I know you’re afraid to fail, but is it possible that you’re even more afraid to succeed?
You want to lose the weight, have the energy, wear the clothes, do the activities, cook the food, live the life, enjoy the peace, and experience the self-confidence.
But is it possible that the idea of achieving any or all of those goals actually utterly terrifies you?
At first glance, it makes no sense that we’d be afraid to succeed. How can we want something so badly that it seems to occupy virtually every moment of our lives, and simultaneously feel crushing anxiety at the idea of getting it?
I think the answer lies in how deeply we identify with our current self.
Our current self feels like she’s failing most of the time. She’s too fat, too flabby, too saggy, too unorganized, too unpolished and too uncool. You know all her shortfalls and deficiencies front to back, inside and out.
This potential future self we imagine, on the other hand, is the opposite of all of that. She’s thin and strong, relaxed and confident, organized and stylish, peaceful and happy. In short, she’s a total mystery to us.
And we’re afraid to succeed because we don’t know who she is.
We’re afraid to succeed because we don’t know who we’d be.
We know what we know. And even if what we currently know is frustrating, disheartening and even painful at times…it’s what we know.
You know who your current self is. You know how she thinks, how she reacts and what she’ll do.
She’s predictable. She’s familiar. And familiar feels very, very safe.
Success doesn’t feel familiar. Success is unknown. And fear thrives in the unknown.
So, when success feels like foreign territory, it’s frightening and even if we say it’s something we want, at a deeper level we resist – and even sabotage – it.
What to do?
Well, if fear thrives in the unknown and familiar equals safe, then we have to work on making the idea of our own success feel more familiar – less foregin.
How can you do that?
Use your imagination!
Spend some time hanging out in Imagination Land with your future, successful self.
Try her on for size. Walk around in her shoes (and gorgeous clothes). Watch how she moves. Notice what she thinks. Watch how she reacts. Feel what she feels. Borrow her confidence, strength and joy.
Do this regularly – daily if you can. Do it in the shower, while you’re chopping vegetables, when you’re walking the dog, before you drift off to sleep.
Do it until she doesn’t feel like such a stranger anymore.
Until the leap from you to her doesn’t feel so gigantic.
Until the idea of becoming her no longer seems so far fetched and success no longer feels so scary.
Until you start to see glimmers of her in the mirror and realize that she’s already alive and growing inside of you.
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