Think about all the "play small" messages young children receive on a daily basis:
"Listen to your father and behave properly."
"Who do you think you are?"
"Be modest, don't get a swelled head!"
"Remember where you come from."
"Respect your mother, no matter what she tells you."
"You think you're too good for us? You need to be humble, and don't forget it.
"People like us don't go to places like that."
Every day, that list of holdbacks and thousands of similar play-small messages get expressed or played out silently over and over and over. And those messages land smack-dab into the unconscious mind of the child where they will stay alive, albeit quietly, haunting every day of the child's future.
And every one of us -- including you -- has been subjected to some form of commandment to NOT break out beyond where you came from, to not really leave home. So you end up feeling blocked by what my husband Jim Sniechowski, PhD and I call "the fear of being fabulous."
Whether it came from a demanding and controlling parent, a terrified and anxious teacher, an abusive coach or any number of relatives, romantic partners or so-called friends who didn't know any better... the damage happened anyway.
And what's the damage?
A smaller life than you know could be yours.
Perhaps you feel limited in what you can do in your career, where or whether you can go to college or get specialized professional training, even who you can date, marry and love.
The damage may have spread to your bank account, your health and fitness and even how you dress and carry yourself in the world.
But here's the good news...
No matter your age, no matter where you're at, it's never too late to bust out of that internal prison that's been holding you back. The fact is, now your life is yours to design.
Yes, it is.
And as long as you are willing to investigate and confront what's living in your unconscious you are truly free to design it any way you want.
That's an idea that may feel like a betrayal of where you came from and what you've believed was true your whole life. But why live in bondage to how others insisted you should be? It doesn't matter whether it was what they told you, or it could have been how they behaved that made you feel you had to act in only certain ways, ways that limited who you could be.
Now I want to provide a few tips to help support you in your willingness, your commitment to BE free to be fabulous.
But first, I ask that you promise to take them in, to make them yours.
Okay, here we go:
1) Recognize that you are a unique, one-of-a-kind person. There never has been nor will there ever be another you.
Therefore, it doesn't matter what anyone else has accomplished, what anyone else owns, does or is. Nor does it matter what you've not done before now. All that matters is what you need to accomplish and experience so you can enjoy the specific successful life that is yours, truly yours.
Take a moment to jot down two to three things that you must make real to actually claim the life you want. Strengthen your desire. Strengthen your commitment to making them happen, no matter what it takes. And now, feel your desire and your commitment to yourself. That is action, the kind of internalized action necessary to take the external steps required to get you to where you want to be.
2) Notice if anyone in your current life seems determined to keep you back, whether relative or friend. If someone (or several someones) cannot cheer you on, cannot support your dream, then you must become aware that those relationships are not in your best interest. In fact, they are toxic to your well being. Yes, they are truly, truly toxic because they imprison and undermine your deepest self-expressive desire.
As difficult as it may seem right now, you need to distance yourself from those hold-you-back-relationships and make room for new, more expanded and more alive people who can appreciate who you truly are. That doesn't mean you need to cut people off unnecessarily, but it does mean you have to monitor the hold-yourself-back folks' behavior and exit the scene whenever they act in ways that express their desire for you to remain true to "where you came from."
3) Finally, for now, commit to taking one step tomorrow, just one tiny step in whatever way you can, that will move you a little bit closer to your successful life.
It doesn't matter what it is, only that it leads you in the right direction. Promise -- to you and your larger future -- that you will take that step which will begin moving you through to the other side of what's been holding you back. Do it!
When you do, you'll be on your way to overcoming the fear of being fabulous!
Judith Sherven, PhD and her husband Jim Sniechowski, PhD have developed a penetrating perspective on people's resistance to success, which they call The Fear of Being Fabulous (TM). Recognizing the power of unconscious programming to always outweigh conscious desires, they assert that no one is ever failing -- they are always succeeding. The question is, at what? To learn how this played out in the life of Whitney Houston, check out their sixth book What Really Killed Whitney Houston.
Currently writing as LinkedIn Influencers and working as 3/4 time consultants on retainer to LinkedIn, Judith & Jim provide executive coaching, leadership training and consulting across many organizations of the company as well as working with private clients around the world. They continually prove that when unconscious beliefs are brought to the surface, the barriers to greater success and leadership presence begin to fade away. They call it overcoming the fear of being fabulous.