If you are having trouble getting out the starting gate on your quest for personal fitness, you may be caught somewhere between the fear of success and the fear of failure.
When I tell people that they are showing signs of the fear of success when it comes to losing weight, they find it difficult to believe that it is the case. Why would they fear success? They know they want to lose weight. They know they want to enjoy fitness.
When my clients do take a peek they see a downside to achieving their goal that they have not acknowledged to themselves or others before. And here are some of the reasons I have heard over my years of coaching people who wanted to enhance their well being. See if they echo true for you.
1) Once you have achieved your weight loss, you won’t be able to keep it off. How many times have you followed a food program, worked out, lost weight and then 6 months later have put it on again? It is very common. There are great gifts and lessons in this when we choose to find them, and they often point to changes in mindset that we will benefit from adapting as we move forward. Instead too many ask themselves “What’s the point?”
2) Expectations of others once you achieve your goal. What will people expect of you once you achieve your goal? What will you expect of yourself? If you are expecting to be perfect, you will find yourself in an endless upward struggle. Expect to feel greater self love, expect to feel good about yourself. These are expectations that you are in control of, this is your body and your mind. If you are attracting people around you with high expectations of what your body should look like, remember that they are a mirror that you have allowed in that reflects a thought that you think about yourself, otherwise it would not have hold over you. We have all been subjected to media bombardment of pictures of what is deemed to be sexy, and so it takes a conscious effort to debug those and define what makes us feel sexy.
3) Your intuition is on fire when you are eating well and losing weight and you don’t like the messages you are receiving. The sensitive people among us understand this. Many times people stuff down their feelings with food, and so when you are mindful and watching this, and your intuition receives important information that scares you, you don’t want to receive it. So success is not good to some if it means knowing truths they would rather not know about. It takes courage to welcome the truth, to trust your intuition, and to act upon it.
4) You get more sympathy and attention when you are struggling. This was me. When I was a victim and suffering I used to get way more sympathy. Once I let go of the need for sympathy and chose to empower myself I began receiving attention of a different nature altogether and it was empowering. Give up the need to struggle, you never have to sacrifice anything other than the things that work against the very nature of who you are. Blood, sweat, pain, and tears will not make you worthy of the fitness you desire. They are one path that some people follow, but you can choose a different way.
5) You may upset or lose a loved one in the process. Not everyone wants you to change, but you cannot let that stop you. You may lose some people in your life but you will gain many others, and there will be many others amongst your tribe who will surprise you by being more supportive than you ever thought. The people who don’t want you to change are only a reflection of the part of you that doesn’t want to change. The only way you will know is if you step forward, honour your own your commitment, and make that change.
6) You will have to sacrifice another area of your life that you value in order to make time for it. There are those who succeed at this while being able to keep balance with the other areas of life, and without having to sacrifice other things that they value. If you value family and relationships, maybe there are fun activities that you can do together that will enhance the wellbeing of everyone involved. You can add a little bit of exercise at a time here or there, and watch as your desire for it increases. And ask yourself, is watching 3 hours a tv a night something that I truly value?
7) You will be on a restricted diet , or exercise program and won’t be able to do the things you love. I am not a proponent of diets. I work out, enjoy my body, enjoy my exercise, and still enjoy my food whilst making the choices that are best for my body. This is another of those little mind viruses that stops you from even getting out the door. When you have a strong desire for personal health you will be surprised how your taste buds accommodate and how much you are willing to change your thoughts about certain foods, knowing how much they benefit you.
8) It is a lot of responsibility. You have to be responsible for your thoughts, feelings and actions on a daily basis. You are responsible for the foods you put in your mouth, your level of activity, and the lack of results in the your life. Many people feel overburdened with responsibility as it is, and so having more things to be responsible for is just too much. We all need to get clear on what we are responsible for in life and what we are not responsible for, and when we do it becomes easier to accept the responsibilities that come with being in our power.
9) You will become vain or prideful and think about your weight all the time. I have heard this many times from people too. It is a fear of our own shadow side, we need to understand that we get to create who we become. If we don’t want to be vain or prideful then we want to be humble in our approach, and there are ways of doing that without sabotaging your fitness. There are many people who have achieved great physical fitness who are humble about the blessings they have received. Focus on the kind of person you want to become, be willing to witness your shadow thoughts and energies so that you can conquer them within yourself.
10) You don’t want to be seen as a sex object. This one is especially true for women. I have worked with many women who fear that if they become sexy that men will want them, and if men ever held power over them in the past, they are afraid it will happen again and they will feel controlled. They don’t want to be sexy because of all the negative attention that gets them. And men can experience it in different ways too. When they are sexy and notice the attention of many women they can start to notice shadow aspects of themselves surfacing, such as their greed or lack of commitment and sabotage their divine sexiness in other ways. And many people have been raised to feel shame and guilt around sex, so being sexy is just out of the question. When we are willing to heal our relationship with sex it is amazing what we can achieve with our bodies.
These are just a few of the reasons why people actually fear success, and they are ones that stop many of the most ambitious fitness plans in their tracks. Own up to the fears that are yours, and you will no longer give them power. Once you are aware of them you can begin to foster more helpful thoughts that move you in the direction of your goals. There is always someone who has overcome the very fear you are facing, and they will support you, but you will only find them once you have acknowledged that fear within yourself.
This is just a taste of some of the self sabotaging thoughts that prevent people stepping out of the starting gate. At the Sacred Fitness event in Victoria on May 12th 2012 a group of success oriented people will begin to take the steps to debug their mind of these sabotaging programs and embody thoughts and habits that move them in the direction of their goals. Come and join in, and enjoy the support.