When I was first in private practice, I had this peculiar and embarassing hearing problem. It only occurred when a new client came in for the initial consultation. When I would ask the client my initial intake questions, I would have great difficulty hearing their answers.
I would strain and try to hyper-focus on their words hoping that would somehow “turn up the volume”. This rarely worked, and I would have to ask them several times to repeat their answers. The clients would look at me strangely like I was a deaf person in denial who sorely needed a hearing aid.
What appeared to be a hearing problem was in fact, an anxiety problem. My anxiety level was so high when a new client walked in that I would literally go deaf. The subliminal inner critical voice in my head was so “loud” I could barely hear over it. “What if you can’t help them? What if they don’t like you? What if they think you are a quack? … etc, etc.” Thankfully, as my confidence improved my hearing during these initial consultations did also. These experiences gave me a particularly vivid awareness of how our inner blocks can cripple our performance.
As the youngest and the only girl in my family, I was not expected to have a successful career. My father would say, “Why do you need to college when you will probably just stay home and have babies?” My choice of career was not in line with my upbringing. It did not meet with the total approval of my parents. My parents lack of approval affected my confidence level to a surprising degree.
Fast forward to 2016, social norms have changed. Women seem to have more options career wise than ever before. But do women really feel that way deep inside? The subliminal culturally female messages that have been handed down for millennia are much less obvious but still exist. They still haunt women, even young women, in ways that can block their success in hidden ways.
Many women struggle with subliminal cultural messages on an ongoing basis. They can create blocks until the underlying conflict is recognized, resolved, and released. Here are five of the most common culturally influenced blocks that stop women from wealth and success and some tips to break through them:
1) Fear of power
a. What it is: fear of having power, influence, or control over other people, such as in a prominent managerial position or a high level, high earning career
b. Symptoms: Lack of ambition, lack of motivation, procrastination, confusion, etc.
c. What to do about it: Ask yourself, “How am I holding myself back from my real dreams? What big goal am I too afraid to go for? Why?”
2) Fear of not being liked or approved of
a. What it is: an imbalanced need for the approval and acceptance of others
b. Symptoms: people-pleasing behaviors that interfere with your own needs, shyness, inability to promote your ideas or share your opinions
c. What to do about it: Ask yourself: “Who’s approval am I needing/wanting to feel ok about myself? Why? What would happen if I let go of needing it?”
3) Fear of being different or not fitting in
a. What it is: fear of having one’s uniqueness seen, fear of being seen as “different”
b. Symptoms: lack of confidence in one’s gifts, lack of self-belief, over-dependence on “gurus” or other authority figures
c. What to do about it: Ask yourself: “What is different about me? Why is that difference bad? Can I re-frame that difference as a positive thing that actually makes me more interesting?”
4) Fear of being too visible or “standing out”
a. What it is: fear of being seen
b. Symptoms: aversion to social events, social media, introversion
c. What to do about it: Ask yourself, “What is the down side of being seen? What am I afraid people will see? Is being invisible worth the price?”
5) Fear of being selfish or self-centered
a. What it is: difficulty honoring your own needs without guilt
b. Symptoms: trouble finding work life balance, spending too much time taking care of family’s or others needs, difficulty asking for help or support
c. What to do about it: Ask yourself, “Am I afraid I will lose people’s love if I stop being the self-sacrificing giver? Is it really worth it? Do I want to be needed?”
I hope you find this blog post helpful. Have you ever struggled with a success block? What did you do to break through it? I would love to hear about it. Please leave your comments below.