In this article, I want to share with you 6 archetypes that you might not recognize that actually come from your fear of success.
They’re stealthy, sneaky things and rarely that obvious but wow they can damage your success or even your perception of it, and worse of all, many are playing out automatically in your life already!
For each Archetype, I want to share:
If you are a goal addict, you are not averse to setting goals. You achieve big. You know what you want and go for it.
The Goal Addict Type 1 can be an overachiever. There’s nothing wrong with wanting massive levels of success. However, when they sit before me, they are not working with me to become more successful. They want to find ways to relinquish control, or slow down.
They desperately want to escape elements of their life; or they notice how un-fulfilled they feel despite the healthy bank balance, awesome looking life style and illusion of the perfect life.
The Goal Addict T1 is likely to say:
Whether it’s you that’s the Goal Addict or someone you love or work with. Giving them some space to talk and explore who they are is not likely to work.
They achieve big because of who they are and they can’t see any reason to change, so don’t try to enforce change on them or yourself. Instead, find out what the Goal Addict doesn’t like about their life.
You will need to choose your timing well. If they feel threatened or cornered, they will be quick to let you know how awesomely successful they are.
When you find yourself berating something in your life, don’t shut the thought down, explore it and ask yourself:
“What does this mean to me?” “How is this impacting on my happiness? Health? Loved ones?”
Don’t choose the normal parameters that you’d normally choose to work like “What does this mean to my work/financial freedom/success? You will quickly prove yourself right and won’t deal with what’s going on.
The good news about Goal Addicts is that they really appreciate their skills, attributes and successes. They can stay motivated and on track no matter what happens. They have an inbuilt determination and tenacity that helps them achieve big.
I’ve worked with many incredibly successful people who have told me they are not happy. They’ve been on a permanent drive to get to the top they never stopped long enough to check the destination was still where they wanted to get.
One client realized they were trapped on a hamster wheel and we went back to basics. This quickly enabled them to see that 20 years of striving to be the best had been great but it had been costly. They had no one they felt they could love, no social life and hadn’t been on a plane for pleasure in years. Taking the step back and reacquainting with who they really are, helped them appreciate that the person they’d been years ago still existed and they reconnected with that.
They now do a lot of travelling. They still work as hard, but the weekends are as important as the day job.
The Goal Addict Type 2 is possibly the opposite to the Type 1.
They still achieve everything they set out to achieve, however, they achieve small. They aim small, keep it small, and achieve small. And then when they talk to their coach, boss, friend, or loved one, they are complaining that they aren’t getting what they want in life.
They can be frustrated and disappointed and are less likely to shout about what they achieve, want or need.
The Goal Addict T2 is likely to say:
Goal Addict T2 often present to me with a sense that they could achieve more but aren’t. They tell me they lack confidence or that they don’t want to rock the boat. They like things fair for all.
The issue with this approach is they aren’t keen to explore what they really want. (It can make them hyperventilate and anxious to consider big goals and big ideas.)
Make use of the science of being you. Start by understanding that you have the skills, beliefs and attributes to achieve. You’ve been doing it for years. It’s just your focus has been up too close. Don’t try and process how you will achieve big or even what you want to achieve. Just notice how you’ve got as far as you have.
Know that failure is good for yo . While many of us have heard this, The Goal Addict T2 is petrified of it. It links to lots of fears and while it may manifest as the fear of success, often underling this are the fears of what people will think of me and the fear that I will look stupid. Most fears at their base have the fear of what other people will be thinking about you.
So before you look to overcome your fear of success, build your confidence. In my experience, the quickest ways to build your confidence is 2 fold:
No one gets out of life without making mistakes. We learn far more from failure than we do from success. On Lifehack alone, you will find tons of articles talking about some of our great achievers in every arena of life – and so many will tell you that it was their failures that enabled them to be successful.
Failure is not failure, it’s the chance to learn.
The good news is that Goal Addict T2 are good at motivating others because they’d rather look at other people than themselves.
Also because they don’t know where they want to go, they are easy to be with, manipulate, employ and control. (Okay you can see that can be bad for the Goal Addict, right?)
They are good at protecting themselves from failure and negativity because they just won’t look at it in that way.
I worked with someone who told me that they had no proof that they could achieve anything. Everything they’d ever achieved had been because someone else had told them to do it. They didn’t create the spark; the small flame was handed to them.
By using the strategies above, they rocketed their confidence, learn’t to trust in what they had to say, stop stressing about what other people were thinking of them or of what they said and learnt to push themselves.
Some people like to get so far out of their comfort zone they can’t see it any more. For this person, it was about small goals that added up to the big goal – something they obviously knew they could do!
The disbeliever is less likely to come to me for coaching of their own free will. They are more likely to be a member of a team and the senior team has spotted some issues that they feel coaching can help overcome.
The disbeliever has a fear of success that is manifesting itself when they fight change in the work place or can justify why things can’t change.
Be aware of the language you use on yourself. Does it empower you or undermine you? You may think that your language is keeping you safe.
Imagine for a moment that the very thing that you felt kept you safe was in actual fact keeping you trapped? Becoming more aware of the trap that your language creates, enables you to get out of it faster.
Don’t go it alone. If you are fearful of success and hold strong beliefs about what can’t be done or what you can’t do, it’s going to be tough to fight that alone.
Challenge what you believe. Your perception of reality is unique to you. Only you have reached this place in exactly the way you have, so be mindful of how that journey has skewed your view of the world.
When someone challenges you on what you think can be done, don’t’ be so quick to dismiss them. Take some time to process it – could this be the way for you to fight your fear of success?
Disbelievers hold strong opinions and those opinions have kept them safe. (Yes, you could reframe it and say those ideas have kept them trapped) but for now, know that they are good at holding strong in their views.
Disbelievers also tend to be sticklers for doing things the right way. (Yes they can get bogged down and fearful of trying new ways) but for now remember they are good at being really reliable and sustainable in what they do.
I was working with a team that had 2 Disbelievers in. The rest of the team were pretty much despondent that they’d ever get on board with new ideas and new ways of working. So no matter how much new methods were enforced on the team, the disbelievers could always justify why the old way was best.
We made it very personal to them, and talked about how the new ideas made them feel. How they felt unappreciated and like they were considered the “old dogs” of the team that couldn’t learn new tricks. They could, they just couldn’t see the benefits. “It had all been tried before.”
We stopped talking about their beliefs around the changes, and looked at what they hated about their roles at work. Then, we looked at ways to make things better. The team were able to show the Disbelievers that the new ways of working would in actual fact deal with the very issues they faced.
The Disbelievers were so trapped in their view of reality there was no space in their beliefs and automatic processes that would enable them to access the new ideas. This process enabled them to do it and helped the team see the challenges it caused for the Disbelievers.
A greater understanding of each other led to some serious eureka moments for the whole team. That means happier staff and less stress as well as increased productivity!
The Saboteur thinks they are doing their best. They work long hours (they aren’t afraid of hard work!) they go for it, they try new things but it never seems to work out the way they really would like it to.
No matter what they do, they never feel like they’ve good enough or done enough. It’s a constant fight.
The Saboteurs have it tough because no matter what happens – good or bad, they can find something to be unhappy with. Even if things are going great, they will be able to tell you the things that went badly.
Head and heart is an exercise where I get the Saboteur to just talk about something they aren’t happy with, something they feel can’t be achieved. They can talk in depth about everything that went wrong, can’t be done, and has been considered and dismissed. However, ask them to list out everything they learned or benefited from in that experience, they struggle.
Persevere because the Saboteur is good at finding what is going on. And with help, they can force themselves into looking at what exists — really exists. Head is the facts that they know (the easy bit) and heart is the stuff that they choose to think (the tough bit).
Step back from the situation that you fear and get the head and the heart to create the dialogue. Even if you don’t believe it, the facts can start to shout louder than the feelings.
Saboteurs should celebrate how hard working you are. You get knocked down again and again and still you resiliently get up and go for it again!
The Saboteurs’ fear of failure can make them a bunny in head lights, trapped and unable to move.
I’ve seen the head and heart strategy work powerfully, because you can’t argue with the facts (as much as you may try) slowly, this process enables the person to take a new approach, create new beliefs and even achieve more.
One client would every month sit before me and tell me why something wasn’t good enough and how they’d failed. Until at one session, they sat before me and said my own words back at me “I know, I’ve achieved a lot and I wasn’t achieving this much 5 months ago, was I? So I don’t even have evidence to that fact, do I!”
This made them laugh because clearly, they were getting their own new message loud and clear – and I love working with that person!
Of all the fears of success, the Half Hearters are least likely to work with a coach. I meet a lot of these in my line of business. They are often following me around the UK to hear me speak or reading every word I write online but still, they ask the same questions and are doing the same things. And we all know that’s a definition of madness, don’t we?
Half Hearters are usually sponges at taking on new information and can repeat it back parrot fashion, but they don’t actually take action on it.
They are likely to say:
With some fears, you need to look at it firmly in the eyes and deal with it head on; others are fought by concentrating on what you really want and eventually the fear shrinks to nothing because you build your confidence in what you do.
For Half Hearters, they are convinced that they have tried everything and are doing everything they can. It means that no matter what they learn, they don’t take action because the underlining fear has control — subconscious control, but control none the less.
Then, try the “And that means” exercise.
When you find yourself saying something ask yourself “And that means?” Keep asking this question.
As a coach. we get to work deep down in your mind finding out what the route issue is. This process helps you do that too. For instance:
“I don’t think that strategy could work for me.”
And that means?
“That I will have to accept that I can’t do that in my life/business/career/relationships.”
And that means?
“That it will always be a limitation on my success and happiness.”
And that means?
“That I will always fear this.”
This process helps you see what’s happening to you because you won’t attempt something new.
Now use the “If I knew, what could I do” exercise. For this, suspend reality for a moment. Get the magic wand out. Get creative. There’s no limitation on your time, health, finances, abilities, skills or beliefs – with that in mind how would you answer the first statement again?
And yes, I know for many, this is way out of your comfort zone, but the least creative clients are able to find some insight too. So stick with it.
“I don’t think that strategy could work for me.”
If I knew, what could I do?
“If I knew it would work, I could do it.”
This then enables you to start breaking down a lifetime of beliefs around the dangers of the fear of success.
The good news for the Half Hearters is that they are great at learning new ideas even if they don’t employ them. They are happy where they are (usually because they are un-keen to look too far ahead for fear that they will fail at it!)
A client came to me and said they felt their fear of success and that it meant they rarely applied themselves.
From the “And that means” exercise, we were able to see what was the underlining issue. They really feared what other people thought of them. They’d been bullied as a child and in their first job and it had stuck around in their head telling them to just hide in the office and don’t stand out. It meant they now felt overlooked and unappreciated.
Dealing with their fear of success and what people thought of them meant they learned to employ communication skills they already knew but were too fearful to use. And then, they got not one but 2 pay rises and promotions!
Inventors are awesome to coach because they get results fast. It’s a great example of how you can change the results you get in an instant because it’s about what you think before what you do.
Inventors create a perception of reality that supports where they are. It means that they don’t notice the fear of success that exists at all!
Inventors are likely to say:
Inventors need someone to hold their hand to overcome their fear. Their ability to create, nurture and believe their own version of reality keeps them safe and it makes it very hard to escape on their own.
More than any other archetype, the Inventor has to strip back what they think and find its source. Going it alone is not a great option because the Inventor can constantly recreate reality to support where they are.
Having someone to help them confront what they believe to be true really can help. Don’t ask your partner or friend because they just want you to be happy (more than successful) and don’t want to see you upset.
I have had hundreds and hundreds of people cry in a coaching session and be mortified by it, but it’s in that moment of tears that they have realized what the fear has done to them, how it has stopped them and a complete release that there really is a new way they could think to get what they want.
Don’t go it alone, find someone who you can trust to challenge you in a supporting way that suits you. Some people like a kick butt approach and others need a gentle gentle approach – start by thinking what your approach might be.
It’s funny how quick the right people and opportunities crop up when you are looking in the right direction.
And most importantly, don’t berate yourself for who you are. When you start to break down your perception of reality, most of my clients discover how awesome they really are and their new perception of reality is far better (and quite often instant!)
The Inventors don’t tend to like looking too closely at their emotions and feelings. If they do, then their perception of reality can get dislodged. So they tend to be strong people.
That strength is so important, it enables you to be resilient and determined. Both of these are critical when you face up to your fears.
I was working with a team of people who had 2 inventors in their group. They weren’t very good at coming up with new ideas (like the rest of the team) and didn’t like being challenged.
By helping them to see that other perceptions of reality existed for other members of the team, they could start to see that they could choose to see things differently if they wanted to.
The trick was in getting them to appreciate the need for change and then giving them the safe zone to challenge what they thought.
With the right support, they were actually the fastest to adopt new ideas because they could quickly create a reality to support the new way of thinking, cool right?
Of all the fears that attack your life, ultimately their role is to lower your confidence levels, keep you trapped and stop you from what you want in life.
By being brave enough to notice them, you are well on the road to fixing them. Therefore wherever you are today, that’s a great starting point, remember that.
Recently I spoke for WEConnect International. Here you can access the full webinar: ‘How saying ‘no’ can positively impact your business success’ I hope you enjoy the session and learn a lot about how saying no can make you more focused, less stressed and more productive!
And below are additional links to further learning and support. Let me know how you get on and if you aren’t signed up to WeConnect you – please do!
If you’d like to listen back or if you weren’t able to join us on the day, the recording of the webinar can be found here: https://youtu.be/mAHT7Zrfq5E
Accompanying slides can be found here.
If you have any issues with any of these links, you can also access them online here.
You can find details about my best-selling book Fight the Fear (now in 5 languages) that looks at the 12 biggest fears that impact on success including our fear of saying no and our fear of what people think of us here: https://www.mandieholgate.co.uk/books/
And here are the additional articles as mentioned:
Courses on powerful communication anywhere, building confidence and other business related subjects – https://www.mandieholgate.co.uk/shop/
And the confidential mastermind group that is a very powerful group for female business owners https://www.thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk/bwn-insider-benefits/ – a great way to access a coach 24/7!
If you found the webinar useful and are able to leave a review on Linkedin or Google that would be greatly appreciated.
Mandie offers team coaching, 1 to 1 coaching and mentoring to help women and their teams achieve more and is very happy to offer a discount for all our WEConnect International webinar attendees (not reviews). Please contact her to avail of this!
Finally, if you have not yet registered your business with WEConnect International, you can register with us for free online here: https://weconnectinternational.org/en/womens-business-enterprises/self-registration.
eNetwork and Operations Manager for Europe
Here are a few ideas to help you when it comes to picking up the phone.
“I hear what you say about x that sounds good to me.”
“I feel that the key points are this, would that be right?”
These all allow the other person to feel listened to. And if you struggle to hear these vocal clues, get in touch I’d be happy to share some more ideas for you.
The whole point of the phone is that it can be used to get impressive results fast.
To build rapport and connections easier than via email where tonality can get misheard or misread.
It is to make yours and those that you work with lives easier, happier and more successful, so you can see the fear of picking up the phone is one we all need to get over, or it can have a costly impact on success.
If you would like more support, there’s a whole chapter in Fight the fear that looks at this fear and a number of other chapters that look at why the fear exists in the first place!
Over the last few years, I’ve seen a worrying increase in the number of people looking to quit their “high Flying, this is what I’ve always wanted careers” for a different life. More and more people are becoming disenchanted and disengaged with working for large corporations and the joys and treasures that this can hold for them. I’m inundated with people looking to set up their own business and “escape” the city. It makes it sound like Alcatraz and for many perhaps it is. With a growing trend for down sizing, a rural lifestyle and a better work life balance how can a corporation compete with working around families and life styles, across a chatty family dinner table, a commute to the back garden in your slippers with a dog in tow and no one telling you what to do or how to do it?
If you look after a team and are seeing this trend what can you do to look after your team and show them that actually, it’s a great place to be and still reach your targets each month?
As well as the increase in highly successful people looking to run away that I’m coaching, I’m also seeing a trend for more people who wish to showcase to their staff that we genuinely do care, and we do want you to achieve and excel as much as we wish the organisation to. So how can you ensure your team are happy and what should you steer clear of to stop your team from proverbially running for the hills?
Expect them to care as much as you do.
It’s likely you are highly dedicated, hard working person who gets what they want in life. And as such you find yourself looking after a large team of people. And one of the first things that many clients learn is that your interpretation of what matters and your definition of what is important may differ greatly from that of the people that work for you. You care about the end result because it’s your department, however, not everyone has that level of passion for their work. Take a step back and imagine that you are a member of your team. Do you feel that you strive for the bosses’ job? A seat on the board? Or do you feel that you may have other priorities in life? There is no right or wrong answer here. And by understanding the different drivers in peoples lives, you can tap into this to help people feel cared for and listened to on their own values and passions in life.
Don’t listen to them.
I actually once heard a person say “You’re not here to think you are here to work” And as incredible as that sounds and as far removed as this ethos is to most organisations that understand the need to get the most out of the people. Inherently it can still feel like this is the case to some. If you want your team to love working with you and your firm then you need to help people feel heard. And that’s easy to achieve at a review however not so easy when the deadline is looming and 3 people have called in sick. Learn phrases that feel natural to you that enable you to effectively say “I hear what you are saying and wish to address this let’s get this project completed and let’s book a date to discuss.” Or “This must feel incredibly (frustrating, disappointing, hurtful, disrespectful, etc) to you, and I want you to know that this concerns me, I would like to look at ways to ensure this doesn’t happen again.” Showcasing that you wish to hear their views makes people feel valued. Which brings me on to….
Argue with them.
The minute someone argues with you, it get’s your back up. Try it with your partner, sibling or child and you will see that if you push against a person, they will push back. Arguing is never productive. A difference of opinion is different, and it’s about learning powerful ways to communicate that enables that person to hold on to their own views and hear yours too, without emotion, guilt or intention. Their view is their view, and you don’t have rights over that. Remember that person has got to this stage of their life with their beliefs, values and experiences. You will have a unique combination of those too that enable you to think, behave, act and achieve as you do. Helping someone to overcome their limitations and obstacles does not start with a conversation that says “You are wrong.”
Shut them out.
A quick way to see staff leave is to shut them out of the big picture. You can quickly turn your organisations next big plan for success into a war zone of gossip, and upset if you don’t help your team feel involved in the big picture. Organisations hit hard times and to shut people out so that they don’t panic, doesn’t work. If anything it can create “The conspiracy theory attitude” that says “We are all doomed!” Helping your team to appreciate what you as a team face and listening to concerns and ideas will help to make people feel like they matter and that you aren’t about to cut them loose. Batting down the hatches can scare people fast.
Moan about people.
It has been proved that by talking about a third party many people feel like they are part of the “in crowd”. It is often used as a way to make that person feel special and valued, because “I’m sharing this with you because I trust you” feelings. That’s great on one level, however subconsciously (even if not with awareness) if you are prepared to talk about someone else, how does that person not know you are going to talk about them too. Professionalism indicates that most people understand this, however what about with other companies, suppliers or departments? Speak as you wish to hear about yourself. Bambi’s mate Thumper had that one sussed “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” As many clients have learnt saying nothing can be a far more powerful way to get your message across on a negative.
On a planet with over 7 billion people, it’s not surprising that you may rub someone up the wrong way and they may dislike you. Your job is not to be Mr or Mrs Popularity your job is to help everyone work together effectively and powerfully as a team feeling like they matter and are well respected and valued as a member of that team. And that can get tricky when personalities clash. What you see as an insulting way of speaking is just another persons idea of a fun way of behaving. What you see as professional may seem cold hearted to some. Learning to see the world from other people’s view points can help. And learn to listen to people’s natural style of communication. If you have investigated this for yourself you may already know about the different styles of learning that people may favour. And this extends to their natural chosen way of communicating and learning about the world that surrounds them. If you are an auditory learner and you are speaking with a kinesthetic learner, you can alienate that person and make them feel like they are not being heard or understood if you don’t pick up on their verbal and visual clues. It’s a whole article on its own to look at the power of using other people’s natural styles of communication, so for now, start to consider;
Does this person use lots of body language?
Does this person use words like “I see what you mean” or “I hear what you are saying” or “I feel that this is the best approach”?
Don’t say thank you.
It may seem so obvious and yet the amount of times I’ve had people tell me that they just got fed up with no one ever saying thank you. “It’s your job, what do I need to thank them for?” I’ve heard in retaliation. The fact is it takes a short amount of time to say thank you and gratitude is such a powerful tool in so many areas of our lives. These people weren’t marched in and made to work in your offices, they choose to. Okay, they may have mortgages and mouths to feed however ultimately they are making the decision to invest in working for your organisation to get them what they want in life. And that is not just about perks and salaries. Taking all the praise and forgetting to share the glory can kill their attitude to you and the organisation. Some people don’t need praise, they are just pleased to see the job done and go home at night, however, I’ve seen many a person light up when they’ve plucked up the courage to say to their boss “actually do you know you never say thank you?” and that person has appreciated this and started to say thank you more. That member of your team feels appreciated and respected and that is ultimately what we all strive for in life, not just the joys and treasures of a corporate career.
Conversation this morning with my son, highlights the power of our conversations And most important bit….the stuff that isn’t said, that you need to listen to, so that you get the results in relationships that you want.
Me “Have you tidied your bedroom, my version of tidy, not yours.
Me No you havn’t that gap in your Yes means that you haven’t done that and in actual fact you are highly likely playing on your phone instead, and you have just looked up to check the state of your room.”
Son “Yes, I have tidied my room.”
Me “No you still haven’t, but you are now looking around the room deciding that you really need to tidy this mess before your mum walks in the room. And so said yes in a long drawn out fashion because you were actually considering how you will need to take action to get me off your back.”
Son stomps into bathroom and says “How were you watching me from in the bath?”
My reply “I’m a coach, its my job to listen to the important stuff, and that’s the stuff you don’t say!”
The point here is yes it took me a long time to train and then hone my skills. However we all have the ability to listen between peoples words. To listen to where the other party takes a breath, to note the gaps in the sentence and many other things to ensure the power of our relationships improve.
Because let’s be honest when we have good relationships with all those around us we then feel better, we feel happier and when we are at our happiest we are at our most productive and creative and thus we are more successful in what we do.
So how can you power up your skills in relationships?
You don’t need to not see the person. Just looking at someone’s body language can give you clues. If you have asked a person a question and their body language changes from open to closed, ask yourself why?
Use words that allow a person to expand on what they are saying rather than give you a short answer. Instead of saying things like “This is what you should do.” Say things like “Could this be more interesting for you to do taking into account what we are discussing?” This is powerful because the minute you TELL someone what to do, you are likely to get their hackles up and they will fight you. Letting people feel like it was their idea creates responsibility and ownership and a desire to get a result.
Give people the space to think for longer. If you find your a person who struggles with a gap in a conversation, in your mind say what they are saying, so that you are really hearing them. You may not feel any different. But the other party will definitely feel it. They will feel listened to and that is very powerful in good relationships.
The length of a word. A Breath at the start or midway through are all indicators. What could they be indicating to you without saying?
Picking up on the subtleties of what people are not saying and the way that they are conversing with you will power up your relationships. People will feel more respected. More listened to and more valued. You will have a greater understanding of their viewpoint and that in turns gives you more information to work with.
And it freaks 12 year old know-it-alls!