Why Success Freaks You Out (even if you don’t realize it)

By Shelsey Jarvis

Why Success Freaks You Out ( even if you don't realize it ) | Left-Brained Hippie

There’s a chance you’re sitting there thinking, “Lady, you’re ridiculous. Why would I EVER be scared of succeeding? That’s what I’m working my TAIL off to achieve!”

Quick question though. How’s that going for you?

Has the success you’re working so hard for shown up yet? And if it has, are you actually enjoying it?

If the answers aren’t what you’d like, let me introduce you to your upper limit.

Have you ever read the book “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks? This book is amazing because Gay talks about the “upper limit”. It’s what happens when things are going too well.

You know when you’re absolutely killing it for a while and then all of a sudden you feel...icky? Feelings of guilt, unworthiness,fear, and god knows what else start creeping up.

You find a way to self-sabotage until you return to where you’re “comfortable”. Most people want to achieve all kinds of success, but sometimes their subconscious mind gets in the way of it. It means well, but is misguided as hell sometimes.

A fantastic example of an upper limit problem is when you have a super great month income-wise. And the next month is just straight up crappy. When things go too well, we start to sabotage ourselves.

Here are 4 reasons why you may be AVOIDING success.

1. You may have a belief that rich people are mean or greedy.

If you have a negative perception of rich people (perhaps you think they’re greedy, selfish, lack empathy, and treat others like shit), your subconscious mind will do whatever it has to to make sure you don’t become one of them.

You will do everything in your power to make sure that’s not you. It’s really common to fear that once you reach a good level of success, other people will judge you and perhaps say you forgot where you came from.

I’ve talked to several clients who have this fear and there’s this resentment in them. They feel like these rich people are just throwing their money away on frivolous items instead of doing good in the world.

But here’s the thing.

When you judge rich people on how they spend their money, it only makes you bitter.

It only adds to your perception of what it means to be rich and it will drag you down. They do not care what you think. Honestly, the only person that those thoughts hurt, is you.

When you judge rich people for how they spend their money, it only affects YOUR ability to attract wealth--not theirs.

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I had a client who went to a major personal development event. During the event, the guru announced to the crowd that he just bought a brand new plane and my client’s immediate reaction was “I’m not following him anymore”.

She made an instant judgement about the way he was spending his money. And as we worked together, we really had to dig through that belief that rich people aren’t “spending their money the right way” and realize that it’s not serving her.

A personal story: when I was in high school there was this rich girl that was worried that I was going to steal her boyfriend. He flirted with me but I knew better than to flirt back. And after a while, these rich girls basically ganged up on me, shouting nasty things in the halls, and picked on me pretty badly for a while. That created a story in my head that rich people are bullies. So it made perfect sense that I was broke for years, because in my head rich people are bullies, and I didn’t want to be one.

So let me ask you, do you believe that “bad” rich people behave that way because of the money? Or do you think they’d be just as “bad” even if they were broke?

Do you know any poor assholes? Chances are, you do. There are people who don’t have a lot of money who are just straight up nasty. They take advantage of people, say rude things, and are not nice in general.

Now, do you know any rich people who are nice? Chances are in the entrepreneurial world, you’ve probably seen some really fantastic examples of genuine people who are giving and who also happen to make a ton of money.

The point that I want to make is that personality and money are separate. They don’t have anything to do with each other. We’ve created these beliefs in our minds for a long time to make sense of the world around us. But at this point in our lives, most of these beliefs are not serving us.

Money only magnifies who you already are.

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It’s not like if you’re a really good person when you’re broke, and suddenly you get a million dollars, you’re automatically going to start acting like an asshat. If you are a generous person now, that will just be true on a larger scale when you have more money.

2. You may be holding onto a belief that you have to sacrifice and work like a madwoman to be successful.

In the entrepreneurial realm, there are two main schools of thought. There’s the hustle 24/7 kind of people and the other group that tells you to work from inspiration instead of just being busy. And it’s very easy to get the latter ingained in us from others around us.

Or maybe as a child, your parents weren’t around a lot because they were always working. Perhaps they were really successful, but you never saw them and decided you didn’t want to be like that.

Another client saw a mutli-six-figure entrepreneur really killing it with her business and she didn’t even want to think about how much time she was putting in to maintain that. I happen to know this specific entrepreneur pretty personally and the truth is that she stops working at 2pm. She lives a lifestyle business and is done when her kid gets home from school. You don’t have to work 12 hour days to have a really successful business.

Time does not equal money. Hard work doesn’t equal money. Those are all separate things. They are not interlinked. They don’t have to be proportional. You can have a work life balance. It’s not either/or.

Sometimes we can feel straight-up GUILTY when making money feels too easy. Especially when we know others who have to work so hard for it (like our parents, siblings, or friends). But there ARE people who are making a shit ton of money, in honest ways, without working 24/7. They don’t work themselves to the bone, do a job they hate, or skip out on family time.

Instead of being jealous or resentful of that, use it as inspiration. You can absolutely do that too.

3. Imposter Syndrome

It’s that feeling that they’re going to see right through you and figure you out. You may not feel qualified to teach what you’re teaching. But it is okay to teach something when you are new - depending on what you’re promising and who is your target market.

I’m relatively new when it comes to mindset. I’ve been practicing and working at it for a few years but I may not be as advanced as some others who have been sitting on meditation pillows for decades. I teach people who are a few steps behind me and I only make certain promises, because I can only speak to the results that I have personally and what I’ve helped my clients achieve.

Imposter syndrome can pop up because you may not feel like you’re “the most qualified”.

But all you really need to begin is to teach those who are a few steps behind you.

I once asked a client what she wanted to do with her business. She responded that she would like to create a course teaching Facebook Ads and I absolutely loved that idea. I next asked why she hadn’t yet started. She said she didn’t understand why anyone would buy from her since she didn’t feel like she was the top expert.

I invite you to ask yourself this question: who do you buy courses from? Do you always buy it from the #1 person in that field of expertise, or do you sometimes go for the little guy (or gal) because you know you’ll get more personalized support? You don’t have to be the biggest player in the space. I’ve actually purchased courses from really well known experts, and I didn’t really get too much support or sometimes my questions weren’t even answered. I know that I’ve gotten the most out of smaller courses with people who truly care.

4. Guilt over being rich when there’s so much struggle in the world.

You can’t be poor enough to help the poor. You being broke won’t help the broke. We tend to hold a lot of resentment against “the 1%”, as we call them. Just using that language creates an “us vs. them” mentality. We hold it against them when they aren’t generous with their money or they seem to be insincere with their donations. It’s a belief that rich people are trying to be sneaky or malicious. (see reason #1 above)

The current political situation isn’t helping this mentality either. Especially for those who don’t work on their mindset. It gets really hard to not bring up those feelings of rich people are assholes. If you struggle with this, I want to let you know that I totally understand.

The fact is, the world needs good-hearted people with tons of money. We need to balance out the rotten people with money with those who want to do good. And you don’t have to give it all away to justify how much you earn, either. It just means that we can do so much more good with money.

The world needs good-hearted people with tons of money.

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These days, money is literally just created out of thin air.

It’s just numbers on a computer screen. There is UNLIMITED abundance in this world. I really mean it when I say that everyone can have as much as they want. You don’t need to feel guilty about having a lot of money because you’re not taking anything away from anybody else.

You can even look at it this way: it’s actually MORE selfish to just scrape by financially, because you are only taking care of yourself. You can’t send money to Haiti, build schools in Africa, or donate to other charities. It’s like the old oxygen mask analogy, you have to put on your own before you can help others. This belief of not deserving money because there’s so much poverty can (and will) prevent you from receiving money, or enjoying it when it DOES come in.

There’s a personal development guru who made a snide remark about another guru because he charges WAY more money than he does. She even talked about the fact that she was a millionaire who scrubs her own floors. And if you LOVE to scrub your own floors that’s fine.

But if you hate scrubbing floors, you can afford to outsource, but you’re STILL on your hands and knees with a sponge? THAT’S A BLOCK (#sorrynotosrry). It stems from feeling guilty about enjoying your money, or a fear of being perceived as “uppity”.

How do you know if you have one of these fears?

If you’ve been reading this and it triggered something within you - a ball of anxiety in the chest, knot in your stomach, a sense of worry, or even the need to justify your beliefs, you probably have a block.

Another way is to think about how much you earn every month. Get that number and then quadruple it. Say out loud, “I earn x dollars every month”. If that feels exciting to you and you have a sense of anticipation, that’s awesome.

But if that number feels icky to you or you get a negative feeling, that’s how you know that you have a block around this.

You can also imagine that today, right now, 1,000 people are going to your website and are downloading your freebies and booking calls. Does that thought excite you or scare the shit out of you? If you feel like that would be the worst thing ever, then you’re probably pushing against success.

So sound off in the comments. What was your biggest aha? What are you afraid of?

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About the Author

Hey, I'm Shelsey, and I help female online entrepreneurs clear the mindset gremlins that are sabotaging you from the inner corners of your brain. Join me in the Left-Brained Hippies Facebook community!

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