Fear + Self Esteem = Your Personal Success Level

Have you ever wondered why some people seem more successful than others? Yes, there are lots of external techniques that can be taught to improve your outcomes … lots of processes and strategies that once applied help to give a foundation for success.

But …by themselves, these skills will only get you so far. Have you seen people who seem to be headed for stellar success only to shoot themselves in the foot? People who know every trick, every technique, every theory but still can’t get ahead. There is something more at play. A little something I call my hidden success equation.

People will only ever rise as far as their fear lets them and the determinant of whether or not they are even on a particular ride at all is their level of self-esteem. The level of success you reach is the result of these two internal factors combining.

The universe does not create your success level, it merely reflects back to you what is already inside you. Everyone in life and business is presented with opportunities – whether or not you see them and how you respond to them is purely a function of your fear and self-esteem at the time.

Lets explore this a bit further. Your self-esteem is your personal belief of your worthiness and deservedness for good things in your life. It is your belief of whether you deserve the great things that happen to you. It is the value you place on yourself, your skills, your needs and wishes.

If you believe deep inside your core that you don’t deserve good things, that somehow you are bad or less than other people, then your self-esteem is not as healthy as it could be.

If your self-esteem is not healthy, then you will often not see the opportunities presented to you. You will discount flashes of insight, great ideas and suggestions as “pie in the sky – I could never do that”. You will procrastinate, delay and self- sabotage. You will wait for others to take action and then blame them if they act in a way that doesn’t match how you would normally do it.

Intuition and self-esteem are linked. The more you discount your intuition because your self-esteem is low, the more you turn down the volume on your radar of opportunities, and the less opportunities you will see. You feel stuck – with no chance to succeed. You stay in the same old routine, wishing your life were better, but not stepping up to make it so.

I see this with businesses all the time. If the CEO or Manager has poor self-esteem then the business will struggle.

Conversely, if you have healthy self-esteem you have an internal compass that tells you that generally you are successful at things you try … so your internal radar is tuned to more opportunities to find even better things to try. You will see more possibilities around you, more chances to succeed. Your success level will be that much greater than people around you as a result. Successful people all have healthy egos.

Where does fear come into the equation? The level to which you lack confidence is the level to which you will experience fear (paraphrasing Mark Douglas).

Fear is a highly debilitating emotion. When your body is in a state of fear, your senses close down except towards the trigger of the fear. You literally can’t see past the fear-inducing trigger. You can’t see other options or find other solutions.

Each opportunity in life carries its own risk – no opportunity comes risk free. If you are fearful of the negative result that may occur, then you will not be willing to fully accept the risk and take the opportunity when it presents itself. If you are afraid of being wrong, then you will do something that will end up making you wrong.

If you are afraid, even if you do see an opportunity in front of you, you will be too scared to take it – worrying that you may fail. You will go out of your way to talk yourself out of the opportunity – looking for all the evidence to support why you shouldn’t do something. You will interpret every bit of data as telling you the reasons why the opportunity wouldn’t have worked. You talk yourself out of success.

So what does success feel like? Have you ever been “in the zone”? Athletes talk about times when they just knew they couldn’t fail and everything was happening smoothly.

Have you ever experienced a time when everything just fell into place … you just responded instinctively to whatever came along, you were fully in the moment and fully present, doing what needed to be done and as a result you were successful? Think back to that time. Did you feel any lasting fear or were you just totally focussed on what you were doing?

When you are in the zone, you are totally aligned – your belief in your capability matches the opportunity in front of you. Fear may be present, but it is put to one side while you focus on what is in front of you.

Athletes don’t just talk themselves into a state of alignment – they combine training, techniques and visualisation with repetition and testing of their limits. They take the data from each test and then build on the data to improve their performance. Each successful athlete takes each success and uses it towards building a belief they can succeed. The belief builds their self-esteem. They know they can fail, but the fear is of failure is less than the will to succeed. That is how success is built.

So … how strong is your self-esteem? How afraid are you of failing? Shift your mental radar upwards and you will experience greater success both in your personal life and in business.

Ingrid Cliff is a Freelance Copywriter, Business Development and Human Resources Consultant to Small and Medium Businesses. Ingrid has just published Instant HR Policies and Procedures for Small and Medium Businesses www.heartharmony.com.au

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