Sometimes it’s more comfortable to stay where you are than succeed. You can be given everything you’ve been dreaming of and moving towards for years, all packaged up on a beautiful silver platter with a bow. And you’ll politely respond, thanks, but no thanks.
This can be without even realising you’re sabotaging your success.
You might come up with some beautiful excuses, like “I didn’t want it anyway” or “it’s too much work” or “it’s the wrong time”. Maybe there’s some truth to these, but mostly they’re BS.
The truth is that all too often we’re scared of the negative consequences of our success and would rather play small where it’s safe.
Sure, it might be safe and you’ll avoid risk. But please don’t fall into the trap of choosing safe over what you want most in life. Even if you stay where you are, people will judge you anyway. So you might as well just say, “you know what, I’m doing it.”
Towards the end of last year, I was on a beach in Vietnam and got an email about a possible client project. They were a big brand and definitely had cash. And I’d need to do a lot of work for them. It was a big deal for my business and great timing.
And yet… my first response was to run for the hills. I read the email and was filled with dread and self-doubt that…
- I’m not ready for a project this big
- I’m not what they’re looking for
- I’m not good enough
- I’m too young and not corporate enough
- They’ll laugh at me and my work
The list could go on and on. It would’ve been so easy to say no. But I said yes. And I made a lot of income from that project while giving them a lot of value they were super happy about.
My message for myself back then? Your excuses are BS.
I know for a fact I’ve sabotaged other similar opportunities. And I imagine you probably have too. We all have.
The main takeaway I want you to have from this is to ask:
- What are the downsides of achieving your goals?
- Why don’t you want to achieve your goals?
For each of your big dreams and goals, list all the crap that would come with it. For instance:
- “I don’t want to earn over £50k this year because I’ll have to pay more tax”
- “I don’t want to write my book because my ex-boyfriend will hunt me down and expose me as a fraud and put nudes on the internet”
- “I don’t want to be successful because I’ll outshine my parents and they’ll disown me”
This is less about the logistics of why you don’t think you can reach your goals and more about why you don’t want to. The reason why you’d say, “actually, no, I’m good” if they were handed to you right now.
You need to identify these blocks and realise them for the nonsense they are. Otherwise there’s a high chance you’ll sabotage your chances of reaching your goals without even realising it.
Get clear on the negative consequences of reaching your goals so you can catch yourself in the act when you’re about to sabotage yourself.
When I thought “I can’t do this because I’m not ready”, I questioned whether this was actually true. And the thing was: I was ready. I had done stuff like it before. And I’m pretty good at working stuff out as I go anyway. Do the same for your own excuses, one by one – and frequently.
You’ve got everything you need to reach your goals, play big, and make a difference in the world. You just need to get rid of your self-doubt.
To help you get clear on what you want from life, you might like the free PDF of my What Do You Want Workbook.Enjoy this article?