The Rider’s Mind Episode 8: Are you afraid of success?
We set goals, we do the work, we want to win. It seems a little crazy to think that someone would be afraid of success, but sometimes there is a conflict in our brain. One part of our brain wants to win, and the other part is scared to be seen. Listen to this episode for tips on embracing success.
The conscious mind (pre-frontal cortex) and the subconscious part of the mind (reptilian brain) are programmed for different things. Sometimes, one part of your brain wants the win and the other part is scared of the win. The subconscious mind has a habit of overriding the conscious mind and sabotaging your efforts.
If your subconscious mind is afraid of winning, you’re likely to make mistakes in your run. You might pull up before the timer, grab for your hat, freeze up or flop the rope on the steer’s head — which are all things you knew not to do, but you did them anyway.
Your fear of success can also show up as procrastination and you might find yourself avoiding the things you need to do to achieve the success you want. You might find yourself with a lame horse every time you get close to your goal, or a flat tire or a big expense. When we carry a fear of success, it can result in self-sabotage. We do create our own realities.
Why would anyone fear success?
If you believe that bringing attention to yourself isn’t good or you believe it’s safer to “stay small” then you’re not going to align with the energy of being in the big lights and success is going to feel really awkward for you.
This fear of “being seen” can start when we are young. This subconscious idea to “stay small” might develop when caregivers tell you to “smarten up because everyone is watching you” or to “stop dancing in the streets, the neighbors are watching”. Our subconscious sometimes misinterprets these messages and it results in a subconscious fear of success.
Maybe you knew someone that was successful and they turned out to be unkind, so you don’t want to end up like that. Or maybe you were born a bit shy and don’t like any attention directed at you. Any of these ideas or experiences can lead to a subconscious fear of success.
Here’s a test: imagine your biggest win.
How does it feel? Are you ready to embrace that? Do you feel like you belong? Or does it make you uncomfortable?
If it feels uncomfortable to imagine receiving that type of attention, then there is a good chance that you are repelling success. If you don’t feel like you belong in that scenario you imagined, you’re probably not going to show up and compete like you belong. If you imagine yourself in the winner’s circle and it doesn’t feel comfortable, that’s a sign you have some limiting beliefs in your subconscious that could be chasing success away.
The first step in making a change is to get to the root of where these beliefs are coming from. Awareness is key. You’re going to call out the false stories stored in your subconscious. Then start reprogramming your subconscious with new affirmations like “It is safe to win” “Winners are kind people” “I can win and also be humble” “There are enough wins out there for everyone”. Say your affirmations or write them down.
Imagine the win you’re looking for. Picture yourself accepting the year-end buckle or an oversized check. Imagine receiving it until it feels comfortable.
In my Mental Toughness Boot Camp and coaching groups we do quantum leaping with some energy tools and techniques to make these shifts happen even quicker, but the ideas I’ve mentioned are also very effective and will get you started.
Logically, no one thinks they fear success. I know this will have poked at a few of you and you’ve had an “ah ha” moment. I hope this makes you feel excited for the possibilities to let that fear go, however it was founded. I hope you will work on aligning with the success you’ve been working towards.
I use that term aligning a lot. For me, aligning means that your conscious and your subconscious mind are on the same page, so the universe can work with you to attract and achieve success.
There are many different ways we can be out of alignment. Today’s episode focused on one misalignment: when your conscious mind wants to win and your subconscious mind fears success. I hope this gets you thinking about other “misalignments” that might be holding you back (I’ll talk about other ones in the future!)
Thanks for listening! I’ll catch you on the next episode or in the discussion at The Rider’s Mind Community. Until then, breathe deep, stay present and ride the stride.