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There are 9 types of failure. What’s yours?

Do you have a big mission that you’re struggling with? Do you have a big goal that’s been on your list for weeks, months or even years? Are you resentful of your spouse, your kids, your job because they’re standing in the way of what you really want to create? Are you frustrated with your coach or the coaching program you’re in?

You’re not alone. 

I can relate to all of these. 

The only way through is to turn the mirror back on yourself.

You see, there’s a way you unconsciously hold yourself back from success. It’s a pattern you default to again and again. And, if you don’t take time to look at how you’re getting in your own way, you’ll waste all your time judging and blaming others.

Here are the 9 most common ways I see extremely talented people get in their own way:

  1. Perfecting – you hold back from taking action until things are 100% perfect. So you never get to achieve at the level you are truly capable. 
  2. Giving – you’re so good at giving to others but you rarely – if ever – accept the help you need to accomplish something bigger.  
  3. Performing – you don’t know how to switch off, so you’re exhausted. You want to achieve something extraordinary but you don’t have the energy to achieve at a truly great level. 
  4. Emoting – your emotions are your gift but you can get so focused on your own feelings that you feel overwhelmed and don’t take action. 
  5. Observing – you’re an expert who spends so much time researching and studying, in service of your big mission, that you never get to really put it out in the world. 
  6. Guarding – you’re so good at scanning the horizon for danger that you constantly run on adrenaline. You’re held back by self-doubt and lack of confidence. 
  7. Adventuring – you don’t want to say no to any of the amazing options in front of you. You’re spread so thin that you never really make the impact that you’re here for. 
  8. Superhero-ing – you’re so good at solving problems, you unconsciously create new ones, just to solve them. 
  9. Peacekeeping – you’re great at solving conflict and you love creating harmony. But you sometimes go along with others’ wishes, or you say “yes” to things you do not really want to do.

QUESTION 1: You’re doing at least one thing to get in your own way, right now. Which is it? How are you holding yourself back?

3 hidden blocks to your success

Underneath the 9 ways you tend to hold yourself back from the highest levels of success are 3 hidden blocks:

  1. I’m scared… 
  2. I don’t know what to do… 
  3. I’m not enough… 

1. I’m scared…

You’re the offspring of thousands of generations of very fearful people. In fact, any of your ancestors who lacked fear, probably didn’t get to pass their genes on! Healthy fear isn’t a bad thing. It’s designed to keep you safe. But unconscious fear isn’t healthy. There are 3 categories of fear:

(i) People: I’m afraid of what people will say or think of me… If I fail. If I succeed. If I’m more visible. If I speak, write, make videos. If I start and then give up.

(ii) Time/Energy: I’m afraid it will take over my life… I’ll be overwhelmed or exhausted. I won’t be able to follow through.

(iii) Money: I’m afraid I’ll run out of money… I’m afraid I’ll lose all my money. I’m afraid I’ll be homeless. I’m afraid I’ll end up as a bag lady. (Sometimes it’s the flip side of this fear: I’m afraid I’ll make too much money… Then, my family won’t like me any more. Then, I’ll be more successful than my father. Then, I’ll have even more to lose.)  

2. I don’t know what to do… 

This looks like a problem of a lack of information, skill, connection or motivation. Actually, it’s just a cover for one of the fears above but let’s break down the 4 types of “I don’t know what to do.”

(i) Information: I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know where to start (I’m overwhelmed by all the options). 

(ii) Skills: I don’t know what to do (lack of knowledge, eg. I need better marketing skills or networking skills)

(iii) Connections: I don’t know who to ask. I don’t know the right people. I have difficulty in asking for what I want. 

(iv) Motivation: I’m not driven enough. Eg. I have plenty of money, so I don’t need to start yet. 

3. I’m not enough… 

A deep fear of most humans is that they’re not enough. This shows up in two common ways:

(i) I don’t believe in myself: I doubt myself/I’m not good enough/Why would they listen to me?

(ii) I’m scared of rejection: I’d rather not ask for what I want than to hear the word, “no!”

The problem vs the symptom

Some coaches and many clients focus too much on trying to overcome 3 issues: 

  1. Procrastination
  2. Perfectionism
  3. Distractions… eg. phone, social media, snacking, etc. 

But these are not your problem. They are symptoms. If you are procrastinating, waiting until something is perfect, or distracting yourself, it’s a sign that you’re scared, you don’t know what to do, or you don’t feel enough…

QUESTION 2: What’s the #1 block to your success, right now? 

Fear is a mask for desire

Fear is a mask for desire. Not knowing what to do is a clever cover for fear. Not feeling enough is your unconscious keeping you safe. 

Unless your desires are likely to put your life in danger, there’s one single solution to all the ways you and your clients hold yourselves back:

You need a mission so f**king big that nothing will stop you… 

QUESTION 3: What’s your mission, that’s so damn big, nothing will stop you?

Love. Rich 


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