I realized a few weeks ago that I was afraid to succeed. How did I realize this? Well I looked back and saw that over the past few years I have been continuouslyself sabotaging myself whenever it came to running my own business... unconsciously. If I was working for someone else I'd do a great job, go the extra mile, make sure all t's are crossed and i's are dotted. But when it came to my own stuff, I'd make sure I didn't succeed by not returning phone calls, not completing tasks, basically making myself look bad to potential clients and partners. But why did I do this? Well it wasn't something I did consciously as I said before, it was just something I did.
Fortunately I was able to look back and see when and how it started. In 2007/2008 I had a relatively good paying job making about $6K per month at the age of 23. I worked crazy hours, like 14 hour days, so I knew it wasn't something I could do forever. Besides I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. So I set out to build some revenue streams on the side to supplement my income and build an asset to have once I left my job. The first one I remember was a friend and I payed a company $500 to set up a "home inspection" business that turned out to be a scam. We sent them $500 and never heard back from them. No kit in the mail, no website, no form templates, no nothing. Looking back there were plenty of "scam signs" that should of went off. The first sign should've been that they asked us to Western Union them the money, but I didn't know any better at the time. After that incident I had several other instances (5 to be exact) where I joined some network marketing and HYIP companies that are actually no longer in business today. Nothing against network marketing at all, I just got involved with some companies that weren't so good at the time. The 2 HYIP companies actually ended up being straight out scams, the other 3 NM companies I believe probably were just poorly managed. Nevertheless, in all these instances I had either brought people along with me that wanted to make some money or told people that I was going to make money. Each time the total opposite happened. In fact the first time with the "home inspection" business I ended up paying my partner back his half because I felt bad lol.
Now those were all instances where I had no control whether I succeeded with those endeavors specifically. But soon after I did come across endeavors where I had all the opportunity in the world to succeed. This is where the self sabotaging began! I remember making my first $60 pure profit online and thinking how simple it was, but then talking myself out of doing it again. I remember recruiting 2 people into a reputable network marketing company... then not helping them. Yes I was that horrible guy. I remember making $150 for 2 hours of offline work then being afraid to return phone calls to clients. I was doing all this to myself killing any chance of success, but had no idea why. I even authored and published a book, but never truly promoted it for people to read. Fortunately like I mentioned above, a few weeks ago I realized why.
I was afraid to succeed. I wasn't afraid to fail, because I know failure is a part of the process. I kept going when I "failed", but as soon as I had some success I'd stop. That doesn't make any sense!! But as I thought about it here's what it came down to. The small successes I had experienced pretty much involved only me. If it began to involve other people, that's when the self sabotage began. Any true success is going to affect other people and I was afraid to bring other people along for the ride again. All the failures I mentioned above involved other people and I believe subconsciously I felt responsible for their experiences as well. Now I don't feel that way anymore because we were all adults and we all made our own decisions, but I realized this subconscious belief was causing me to self sabotage myself anytime I succeeded even just a little bit.
Now that I have faced this "limiting belief" I can move forward. Hopefully this post can help you or someone you know who has something subconsciously holding them back. Below I'm going to give you an excerpt from The Courage to Succeed that I read and literally felt a weight lifted off me after reading it. The funny thing is it was nothing new to me. In fact my wife said she's heard me say this countless times to others and even to her so she was like why is this news to me now. And it really wasn't news at all. It's something I've read and heard plenty of times over the past few years. But apparently it was just the right lesson at the right time for me when I read it the second time.
Here it is:
When Thomas Edison was trying to find the right filament to make the light bulb work, a reporter asked him how it felt to have failed thousands of times. Edison said he hadn't failed. He said that he had just discovered thousands of materials that didn't work. Edison wasn't being a smart-alack. He was protecting his positive attitude by refusing to believe he had failed.
High achievers believe that they are destined to accomplish great things in their lifetimes. They believe that the challenges they experience are there to teach them a lesson they need to learn in order to complete their 'mission' in life. They believe there is no such thing as failure. They either get the desired outcome or else they learn something that will help them win in the future. No matter what the result, they win. The past does not equal the future. By thinking this way, discouragement can't get a foothold in their mind.
After reading that last paragraph I concsciously made the decision to use those "failures", that were causing me to subconciously self sabotage myself, to thrust me towards success. I definitely learned some lessons from those "failures" and actually have used them to avoid the same mistakes already. Now I can use them to avoid the mistakes AND stop using them to stop me from succeeding.
I'd encourage you to go pick up this book if you haven't read it yet. I'd encourage you to read it again if you have.