Ep #40: Fear of Success

Fear of Success

When we think of fears, our brain usually jumps to feelings, like a fear of feeling rejected, angry, or upset, or tangible things, like snakes, spiders, or my personal irrational fear of sharks. However, the one fear I see most in my community of Confident Coaches, and the one that holds people back the most is a fear of success.

We think that a fear of success can’t be valid or true because it doesn’t make any logical sense. We’re working towards success. That’s why we’re here. But if you dive a little deeper, you might be surprised to uncover where your brain goes when you think about what success will mean for your life, or your perception of yourself as a successful entrepreneur.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover the fear of success that lies somewhere within your brain. I’m sharing how I see a fear of success affecting my clients, and how to question yourself so you can really deconstruct this fear and create a version of success in your mind that you can see yourself fitting into.

I am so excited to offer you a podcast-only treat! I’ve created a five-day Unblock Your Confidence mini-course, and this is some of my best work. If you struggle with confidence and want to build more trust in yourself, stop caring about what other people think, get over your fear of failure, and start unblocking your confidence, you need to check it out. Click here to find out more!

What You’ll Learn:
  • How to identify your fear of success.
  • Why our brain hates our fear of success so much.
  • How it’s even possible to be afraid of something we’re actively working towards.
  • 3 of the most common ways the fear of success affects how my clients approach their work as coaches.
  • How to question yourself and really define what success means to you and how you can fit into that fearlessly.
Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:
Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode 40 of The Confident Coaches Podcast, the one where we deconstruct this fear of success. Yeah, it’s a thing. Let’s go.

Welcome to The Confident Coaches Podcast, a place for creating the self-confidence you need to do your best work as a life coach. If you want to bring more boldness, more resilience, and more joy to your work, this is the place for you. I’m your host, Amy Latta. Let’s dive in.

Hey, my Confident Coaches. How’s everybody doing out there today? I’m so excited to be here with you, as always. The Lattas, we are doing fabulously, I’ll be honest with you. I sure hope you are too. Things are really, really looking good considering, my friends.

So, all you parents out there, are you guys doing okay with the school selections this fall? I’ve just got to ask. I’ve got to ask, did you make it through that decision making okay? Do you have your mask baskets all ready to go, if you’ve decided go in person? Do you have all of your school areas set up if you decided to go virtual? Are these even things that January of 2020 Amy would have any idea what I was even talking about? No. No, I would not.

What’s a mask basket? You know, a basket where you’re going to put all of your face masks so everybody’s got a clean one to grab once they walk out the door in the morning. That’s what I mean, you know. School areas, if you’ve decided to go virtual, who was even thinking about that back at the start of this year? It’s just another crazy part of this year that is 2020, but you are here with me and we are getting through it together.

I’m so honored to be a voice of humor and reason this year. You definitely need more of me in your life, my friends, because at least this week, I am handling it all beautifully. If you haven’t already, are we connected on Instagram?

We really should be connected on Instagram because I’m putting all kinds of fun stuff in my Instagram stories, plus the regular content that you’ll see in the feed, you know, behind the scenes here at Confident Coaches, lots of snippets of my real life, of what it actually looks like to live day to day, and my snippets of real life are really important examples for the podcast episode ahead that we’re getting ready to listen to.

You also get a chance to, you know, quotes to motivate and inspire and movies you should be watching and books you should be reading and definitely connecting with other brilliant life coaches. So, make sure you’re following me at Amy Latta Coaching. My Insta handle is @iamamylatta. Pretty simple. Let me connect with you.

And, as I just dropped in there, you will find things that will help you support the very stuff we’re talking about on this podcast. Because, as always, as I said, I’m a voice of humor and reason and I cannot wait to deconstruct today’s topic with you because I’m feeling very feisty about it. And for sure, if you follow my Insta stories, you will see that I am a product of my product, that this is coaching I myself have done, what we’re getting ready to dive into. Because today, the very thing we are diving into is one of the biggest fears that comes up from my clients inside of Confident Coaches.

And here’s the craziest thing. People are always shocked. Fears are supposed to be scary, right? Like. A fear of snakes, a fear of sharks, that’s my really irrational fear, by the way. A little tidbit trivia, Amy Latta’s most irrational fear, she has a fear of sharks. Like, I’m nervous in the deep end of the swimming pool fear, okay.

But I digress. Fear of the dark, fear of snakes, fear of something tangible, fear of being rejected, fear of failing, fear of public humiliation, you know, obviously bad stuff, that’s what we’re supposed to be afraid of.

So, when we’re coaching together and we’re talking about your thoughts and I ask you what you’re really afraid of and you hear these words come out of your mouth, “I think I’m afraid of success,” your brain, it’s going to twitch and it’s going to hurt and it’s going to be like, “That doesn’t even make sense but it feels so very real.” And it is real, and we’re talking about it today.

And the reason that our brain twitches is because, “Wait, we’re not supposed to be afraid of success, because isn’t that what we’re all working for right now? I’m working towards having a successful coaching business. Why on earth would I be afraid of the very thing that I am striving for?” It doesn’t even make sense, right?

And so, we think that’s not a real thing because it doesn’t make logical sense. But it is a real thing and I’m going to tell you exactly why it makes at east logical, as far as your human brain goes – which we could probably say your human brain is anything but logical. But in the scheme of your human brain, it is actually totally normal regular fear that most people have to face some time or another, so let’s face it today.

So, what I want you to do is I want you to think about being a successful life coach. Like, if you were to do a thought download, and in fact, you should do a thought download. Like, go ahead and listen to this, but have some pen and paper ready to go and be jotting some stuff down. I mean, you guys should be doing that with all of these podcasts anyway, if you haven’t picked up on that by episode 40. Always have a pen and paper ready to go to jot down the good stuff.

But take some time on this. When we get to the what you need to work on section of the podcast coming up later, really make sure you’re taking some time to do this work so that if you were to put your definition of success in your circumstance line on the top of your journaling page and you were to write down everything, what are some of the negative things that you might have? What are some of the things that you are afraid of that might happen when you are successful?

Don’t ignore this work. Because it’s so contrary and it doesn’t make sense, we might dismiss this work as unnecessary work because it doesn’t make sense to be afraid of the very thing that we’re striving for. But that’s the worst thing that you can do because whatever thoughts you’re having that are contributing to your fear of success, if you don’t deal with them, they ain’t going away. They’re still going to be under the surface driving your feelings and absolutely affecting your actions and your results.

So, there are three that are the most popular that come up for almost all of my clients. You might have more. And that’s why I want to make sure that you do this work too and not just fall on the three that are the most common. Which are, number one, “That’s going to be a lot of work.” Number two, “You know what? I’m going to be more seen. People are going to know who I am and they’re going to have thoughts and feelings about me.” And number three, “I’m just not a successful kind of person. That’s not who I am.”

So, those are the three that come up the most often. I absolutely invite you to see if you have any others under there and then I’m going to give you some steps as to what to do with them. But those are the three that I hear the most, so let’s break them down.

So, the first one has to do with the amount of work we this successful people have. Like, running a successful business must be a lot of work. That must be really time-consuming. It must take a lot of energy to be a successful businessperson, have a successful coaching business. That’s a lot of decisions that you’ve got to make. That’s a lot of things to do. That’s a lot of stuff that has to be accomplished.

We worry about this successful business, digging into our personal time and our family time, kind of like overriding and overrunning into tat sacred time that we have. We have this vision from the movies of that workaholic, that successful man that never sees his kids. And we’ve just believed that that story is what all successful people must be living. Like, they must be working all of the time. I mean, that’s how they depict it in Hollywood, so it must be true, right?

No, not necessarily. Or maybe it wasn’t even just Hollywood. Maybe you grew up in a house that way or your friends had fathers or mothers even that were never home because they put tat business ahead of their personal life and it’s just kind of assumed in our country that that is the norm.

So, first and foremost, I want you to ask yourself and ask this of all of the thoughts that you find, not just this one, but is that true? Is that really true, that successful people must work all of the time? What if it’s possible that it’s not true? We really need to build our muscle of challenging the thoughts that you hear in your mind and challenging the thoughts that you write down on that paper. Not just say, “Oh, there they are. They’re in my brain.” Challenge them. Is this true? Why am I believing this?

Could it be possible that you can be successful without work consuming your life? Entertain the idea that the opposite of what you believe is true. No matter any of the thoughts that you come up with, not just this one here. Build the muscle of entertaining the possibility that the opposite of what you believe is true.

“It’s possible you’re not true.” Start there and work your way up to, “I don’t have to believe you.” And then work your way up to, “I don’t even believe you anymore.” And int his one right here, work must overcome your entire life, that’s the only way that successful people can live, could it be possible that you can be successful without work consuming your entire life because you get to define what success is?

I’ve talked before and I will say it again; there are no rules. There are no rules to success. You get to figure out what that looks like for you. You can choose success as being a six-figure business where you also have very specific time to take care of you and to be with your family and your friends. You can define your hours and your time and what you want that to look like and what you want to accomplish in that time you set aside for yourself.

This is work right here having to do with what are your thoughts around time and your ability to get what you want done in that time. Do you believe that there is enough time to do what you want to do? Do you believe that you can be successful and still have plenty of time to do what you actually want to do? If not, then that is work to get coaching around. Run models on those thoughts that are telling you there’s not enough time to live the life that you want and be successful in your business.

See what those thoughts are creating for you. Run those models. Look at those action lines. See those results. Get coaching on these models from your coach or from a peer coach, or, of course, even better, a group of brilliant life coaches that you’re going to find inside each and every Confident Coaches Mastermind.

If you think that success will mean you will have to work too much, your work is to define success in a way that doesn’t have to mean that and going to work on the thoughts around time and work and home and what do you want to believe about your time and what being successful is? What do you want to believe instead?

And then, go find examples of others that are already doing this. Who are the coaches that you admire that are already doing this? Show your brain that if it’s possible for them, it’s also possible for you too. No one else has anything that you don’t have, that you can’t also achieve.

In fact, my own work right now, me right now, who you are listening to, me, Amy Latta, here in the beginning of August, my work is, what if success is not more work? How can I create the same level of success that I have already created in my coaching business in less time than I’ve previously done it? That’s what I’m working on right now so that next year, when I scale to a million, it’s not going to be with more time. In fact, it’s going to be with less time.

So fun, right, that I can actually make more money? What kind of belief is this right here? Because you could just as easily believe this; I can make more money with less work. The more successful I become, the less work I’m going to have to do because I’m going to continually get better on managing my mind and on managing my thoughts around time and on managing my thoughts around what it means to be a successful person. What? Yes. I invite you to do that same work too where you are right now.

Another fear that we have about success is that we’re going to be seen. Successful people can’t hide. People are going to see me. People are going to pick me apart. They will see my flaws and they will challenge my beliefs and they will tell me that I’m wrong, and they might be right. Because people love to tear down the successful.

This is another common American trope, that we love the underdog until they become successful, and then we want to tear them down. And I’m going to feel so vulnerable to put myself in that position. So, why don’t’ we just not even put ourselves in that position in the first place?

So, this is classic other-people’s-opinion work. So, first and foremost, what you fear other people will think of you is almost always a reflection, it is always a reflection, of what you think of you. And that’s work that you still need to do. So, whatever you think people will think of you when you become successful, that’s your work to do now because those are hidden thoughts that you have about yourself now. Do not hide from them. Because if they don’t prevent you from becoming successful, they will rear their ugly head when you do become successful.

You cannot outrun your shitty thoughts about yourself. And there’s nothing like success to amplify those shitty thoughts about yourself, right? You want to work on them now, while we are becoming the successful person, so that they don’t paralyze us when we get there. Because sometimes, people will say something.

So, be really clear, when it comes to other people’s opinions, nine times out of 10, people are not thinking about you and they are not thinking the things that you think that they think about you. And they’re not ever going to say anything to you about that. And that’s the coaching you need to do for you because those are your thoughts that you’re thinking they’re thinking. Are you picking up what I’m throwing down there?

But there is always that one time out of 10 where somebody does say the thing. And now, that’s different kind of coaching. What do you want to make that mean when someone does actually say something critical about what you’ve said, what you’ve done, what you are posting today?

You get to decide what to think when someone calls you out, when someone posts their opinion on your stuff. You can choose to believe them, or you can choose not to because yes, it is true, you will have people give you their opinion on your stuff. Absolutely comes with the territory of being more successful. You get to decide what to make that mean.

And there’s kind of a so what about it. Like, why do you think you should be exempt from that, right? Name a famous person, name a popular person, name somebody that you admire most that someone else doesn’t have a negative opinion of. They don’t exist. Because you cannot satisfy every single human.

You cannot make every single human like you. You cannot make every single human agree with you. That is an impossible goal, but not in a good way. It’s literally an unachievable goal. It’s not even a thing that exists in the world. It’s a terrible thing to strive for. And it’s also a terrible thing that you allow to get in your way of becoming successful in the first place. That’s a non-starter 100% of the time.

And even more importantly than that, what makes you think that you’re not capable of being a brilliant coach who can work through this work and can completely handle it? Something that’s so important to remember, you will not reach success with the same brain that you have now. This is why every single coach needs to understand and implement those five steps of creating self-confidence that I talk about, because you will use them at every level of your business.

So that when you arrive at that version of successful as you have defined it, you have worked on believing on a level you’ve never believed before, you’ve worked on believing you can do what you’ve never done before. You’ve felt all those uncomfortable feels. You are not the same person you are now when you arrive at becoming that successful coach.

Part of becoming successful is becoming the coach who knows how to dismiss most of the outside commentary and then working through the commentary that does need working on. You will become a master at learning to process other people’s opinion. You will become a master at running models on what you make other people’s opinions mean Or, at least you should be if you want to be successful.

And you will become a master at identifying those thoughts that you’re blaming on other people for having, but really you are having it about yourself and you’ll become a master at working on that on your path to becoming successful if you are doing the work of a confident coach.

Okay, so the last fear that I identified is that you have an idea in your head of what a successful person is, and it is not who you are when you look in the mirror. Like, don’t successful people wear pant-suits and walk into high-rises in Manhattan while they’re talking on a phone, right?

Successful people are serious. Successful people don’t have fun. Successful people are a certain way, whatever your perception of a successful business owner is, and you just aren’t that thing. Why are you choosing to believe that? That successful people are X and you are Y? What part of there are no rules are you not getting, my friend? There are no rules.

You get to make successful look any way that you want. It can be any version that fits you. Imagine being the essence of who you are right now and also having the life coaching business that you want and also having the life that you’ve always wanted. You can imagine that. And that is what you can create. There are no rules to what successful looks like. It can be anything that you want it to be.

It’s absolutely possible. So, stop trying to convince yourself that it’s not. You’re, like, punching yourself in the face that you are trying to convince yourself that this dream image you have isn’t actually possible because it doesn’t fit into some sort of imaginary rules that aren’t even real and they’re made up, so you might as well make up a set of rules that work for you.

And this is absolutely something I specifically coach my clients on, on how to create whatever they want. Like, there’s a module for that inside of Confident Coaches. Because when you learn how to create what you actually want without rules, without the judgment, you will also become connected to this future version of you that is already at that level of success. And that’s your work here; connecting with that future you who is already a successful coach.

What does you as a successful coach look like? What qualities do you admire in others? What superpower do you bring to the table? And when you put those things together, what are all of those qualities that are future you, what do you want to believe about yourself? And once you’ve defined that, once you’ve defined this vision of you in the future, you have to actually work on becoming that.

You can’t just define future you and then put it on a shelf and hope it happens. You need to sit in that energy of future you. You need to be asking yourself every single day, “What would future me do?” every time you’re making a decision, when you’re making your plan, when you’re trying to figure out what to do, what would future me do? You need to be mentoring with her, thinking and feeling and acting from a place of already being her.

And you can’t just do it once. It needs to be part of your Confident Coaches journey. Spend time thinking about successful people you really admire. What is it that you admire about them? Use their examples as possible examples for you, how it can be done. And then, make it your own. Add your flair, your take to this vision of success.

So, here are some questions to dive even deeper into. What do you want to believe about you as a successful life coach, as an entrepreneur? What do you want to believe about you as a person selling coaching to other people? What do you want to believe about you as a mom or a dad, as a wife or a husband who also runs a successful coaching business? What do you want to believe about you as a marketer, as a human, as a friend?

So, once you’ve defined what you want success to look like, what do you want to believe about yourself in that vision of success? Because you get to define that, and most importantly, you’re the only one whose definition matters.

So, friends, your work this week, you successful, what does you successful look like? If you could rate your business out of 10, what does 10 look like? What would you want or need to see to be able to say, “This business is at a 10?” Write that across the top of the page and then brainstorm everything that comes up. List all of the thoughts that you have, all of the fears that you have, all of the negative thoughts that are coming up to the surface.

I mentioned three of them in this podcast. What else comes up for you? Question those thoughts. Is it possible for that to not be true? Model those thoughts. See what those thoughts create for you. Own the actions you will be taking or not taking and the results you will be getting when you think that way. And then, decide if you want to keep them because that decision is yours and no one else’s. And then, what do you want success to look like?

Use the mentors in your real life, and then, what do you want success to look like? What is that vision of future you, that conglomeration of a little bit of the mentors that you admire most, but also your flair and your special sauce that you bring to the table? And then think about that, with that vision in your head, what do you want to believe about yourself when you are there as a successful life coach, as an entrepreneur, a salesperson, as a marketer, a wife, a mom, a person?

Do this work, my friends. I cannot wait to see what you create. And until next time, let’s go do epic stuff.

Friends, I am so excited to offer you a podcast-only treat. I am sharing with you the five-day Unblock Your Confidence mini course. It is only available to The Confident Coaches Podcast listeners and the only way to get your hands on it is right here. Why do you need this course?

Well, in this five-day mini course, you will learn why it seems like you struggle with confidence when others don’t, how to build trust in yourself, how to get over your fear of failure, how to stop caring so damn much what other people think, and the best thing you can do to unblock your confidence today.

All of that in just five days. This is some of my best work waiting for you. Visit www.amylatta.com/unblockconfidence to get yours. Again, that’s www.amylatta.com/unblockconfidence. Go now and get started today.  

Thanks so much for listening to The Confident Coaches Podcast. I invite you to learn more. Come visit me at www.amylatta.com and until next week, let’s go do epic stuff.    

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Hi, I’m Amy.

For years, I took a ton of action to sign clients.

I learned to create self-confidence and powerfully believe in myself first, and then built a multiple six-figure coaching business.

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