S1.Ep31: “I’m afraid of both succeeding and failing”

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The fear of both failure and success sounds contradictory, but it’s more common than you might think. Rhonda called in to The Life Coach Hotline with the same fear, and she’s requesting coaching so she can finally take action on the dreams she has for her life and career.

Rhonda is currently in the process of transitioning out of her nine-to-five job so she can focus her time on real estate, motivational speaking, and coaching. She knows what she needs to do to move forward, but finds herself paralyzed. She’s tired of not doing what she feels called to do in this world and she wants help getting unstuck.

Tune in this week to hear what’s holding Rhonda back from making her dreams possible, and how her fear of failure and success are manifesting in her life. I’m highlighting the unhelpful thoughts that are keeping her paralyzed in fear, and I’m coaching her through her perceived obstacles so she can take action toward her goals right now. 

What You'll Learn on this Episode

  • What is holding Rhonda back from making her dream of transitioning out of her nine-to-five possible.
  • How her fear of failure and success is manifesting in her life.
  • The community Rhonda is looking for in supporting her coaching journey.
  • What Rhonda needs to believe about herself to reach her goals.
  • The coaching I’m offering Rhonda to help her take action on her dream right now.

Featured on the Show


Click to Read Episode Transcript

Lindsey: Hi, welcome to The Life Coach Hotline. This is Lindsey Mango, your life coach. How can I help you?

Rhonda: Hi Lindsey, this is Rhonda and I need some help.

Lindsey: Tell me more.

Rhonda: So, eventually I want to transition from my 9 to 5 into full-time real estate and full-time motivational speaking and coaching.

Lindsey: Okay.

Rhonda: And I just need some assistance because I just feel stuck in the area and I’m not happy.

Lindsey: Okay. Where do you feel stuck? Tell me more about that.

Rhonda: So, after I did some journaling, especially like this morning, I realized that I kind of have a fear of success, just as much as a fear of failure.

Lindsey: That is equally as common, just so you know. Okay, tell me more about it.

Rhonda: So I really get to a point where once I get stuck and I say, okay, so say for instance there are some tasks that I need to do, I will just start procrastinating. And it’s not like I don’t know sometimes what to do, it’s just, I don’t know, it’s just like I get paralyzed and I just begin to procrastinate.

One of my biggest issues is a lot of times I like things, I’m a Virgo, and so I like things to be in order. And instead of just doing it, sometimes it’s very hard for me to just jump out and just do it, like get an idea and just jump out and do it. I’ve got to know steps A through B, I’ve got to look at every angle. And I think that’s what’s holding me back, instead of just doing it sometimes, just getting started.

Lindsey: Okay, perfect. So we’ll get to the fear of success in a second, let’s just talk about this. Let me ask you, what happens if you have an idea and you just did it without kind of like the full plan? Like what comes up for you?

Rhonda: So I just get into the moment. If there are issues, I just step in and address the issues. And then whatever the outcome that comes, at the end I’m happy about it. And sometimes I might do that if it’s a really small task, but some big task –

So for instance, I’ll use my real estate for an example. It’s hard for me, I’m an introverted person as well, so it’s very hard to go out to places and really network. Like go into the room and then just really just start talking to people. I will talk to people if people talk to me first, we can be best friends. But just going out and just walking up to people and just starting the conversation is hard for me to do.

Now, there are some times that I walk into some rooms and I’m just like, okay, and I’ll just start talking and it’s great. But the majority of the time, that’s very difficult for me to do. And in this business, that’s something that I need to do.

Lindsey: Okay. So you’ll put that off or you’ll try to have a plan or does that connect? It’s okay if it doesn’t, but I’m just curious. You’re saying I feel like I have to have this plan.

Rhonda: So I’ll use another example. So like with marketing, I’ll sit down and I’m like, okay, so this is what I want to do. So for instance, I want to make goody bags to take to different schools around, like the ones my kids go to, schools I’ve went to. But it’s just like, okay, instead of just going and doing it, I’ve got to sit down and be like, okay, I’ve got to list out everything that I’m going to put in the bag. How is the bag going to look? What time am I going to take it?

Like instead of just going to the store, buying the items, getting them, don’t really, you know, like I want the bag to look really nice, but sometimes it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just put it in the bag, put your business cards and send it on.

Lindsey: Yeah. Okay, but there’s something happening here though, where it’s like cognitively or logically you’re like, it’s just a bag, put it in. But there’s something more to it that you want it to look a certain way or you want it to be a certain way. And I’m curious what happens if that’s not the case?

Like if you have an idea and you just went to do it, is there any fear that comes up? Like if it’s not the way you want it or if it doesn’t go well or whatever. Is there anything that comes up there?

Rhonda: So then I start thinking, what if it’s not professional looking? What if they don’t like it? What if nobody calls? What if I make these bags and, you know, say you make 20 bags and nobody calls. It’s that fear of what if I do this, but I still don’t get a response?

Lindsey: Okay. I want you to look at that one thought right there. What if I do this and I don’t get a response? When you tell yourself that, like we already identified some of it, but how do you feel when you have that thought?

Rhonda: Kind of nervous and sad and like maybe this is not for me.

Lindsey: Okay. And we already identified what you do, part of it is you spin, right? You write a list, you procrastinate, you never do it because you’re like, oh, well, maybe I could try to fix this. Like if I do this the right way and nail it, then I’ll get to avoid that potential of it not working.

Rhonda: Right. That’s kind of how, yeah. But that’s not really true.

Lindsey: It doesn’t work though, right? Because what you end up doing is you don’t do anything. And so the result, you literally get confirmed the original thought, which is like, what if I do it and it doesn’t work? Well, you either do it and you’re like, oh, it didn’t work or you don’t do it and then it doesn’t work because you didn’t even do it.

Rhonda: Right. And then I look up and I say, so for instance with that particular instance, okay, I looked up and it’s a couple of months later and I haven’t done it and I feel bad.

Lindsey: Exactly. Yeah. And then, okay, what happens when you feel bad? Then what?

Rhonda: Then I’m like, okay, well, Rhonda, you’ve got to get it together and you’ve got to do it because the only way that you’re going to get clients from that particular thing is if you do it. And you’re not going to, like you’re not going to think the clients up and they just call you. That’s not going to happen. You’ve actually got to do the action to make it happen.

Lindsey: Okay. So here’s my question, what would help you believe that it’s going to work no matter what?

Rhonda: I don’t know. I just kind of feel like I just – I guess I’m on my own. Like there’s not a lot of support. You know what I’m saying? Like having somebody that’s just saying, “Come on, Rhonda, you can do this.” I’m usually not a person that needs a pat on the back, but this is a new thing for me. Like real estate –

Lindsey: Well, it’s uncomfortable.

Rhonda: It’s uncomfortable, yeah.

Lindsey: It’s scary. It’s stretching you in all the ways, right?

Rhonda: Yes. So it’s exciting and exhilarating, but it’s also so scary too. And so I kind of just feel like I’m in a bubble by myself and there’s not a lot, I guess I don’t have a circle that really supports it. You know what I’m saying? To just give me confidence.

Lindsey: Okay, so I have a couple of questions.

Rhonda: Okay.

Lindsey: Well, this is going to be left field. And again, I feel like I said this in a couple of episodes and I’m like, this is not the point of this, but I’m like, okay, wait a minute. Why aren’t you in the life membership? Like my membership. Maybe you don’t even know about it. But is there a reason you’re not in there? Because that’s exactly what it’s for, to be surrounded by other like-minded people. To have coaching. To have that support. To be like, “Hey, I want to do this thing. And I’m scared and I’m uncomfortable. Like I’m stuck.”

Rhonda: I don’t know. I need to be in it.

Lindsey: Like literally half of these conversations I’m like, and anyone listening to this, I’m like, what are you guys doing? This is what this is for.

Rhonda: Okay. So number one, that’s what I need to be in.

Lindsey: Seriously. So that’s just like a total side note. But I’m like, here. This is here, this is right here for you for the taking. But my question is like, okay, pat on the back, all of that support. Can’t wait to have you in there. But my question is what would help you believe that about yourself, that you’re going to get this result no matter what?

Rhonda: I don’t know. I guess that’s the million dollar question. I don’t know.

Lindsey: What about this, can I offer you?

Rhonda: Yes.

Lindsey: What if you just believed you would never stop until you got there?

Rhonda: I could begin to tell myself that so that I can believe that.

Lindsey: Yeah.

Rhonda: Yeah. I mean, I guess that’s the thing. Like I’ve got to really tell myself that I can do it and do it until it happens.

Lindsey: That is one of my favorite thoughts. It’s just like, I will not stop. Like sure, I’ll fail. Sure, I’ll need a break. I’ll mess it up. I will fall on my face. But this dream is so important to me that it doesn’t matter if I’m 90 years old, I’m still getting after it.

Rhonda: Because my why is very important to me, and I have identified the fact that being in a 9 to 5 in the traditional sense because, obviously, working for yourself is more than that. But in the traditional sense, it’s not the calling. It’s not. And I’m tired of the feeling of not doing what I’m purposed to do.

Lindsey: Yes. Okay, so now with that belief, how do you feel differently about the ideas and the actions that you have. Instead of like, “Oh no, what if this doesn’t work?” It’s possible some of it won’t work, but if you hold the belief like, “I won’t stop until I get there,” how does that feel? And what do you think would be different about what you take action on and how you take action?

Rhonda: I think it would change just the dynamic of everything for me. If I actually believed that and I actually did that, I think I would feel amazing. I think I would feel like I can – I think if I could get started and actually do it, that I could keep going. It’s almost like when you’re trying to lose weight and you lose the first five pounds and that’s the motivation. The first five pounds is the motivation to keep going to lose the next five.

Lindsey: Yeah. So what if you made that, because that can sometimes be a little tricky because we’re waiting on a result to believe. And the belief is what actually carries us through the failures to create the results. So what if you made it about the fact that you just did it means that it’s inevitable? Not whether it got a result, but that you just did it.

It’s kind of the same thing with working out. A lot of times people either stop their journey because they’re not losing it fast enough or they’re not seeing results fast enough rather than what if the celebration was the fact that you were proud and amazed and were like, it’s inevitable just because you went to the gym today?

Rhonda: I think that would be better, but I’ve just got to do that. I’ve just got to get into that place to just be okay with that, with just doing it.

Lindsey: Yeah, that success is doing it. Not whether the thing is successful or not.

Rhonda: Not the result, it’s the journey. The success is the journey.

Lindsey: Yes. And truly associating that in your mind.

Now there’s a couple of other things I want to point out that I think are interesting. Now, if you do, when you join the life membership, I’ll be able to help with this. But also I just want to make sure we cover it here, is that you said that you’re introverted. You said you’re a Virgo. And all of that, I’m not arguing that it’s not true.

But what I will offer is that oftentimes when we tell ourselves this thing, we really root ourselves into this identity and it feels like it’s who we are, rather than it’s something that we are thinking and believing or it’s like a fear we have. I’m not saying that it’s not true that there are introverted people or not introverted people, but I’m just saying when you tell yourself that, when you say like, “I’m a Virgo, this is how I do things,” how do you show up when you are like, this is just who I am?

Rhonda: I think, and I’ve thought about that in the back of my mind, like stop just saying that because one of the things that got me thinking about going towards real estate is that it is a profession where you have to just communicate. You have to be out there. So I wanted to start doing things that were outside of the box of what, I guess, society or, you know what I’m saying?

So instead of being an introverted Virgo, I want to tell myself, because I believe that I can, or I think I believe that I can be somebody that can be a people person. Be the opposite of what it is.

Lindsey: Well, and here’s what I want to offer is, again, it’s not that we don’t have tendencies and lean a certain way, but I love how Joe Dispenza actually, I don’t know if you’ve heard of him, but he says our personality becomes our personal reality.

Rhonda: Okay.

Lindsey: And sometimes I think when I hear people say that, it’s like, what if you’re just uncomfortable talking to people, which pretty much most people are. Like, it’s just fear. It’s not actually something that is in the fabric of who you are. It’s just that you feel uncomfortable. And that kind of changes it because it takes it from like, this is a personality that I have to work against myself to undo, rather than like, I just feel fear.

Just like, do you have kids, Rhonda?

Rhonda: Yes.

Lindsey: Okay, just like if your kid goes to do something that’s scary, right? Like go on stage or try a new sport or go do something uncomfortable, right? Like it’s just scary. Of course it is. It’s hard to do new things. The human brain does not want to do these things. But how does it feel to see it as like, it’s just scary and uncomfortable. Rather than like, I am introverted and I’m a Virgo and this is how I do things.

Rhonda: I mean, that’s a better way to look at it, to just perceive it that way, as opposed to putting myself inside the box. But just saying, okay, this is the feeling, but do it. But just go ahead and do it.

Lindsey: Yes. And that is one of the biggest things, truly, that this work is about. And honestly, one of the – I feel like I’m not trying to sell the life membership this much, but truly it’s like who we are, how we show up, the things we believe about ourselves, the stories we tell ourselves have created the current reality we have. Like where you are right now with your businesses the way that they are, with everything the way that it is.

If we want to create a different reality, we have to start telling ourselves different stories. And so I think that these stories, the introverted, the Virgo, all of that are things that might keep you staying in the same who you’re being and doing the same things and creating similar results.

We’re never going to change that you’re not a Virgo, right? You are a Virgo and we’re not saying that’s not true, but it’s seeing that some of these things are optional. You can choose to think and believe different things about yourself that will help you create a different reality.

Rhonda: Okay. When you said that, I was thinking, so like I’ll use the example before I actually became a realtor, I started telling myself when I was getting ready to take the test, I’m a realtor, I’m a realtor. But then my mind started telling me, but you really are not a realtor right now. You know what I’m saying?

Lindsey: Yes. Okay.

Rhonda: Like that’s the, so I feel fake. I feel unauthentic.

Lindsey: Okay, so I’m so glad you brought this up because that, I think sometimes people think that’s what this work is or what affirmations are. And I’m not saying that they’re not powerful, but your brain knows BS. And so the real shift is about finding different stories and things to believe about yourself that actually feel true that help you bridge your way there.

So let me give you a quick example. Let’s just say you’re not totally on board with the idea that it’s inevitable that you’re going to have this hugely successful real estate business and this hugely successful coaching and motivational speaking business, right? But let’s say right now your brain is like, “I hope it happens. Maybe it’s possible.”

Part of the work we do is about bridging the gap. Like you’re not going to get anywhere just by trying to BS yourself. Like you said, I feel like a fake, like I’m going to have this blah, blah, blah, blah. Your brain is literally going to be like, “Yeah, okay. We don’t believe that.” But your brain might be able to believe, like could you believe that you might be able to sell a couple of houses and get your first motivational speaking gig?

Rhonda: It just feels better to –

Lindsey: You’re like, I can actually believe that. And when you believe that and you start telling yourself that rather than telling yourself like, I don’t think this is possible, you start to show up differently. You start to do things differently. And over time what you do and over practice, you actually create that result.

Then you might be like, okay, wait a minute. Now I actually believe I could go full-time in real estate. It’s almost like you bridge the gap there, rather than trying to just tell yourself a bunch of fake stuff that you don’t believe.

So could you believe that maybe you lean more introverted and talking to people is uncomfortable, but could you also believe that one of your gifts is talking to people? If you told yourself that when you went to a networking event, like I have a gift for talking to people. It might be a little uncomfortable at first. I’m like Rhonda, me too.

It’s so funny because this is what I do and I show up on the internet and I’m funny and silly and all these things. But I’m like, I don’t like going to a place where there’s a bunch of people I don’t know. That’s not fun for me.

Rhonda: Right.

Lindsey: But how differently if you’re like, I have a gift for talking to people? Or even if you are like, people are just drawn to me. It’s like they start the conversations.

Rhonda: Yeah, I think I could believe that because just thinking about that and thinking about saying that kind of gives me a little more confidence.

Lindsey: Yes. And how differently – You just spelled it out, that’s exactly the work, right? But what happens is we often aren’t aware that our minds are doing these things. And we look at these things as facts and truth. And we don’t know that they’re happening, which is part of why you’re on this call and why I have a job, is to be like, oh, wait, you’re telling yourself this thing that’s probably not helping you create the result that you want. And helping you sell yourself on kind of a new story that you really do believe that will motivate different actions and help you create different results.

Rhonda: Yes, this is amazing. Yes.

Lindsey: I love it. So good. So how do you feel now?

Rhonda: I really do feel better. From the beginning I was really nervous and I was really like, oh my God. Now I feel empowered. I feel happy inside.

Lindsey: I love it. Well, so good, Rhonda. Well, thank you for calling in. I can’t wait to see you inside the life membership so we can do this all the time.

Rhonda: Absolutely.

Lindsey: And I will talk to you soon. Thanks for calling in.

Rhonda: Okay, thank you.

Lindsey: You’re welcome. Bye.

Rhonda: Bye.

If you want to call in to The Life Coach Hotline, go to https://lindseymango coaching.com/lifecoachhotline. Talk to you soon. Bye.

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