I just gave my friend Ruby a bit of coaching advice that I need to take myself. In answer to why she keeps putting off running her meditation classes, I asked her why she’s sabotaging her success.
I asked her what benefit is she getting from not being successful and maintaining this lack of success? This benefit is a secondary gain, a positive reinforcement that she’s getting from something negative or from a belief she has that’s reconfirmed every time she does not demonstrate success or work on something toward that success.
I asked her to define what success means to her and in doing so make sure that the definition is specific and quantifiable – not necessarily in monetary terms either.
As she goes through the exercise of defining her meaning of success, I suggested she look out for blocks that stop her writing flow. To check in and listen to her inner voice. What is it saying? What beliefs are coming up about what she’s writing? Write those down too.
This is great advice. Advice, I knew I needed to take in order to work out why I’m procrastinating a piece of work that is new, hairy, audacious and entirely unrelated to my primary coaching business. I have been learning about real estate in the last few months and slowly putting things into practice. With an intentional emphasis on the word slowly. Today, I realised slowly means, ‘barely, if at all.’
I am not without ability, so why am I sabotaging my success?
To answer this question, let’s look at how I define success. Remembering the question, According to Whose Standards? from last week, I am mindful that this must be my interpretation for who I am in this moment.
Success means I am wealthy.
Wealthy means I have the ability to lead my life with the choice to spend time on what I want with whom I want when I want to and to have sufficient financial means from my own revenue sources to be ahead of expenses and to buy what I want when I want it.
Suffice to say, this is not my present financial or time-allowed circumstances. I’m not doing too bad on all accounts but the wealth I want comes with absolutely no strings attached. It’s the type of success I believe I am capable of so then, I must answer:
What benefits are you getting from not being successful?
- Confirmation of perceived laziness.
- Coasting on someone else’s time and money (my husband’s).
- Lack of desire to work hard.
- Fear of missing out.
- Avoidance of stress.
These all came to mind immediately, but, these are all negative. I need benefits, pleasures, positive reinforcements.
Keep drilling Cazzie…
- I enjoy not being stressed by not being too busy.
- I enjoy not feeling like I’m working hard.
- I enjoy not being exhausted at the end of the day.
- I enjoy being a present & available mother and wife.
- I enjoy the idea of my husband paying for everything – specifically, that he takes care of me, which he currently doesn’t do and couldn’t anyway thanks to Melbourne’s high cost-of-living, but it’s the idea that’s limiting me from working harder. As though, if I don’t he has to.
Oooohhhh… now, this is a very surprising finding since I’d be the last person to consider myself a marriage traditionalist.
So why don’t you want to succeed with the real estate business, when there is a significant financial gain to be experienced?
- It feels like a new business, not just a side hustle that will (in the beginning) take a lot of time away from my primary coaching business.
- It’s lonely work, I don’t want to do it on my own, and due to my husband’s own commitments in Nigeria, he cannot work with me on it.
- There are no guarantees the hard work will pay off.
- I don’t really know whether what I’m doing is right.
These are good starters, but they don’t tap into why I’m sabotaging my success.
Drill even deeper Cazzie. Why don’t you want to do the work that you know will make you wealthy?
- I don’t know what wealthy feels like.
- I cannot place myself in the experience of being wealthy because I’ve never known true financial wealth nor spent a lot of time around people who are wealthy.
- I cannot realise it for myself because I don’t have a template to copy.
- I believe I’m worthy of wealth.
- I believe I’m capable of achieving wealth.
- But … I believe I need to also feel the testimony of wealth in my life, to spend time around people who are, by my definition successful.
Ohhhhh… now, this is the golden egg of insights!
How can I create success or wealth if I did not grow up with the influence of wealth and do not presently have the influence of wealth around me?
I grew up middle-class. We always just had enough. My whole life, and except for one short period in my 20s when I was close to homelessness, I’ve always just had enough. Week-to-week, hand-to-mouth, bills paid usually on time, food in the fridge every day, comfortable living standards. We’ve got savings here & there but nothing that would save me from catastrophe. By any other comparison, I have wealth, but again, not according to my standard. I have a financial strategy and budget but I’m not strict enough with it to realise its potential, which will be linked to this belief too.
I have had plenty of people who have had money in my life but I’ve witnessed their poor management of money, this is not the wealth I’m talking about. I’m talking about people who are living according to my definition.
I know these people exist. I know this is not an unrealistic definition. I know it has a sliding scale of grey that deepens and darkens over time with age and experience but let’s get real and slightly sarcastic for a second – it’s not like I can just approach wealthy people and say, “hey, you’re wealthy, how’d you do it? Can you tell me how you manage your money? Can you mentor me???”
The lived experience of being in the company of someone who is successful/ wealthy is something deeper and more complex. There is a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual connection to the lifestyle that this exercise has highlighted a belief I have.
But, the ultimate question is, is this belief limiting my success?
But, I realise now, that this belief doesn’t serve me. It’s not a good enough reason to not do the work. I am capable of achieving this definition of success and so it’s time to get the fuck out of my way and do it. Feel free to hold me accountable. I’d be a shit coach if I didn’t welcome accountability by my community.
Meanwhile, if you’re wealthy and want to mentor me, feel free to connect.
I’m not even kidding… I will not wealth-fame you. I want to learn from those who know what they’re doing.
By the way, the questions that I asked were intentionally worded in the third person. This is a dissociation journalling technique that I use in coaching to teach my clients to explore their unconscious mind on a deeper level. Here is a tool I developed to help you learn this technique: Q & A With You ebook. The example I use in the ebook actually relates closely to my concept of wealth.