself.
It’s something I’ve already been practising because I go away on retreat quite consistently in my business, and my default is to invite everyone to come and stay on retreat with me. But I go away on a solo retreat consistently because I know that time by myself is really powerful strategic and creative time for me.
It’s not in my best interest to invite everyone to come and stay with me when I’m meant to be on a solo business retreat. But I have other times where I will invite people to come and stay with us.
For example, we’re going to a birthday party in a few weeks time. I have said to all of my family that we’re going to book a giant house and we can all stay together. Anyone who wants to come and stay with us, can come and stay with us.
I’m getting my fix of everyone coming and staying with us, but not at the expense of that solo time.
That’s a great way to practice that strategy before I even have the ginormous beach house.
You can have some strategies around it, and you can plan for it.
Let’s say that you’re worried about that visibility creating trolls. Well, have a strategy for it. Know that if someone trolls your page, you’re going to delete them, block them, address any concerns that your audience might have, move on with your life, send them love and light, maybe have a little healing spell that you can do on them, and send them some love.
That doesn’t mean you need to keep them in your space. You can block them.
Having a strategy or plan for it in case it does happen, can sometimes be enough for you to feel like you can cross that bridge when you get there. You don’t need to worry about that right now. If it happens, if it is a negative consequence of your success, you know how you will deal with that from a strategic perspective.
The final example I want to give on the strategy side of this, is just thinking about proactive ways to prevent those negative consequences from happening.
Let’s say one of your fears of success is that if your family know how much you’re earning, then everyone’s going to want a loan.
Maybe you just make a plan that you don’t tell people. You don’t disclose your income to your family and friends – you just start practising not talking about your income. That’s okay!
Not everyone has the right to know everything that’s going on in your life.
Maybe you’ve trained them that they hear about all of the financial results, but you can untrain them.
If you feel like you’re worried that certain family members might comment on certain viewpoints or posts on your Facebook page, block them from your page in advance. You don’t need to wait for them to be up in arms or bring something up, you can put them on a block from your business page and keep your spaces safe from that potential.
There are definitely some proactive things that you can do from a strategy perspective.
Then from a mindset and energetic perspective, there are some things you can do as well.
One of the things that I love is EFT or tapping.
I’ll tap on it. ‘Even though I’m really worried that I’m going to get a giant, unexpected tax bill, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.’
You can see the strategy side of being worried about your tax bill (get some help with your taxes and make sure you’re putting money aside in advance and then give yourself that practical reassurance that you’re not going to have it happen). But then also, let’s clear out that subconscious worry that will just keep popping up into your consciousness. Let’s tap it out.
Often when I’m tapping on one of those fears, I unexpectedly blurt something else out that is related.
It’s all tangled up.
One of the things that I have around fear of getting in trouble for taxes (definitely a big one for me), is I have a huge fear of authority full stop. There are related fears to that around not wanting industry leaders to say that something I am teaching is completely wrong. I don’t want to be seen by the big gurus and have them think that I am completely disparaging them, then create this online war. I’m really not interested in engaging in that.
By tapping on that particular expression of the fear, sometimes you’ll also create that really perfect environment for yourself to see how the fears might also be coming into play here.
Tapping is really great.
I also do love a good affirmation and a good afformation.
For example, if there’s fear of being seen (visibility) and you don’t want people to judge you, you can say, ‘Why is my business so amazing at attracting like-minded people in? How did I create such an amazing supportive audience?’
Your afformations are where you pose an affirmation in the form of a question. Your subconscious goes to work and creates that reality, which is really powerful.
Or you can simply do an affirmation.
‘My audience love what I share. My work is for those people who are hungry for it and are open to this. It’s not for those who will judge it.’
‘I don’t have to be palatable to everyone. I am allowed to have my opinion or my way of doing things, and people are excited to hear that.’
Affirmations and afformations are great.
Something else we also do in the Take Off program is turnarounds.
The turnarounds are about creating an affirmation for yourself that’s in the making.
An example of this would be if you are worried that no one’s going to buy from you, then turn it around and say ‘I’m creating a business where people are hungry to buy from me.’
You’re turning it around and creating an affirmation. But not just saying that people want to buy from you, because maybe you then think to yourself that they actually don’t want to.
You don’t want to create that argument with yourself in your head.
Instead say, ‘I’m creating a business where people will be so hungry to buy from me. And the people who I attract are going to see deep intrinsic value in what I have to offer.’
In the Take Off program, the way that we start the turnarounds is ‘I’m creating a business where …’ or ‘I’m creating a business in which …’.
You’re creating that turnaround, and it’s a turnaround in the making.
Then on the more energetic side, you could find someone to actually do some deep healing for you.
One of the things that I discovered as I went through the process of growing my business, was that a lot of my particular fears of success had to do with some unresolved challenges in the masculine.
I engaged a healer to work on balancing the masculine and the feminine and some ancestral issues in relation to the masculine. There was some unresolved stuff with masculine energy and my masculine heritage as well (my father’s lineage).
You can engage someone to help you with healing that space.
You can work with coaches and mentors, or you can have someone just do a clearing of that particular fear.
There are some amazing people that you can work with.
Do some kinesiology!
When I first started my business, doing kinesiology consistently every month was a non-negotiable for me.
I knew this was going to be a big energetic growth phase for me in starting my business. I wanted to make sure that I had appropriate support from an appropriate provider, and not feeling like I had to DIY everything.
When it comes to tapping, mindset coaching, healing, clearing, even though I’m a qualified EFT practitioner, I still work with a tapping practitioner, because when we’re doing it just on our own, we can very easily convince ourselves that we’ve totally worked on everything. But actually, we’re in a space where we don’t want to dig any deeper.
We subconsciously think that we’ve cleared all of that out, but actually, if you were working with an external practitioner, they might help you to uncover some areas where you’re just resisting even going there, and you’re doing it in a really protected safe space as well.
They are some of the mindset and energetic ways that you can clear it, move through it and address that fear of success as it comes up.
That’s how we overcome.
My advice is:
1. Notice. Pay attention to the evidence and the thoughts
2. Get curious. Don’t judge it, don’t blame it, don’t create shame around it. Just ask questions. Where has this come from? Whose voice is this? Why would I think that way? What’s going on here?
3. Have some strategies to address it. I recommend a balance of tangible strategy and practical ways, and mindset and energetic ways. Bringing those two things working together can be really powerful.
If you feel like you want to move through one of those upper limits (especially around income) I’ve got really good news for you today.
I’m opening up a special opportunity to join my 30-Day Business Blast at a significant discount.
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It’s normally AUD $99.99 (sometimes there are weird conversion rates so don’t worry about any of that).
One of the things I want to say about the 30-Day Business Blast is that you just need to buy it once and then you can do it over and over again.
The reason why I offer it in this way is that there’s going to be a need for you to pay attention to that fear of success consistently. What you’re afraid of now may be different to what you’re afraid of at the next income level, or that next level of success.
Or it may be the same, but it shows up slightly differently.
One of the most powerful pieces of advice that I’ve ever received when it comes to expanding my capacity to receive and expanding my income and my levels of success is that the work of moving through those upper limits is consistent.
It’s not something where you just do it once and you never have that fear again – you never have that problem again, you never worry about that consciously or subconsciously again.
As you move through those different levels (as they say, new level, new devil), it’s important to know that sometimes it’s a new level with the same devil. It’s showing up again because at this level, the stakes are higher or the fear is greater and it’s just been unlocked again.
I do recommend that you work on that mindset, those energetic beliefs, your capacity to receive and ensuring you’re supporting yourself to consistently grow that success level and that upper limit. I think that’s a really important part of being a business owner – especially if you are leaping through those beliefs about what you are capable of achieving in particular.
The 30-Day Business Blast is a 30-day program that has daily videos and actions to take. They’re tiny little things that you can do each day, that stack on top of each other to really next-level your ability to receive.
It’s through the lens of setting a 30-day income goal, and then each day there’s a task for you to do to work towards achieving that goal.
We toggle between a strategy or a practical way of moving your business forward (it might be marketing or a strategy or a practical thing that you can do), and the mindset or energetic piece. Each day it swaps.
You’re bringing those two pieces together really beautifully.
And yes, all of that for under $20! Grab this hot deal within the next 30 days here: CLICK ME
If you have any questions as a result of reading this episode, share in the Heart-Centred Soul-Driven Entrepreneurs Facebook group using #podcastaha and the episode number (278).
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.