Note: scroll to the middle to get the goods on your one leadership flaw and skip the story, or just keep reading.
We are wired for safety, not success.
I’ve watched hundreds of people hold themselves back because of just this.
But not you, and certainly not me. We are different.
We’re addicted to success.
Please reach out to let me know I am not alone.
I came out to myself about my success addiction this past year. It took great effort to uncover it, but I finally came face to face with the one flaw that had been holding me back for the first 43 years of my life.
You see, I am wired for safety too, except stacking up success was one of my ways to stay safe.
In case you missed it, take a peek here to read more on this. Here’s a brief recap:
I used achievements to get attention from my parents, but what I more deeply desired was their love.
And somewhere along the way that coping mechanism turned in to a character flaw. A flaw that produced success. So it has served me well, but there’s a dark side too.
I would stack up accolades to the ceiling and then fall apart. Sabotaging myself in some way. Only allowing a certain level of success because I believed I was either 1) not good enough or 2) shining too brightly 3) all basically leading to the idea you would not love me anymore.
I knew most of this, but I was not able to see the pattern I had created that was holding me back. I actually knew I was self-sabotaging but could not solve it. And believe me, I love to solve puzzles but this one was a doozy.
It was affecting my happiness at work, at home, my level of income and ultimately my joy for life.
Some of the ways it showed up for me:
I felt bored or anxious and was not able to predict which it would be from day to day
I felt disconnected from myself, my husband, and generally everyone around me
I knew I looked successful on the outside, but I felt extremely unsuccessful on the inside
I knew something was really off, but I could not put my finger on it
And most importantly, I did not know how to talk about it and who I could share it with
So maybe you’re not addicted to success like I was, but I guarantee you have developed one flaw that is holding you back in life and leadership.
Do you know what it is?
You see in my case, my pattern of success addiction was keeping me safe. Somewhere along the way as the years of b.s. from my external environment stacked up my brain became wired to tell me I was not enough. And this is what I believed.
You’re doing this too, and you will keep devising strategies to protect yourself just like me.
I suspect you’re feeling:
Bored with where you’re at
A desire to do something different, more in your zone of genius
And most likely you also:
Are struggling with intimacy in one or more relationships
Are searching outside of you to fix it OR you’re ignoring it
Now hang with me because here’s why your one flaw is killing your leadership, if it’s not obvious already…
>> A bored leader is disengaged <<
>> A leader not operating in their zone of genius places the business at risk <<
>> A leader struggling with intimacy in relationships is less effective with their team <<
>> A leader doing nothing or looking outward will fail <<
It’s always an inward game. Think on that one for a bit.
Literally 10 years ago – January 2009 – I was one semester from finishing my MBA program, living in Massachusetts, and still in Corporate living out my dream of success and this idea crept in to my mind…
I want to leave my job and START MY OWN BUSINESS.
That makes me giggle now.
I had not yet said this out loud to anyone. It was an idea. A crazy idea. An impossible idea.
Now, if you know of me at all, I’m pretty sure you are well aware I made it happen.
And what a ride it has been.
I had no idea 10 years ago to this day that I would…
Become a licensed acupuncturist
Startup, build and lead two clinics
Move back to Minnesota
Fall in love with and move to Vermont
Write a best-selling book
Startup, build and lead a coaching and consulting business
And the list goes on…
What have you done in the past 10 years that has surprised you?
I became a SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR. I was already a wanderlust. :O)
And really, I’m just getting started.
But as we kick off the New Year it feels appropriate to reflect on what I’ve learned in this adventure of becoming and I’m sharing my biggest lesson of all…
The SUCCESS YOU DESIRE is locked within you.
Now I use the word success loosely, because it’s different for everyone.
Maybe you desire to…
Get a new leadership role within your company
Startup a new business
Develop a closer relationship with your spouse or partner
Work beyond your potential in to your true zone of genius
Make multiple six or even seven figures this year
Find connection and fulfillment with the success you have already achieved
Do any of these resonate for you?
Actually GREAT. Because the success you desire is available to you.
I mean, have you ever looked wildly successful on the outside, and felt shamefully unsuccessful on the inside?
HELL YES!! That’s my answer to this question. Many. Times.
I’ve been addicted to success my entire life. The outward kind of success.
I used success to first get the attention from my parents I so desperately wanted so that ultimately I would get the love from them I so desperately needed. To be wanted. We can couch trip on that another time.
And somewhere along the way that coping mechanism turned in to a character flaw. A flaw that produced success in both my Corporate career and as an entrepreneur. So don’t get me wrong, it has served me well.
But on the other side of the coin…not so well.
I kept producing success but would stack up the accolades to the ceiling and then fall apart. Sabotaging myself in some way. Typically by creating challenges with my health from overworking to achieve. Then I would get back up and do it all over again. Always hitting a ceiling, never breaking through.
Until I started to work on the inward game of success.
And magically, or so it seemed at first, as I keep looking and working inward, the outward success just takes care of itself. And there is no ceiling. :O)
Now I did not need to leave my Corporate gig and start a business to figure this out. I can tell you though, that having started several businesses and logging 500+ hours coaching people to do the same has helped me to not only understand this for myself, but to help others uncover it for themselves.
Entrepreneurship is a mirror. And if you want to go the distance with no ceiling to your success, it’s a reflection you cannot ignore. So each day I challenge myself to work inward because all the success I desire is mine for the taking, and the key to achieve it is all locked inside. Thus my biggest lesson so far.