Episode 19: Overcoming Mindset Barriers to Success

Welcome back to Alchemy for Authors!

In today’s solo episode, I get personal and talk about success blocks, what they look like and how we can level up our mindset to welcome more success into our author careers. I also talk about pushing through the upper limits we’ve set for ourselves and re-storying our lives.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • Becca Syme – check out her website here, and be sure to listen to next week’s episode when Becca is on the show.
  • Be sure to check out my interview on the These Mums Write Podcast here, and The Author Revolution Podcast here.
  • The Big Leap – By Gay Hendricks
  • Loving What Is – By Byron Katie

For the month of July, Carissa Andrews from Author Revolution is offering two amazing course stacks for newbie and established authors alike. For every bundle purchased a donation will be made to support women’s rights. You can find more information here.

Please note: I am an affiliate of Carissa’s courses; however, I never recommend courses I haven’t enrolled in and stand behind myself and these courses really are epic!

If you’re enjoying this episode, please be sure to subscribe, rate, review, and share with a friend.

You can follow me on Instagram: @jobuerauthor

Join the Alchemy for Authors Facebook Group here.

Join my newsletter and get your FREE copy of Manifestation for Authors here.

Find the full transcript of this episode below.

Episode 19: Overcoming Mindset Barriers to Success

Hello, my writerly friends. Before we get into today’s show, I just wanted to let you know about a wonderful initiative my friend and previous podcast guest, Carissa Andrews, is offering for the month of July. She’s calling it INDIE-pendence month.

The unnerving overturn of Roe vs. Wade by the Supreme court in the United States has made waves around the world. But we Indie authors are powerful, and when we join forces, we can be a massive radical voice for change. So as part of Carissa’s INDIE-pendence month, she is offering two amazing course stacks at a phenomenal price, and a portion of each stack will be directly donated to one of four nonprofits supporting women’s rights, and matched by Carissa.

So there’s a starter pack for newbie authors with four amazing courses to get you set up on your author journey. And for more experienced authors, there’s an accelerator stack that includes Carissa’s most popular course The Rapid Release Roadmap.

Now I only ever promote courses that I really believe in or have taken myself. And I’ve been enrolled in many of Carissa’s courses since the beginning of this year. And let me tell you that they are worth every penny and more. So I really do stand behind them and encourage you to check them out. You can find the link in the show notes to Carissa’s courses and to up level your author career and be a voice for change.

Now onto today’s episode, where I get personal about overcoming success blocks and moving through upper limit resistance. So when you’re ready, grab yourself a drink, find a comfy chair, sit back and enjoy the show.

Hello, my lovelies. Welcome back to another episode of Alchemy for Authors. I hope you’ve had an amazing week. I have, and that is one of the reasons that I wanted to do this solo episode all about overcoming mindset barriers to success. Because I have had an absolutely amazing week. However it brought to my attention that I’m still holding myself back quite a bit with success blocks. Those beliefs and thoughts and feelings that are in direct resistance to actually attracting success into my life, and my author life more specifically.

Success blocks can show themselves in lots of different ways. More often than not, they show us the behaviors, the way that we go about our writing practice. Maybe we procrastinate and put it off and don’t write those books, and that’s the way of us protecting ourselves from actually achieving our goals. Or maybe our behavior is our lack of consistency. So maybe we don’t write as often as we should, or we don’t send out our newsletter as often as we should, or post on social media.

Maybe our fear of success shows itself in behaviors like procrasti- learning, which is a word coined by Carissa Andrews, where we fill our time up with so much learning as an excuse to not actually be doing the thing. For myself, sometimes that shows as research where I go down rabbit hole after rabbit hole for research instead of actually just sitting down and writing when I need to.

Success blocks are really easy to notice in our physical behaviors, the things that we do. But they’re not always so easy to recognize in the way that we think: our thoughts, our beliefs, our feelings.

And that was really, really noticeable to me this week. So I want to talk a little bit about some of the things that went on for me this week, just in case you recognize similar patterns in your own life.

So like I said at the very beginning, this week was an amazing week for me for so many reasons, particularly as it came to my author life. And it certainly felt like one of those times when the stars were all aligning, my life was filled with abundance, everything was just falling into place magically. And maybe you’ve had times in your life where things have seemed to just go amazingly well, too. And so these were some of the things that I got to experience this week.

 I got to interview bestselling author Becca Syme earlier this week, and I’ve been a fan of hers for such a long time. And I admit I felt I was punching way above my weight in even asking her to be on the Alchemy for Authors show. A good sign of imposter syndrome if ever there was one.

And so that really put my week off to such a great start. And if you’re also a fan of Becca Syme make sure you stay tuned for, I think it’s going to be the next episode, episode 20, where I’m going to share with you our chat.

Also this week, I was coincidentally on two different podcasts by other amazing indie authors whom I truly admire. I was on the These Mums Write podcast with Jackie Amsden, and The Author Revolution Podcast with Carissa Andrews.

I also was offered a potential collaboration opportunity with an author whom I absolutely love. And it was the third of these kinds of opportunities that had come my way this month with different authors. All very exciting and just made me feel like this whole author journey of mine was just expanding exponentially in ways that I had really just dreamt about. Particularly as I know that I am just a very teeny, tiny little minnow in a very large lake right now. So the thought of being invited to collaborate with other authors who’ve been out there for, oh, so much longer with real established followings and readerships, has just been so amazingly thrilling.

And then there were a whole lot of other amazing things that happened this week as well. I stumbled upon some lovely reviews for this podcast and even received a DM from an author I had no connection with saying that they were loving my podcast and had already binge watched five episodes.

And so if you are listening to this, or any podcast or book, and on the fence about leaving a review, can I please encourage you to do so. From a visibility point of view, it’s magic for helping us reach new listeners and readers. But also, I can honestly say, somewhere a creator is blinking back tears of gratitude and feeling a renewed sense of purpose because you left a review.

And so there was lots of awesomeness out there. And if that wasn’t enough, I also got a rave book review in person, and a written review, for one of my favorite novels that I had written, Unspoken Truths. And the best part was that the person had said that it inspired her to actually finish her own novel that she had started 10 years ago. Seriously, that totally blew my mind, that something that I had created, I had written, could have so much of an impact on someone following their calling.

But then the goodness just kept pouring in. I told you it was just one of those amazing weeks that don’t happen often, by the way. But everywhere I turned, I seem to be receiving praise and lovely notes of gratitude for things I did. People sought me out wanting to know about my books. And heck, yesterday someone even gifted me, out of the blue, a yummy gluten-free slice as thanks for just being me. And if you know me at all, you know that I love food. Food is definitely a way to my heart.

And so this isn’t bragging about all the amazing things that I had go on. Because I can tell you again that most weeks are not like this. But I do believe that everything should be celebrated and appreciated. Particularly if we want to receive more goodness in our lives. It’s the whole law of attraction thing. What we’re thankful for, we generally call back to us.

And so you would think that having such an amazing week and having the mindset of being super appreciative of everything, sometimes even to the point where I was literally in tears with gratitude, that I’d be feeling as high as a kite, full of confidence and energy and abundance and arms wide open to the universe, just like, woohoo! This is my life! Party on! But I wasn’t.

I was definitely grateful. I was definitely feeling blessed beyond belief. Because I honestly do attract the coolest people into my circle. But I also felt incredibly flat. And tired. And just generally, blah.

And I didn’t realize how out of sync my feelings were compared with what was going on until a colleague, whom I really don’t know that well, came up to me at the day job to ask if I was okay. And I was so confused. Of course I was okay. I mean, I’d been having a fabulous week. I was more than okay, wasn’t I?

And then she said that she had asked me the day before about where she could get my books, after a friend of hers had raved about one of them, and I had apparently seemed really unhappy. Unhappy? Like wow. I’d had no idea that that was how I was coming across to other people. I had zero things in that moment to be unhappy about. I was feeling tired and a bit drained, but the idea that I’d come across to others, less than enthusiastic about my own books… yikes!

And so that really got me thinking about what was really going on. And maybe you’ve noticed something similar happened to you before, too.

Gay Hendricks, the author of the book The Big Leap, calls it the Upper Limit Problem. And by the way, I highly recommend this book. It is so, so good.

A quote from his book reads: “Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure.”

And so the question really came to me, had I reached mine? Had I reached my upper limit? And honestly, yeah, I think I had.

And so everyone’s life story is different. And I think many of the upper limits we set for ourselves are formed in childhood or passed down through maybe our parents or through different generations. But I am willing to say that we all have them.

And I’d already worked on lots of upper limits throughout my life, of course, particularly around money. For a long time, I believed that I was only capable of earning like $30,000. And I remember working on that and doing the affirmations and trying to change my mindset to reach my new goal, which was like $60,000. And then moving up to $80,000, which was a huge jump for me because that was well beyond what my parents had earned when I was growing up and even at the point when I was earning that much. I was out earning my parents, and so that brings up a whole lot of different things with, am I being disloyal in doing so? Am I allowed to do that? Am I allowed to earn more than my parents? And then I moved my new goal to $90,000 and I’m still busting those money blocks as my income grows. And even from where that income grows from.

But I guess I’d never really taken seriously the idea that I had success blocks. And I’ve talked about it lots because I know there’s people out there who have a fear of success. There’s plenty of things that you can think of to be fearful of success about. When you’re successful, you might think you’re more in the public eye, so that opens up more opportunity to be pulled down or for naysayers to come out of the woodworks and tear you down. And that’s true, of course. I would hope it doesn’t hold you back from your goals though. And because I’d always had that awareness. I was always willing to move through that.

But noticing that when everything was going right, and I did feel this sense of success because my podcast, my books were all of a sudden getting lots of attention and lots of praise, and I was being reached out to by other amazing authors and that, but that fear was obviously there and contributing to the fact that instead of being super excited and happy and just glowing with that feeling of abundance coming to me, I was the complete opposite and I was really struggling to even stay in a good mood.

And if I look back on my life, then I can kind of see how I set myself up for these blocks. And so I’ll tell you some of these ways, because it might trigger things for you, and remind you of instances that maybe you had something similar go on and it’s contributed to your way of thinking about success.

And so from a very young age I had this feeling that whenever I succeeded at something, that feeling of success would be quickly taken away from me. Like when I was really young, so school age child, and I won a running race. And then immediately after, I was accused of cheating by the mother of the child who came second in the race. And she threatened me that if I dare ran in any others and won again, she was going to… and I can’t remember what the threat was, I was bawling at the time. I was so in shock for being so verbally attacked, that I didn’t actually take him what her threat was, but I just know how horrible it felt, because, and I maintain to this day, I didn’t cheat. But I also didn’t go on to win any other races either. It really got into my mind and I was really fearful of achieving well.

And of course that was compounded by other instances, again as a young child, I won a coloring contest. And this was back in the 19, well, probably late 1980s, maybe early 1990s. And it was like a school holidays coloring competition in a newspaper, and I remember my mum getting the phone call and I had been awarded first place. And it came with what I thought was, and probably was, the most amazing prize at that time. It was a TV, my very own TV, very small TV, but a TV with a built in VCR player. And so, that to me was just mind blowing. Now my younger brother, who’s just a couple of years younger than me, had also entered the competition and he had got second place. I don’t know if there was a prize for second place, but it certainly didn’t beat the television. But I remember being told by a family member that I’d have to share the TV with him as I’d only won because I was the oldest.

And then of course, that feeling of not being allowed to be successful, followed me into high school. And I very clearly remember the time where to my surprise I was awarded a special award for my artwork. And the award came with a badge that you’re expected to sew onto your uniform and wear it around as a symbol of pride. And I remember a classmate very matter-of-factly telling me, after I won the award, that I didn’t deserve it and the teacher had obviously made a mistake. And I was so ashamed that I went up to my arts teacher, and I told her that she’d made a mistake. Now she assured me that she hadn’t, but I couldn’t bring myself to believe her, and so I never did wear that badge. I promptly lost it.

Even thinking about these three instances now from my childhood makes me cringe. It still makes me feel, you know, that kind of stabbing in the chest hurt. And maybe you’ve had similar moments in your life. Moments where you should have been celebrating your wins, but instead you left feeling ashamed and undeserving.

And so I think it’s really important to recognize those moments so that we can actually work on rewriting those stories about them.

So with all the goodness, acknowledgement, and recognition that came my way this week, I didn’t really know what to do with it. It made me a bit uncomfortable. It made me a bit fearful that at any moment people were going to discover that I was not deserving of that recognition, of that praise. That I was a fraud, that I was an imposter. But the real ah-ha moment was when I realized that I actually am scared of being successful.

Fear of success is not the mindset you want if you want to supercharge your writing life and have a successful author career, right? No, it’s not. And so I want to share with you some of the ways that I’m working on boosting my mindset towards embracing success. And they’re ways that might work for you if you find yourself in a similar situation.

And it is all about mindset, because if you’ve been listening to me for a while you know that, in my mind anyway, we attract those things that we believe about ourselves. If we don’t believe we deserve success, that is exactly what we’re going to experience in our lives. Moments that show us how undeserving we are. But if we do believe, like truly, deep down, unfalteringly believe that success is our birthright, then that is exactly what life will mirror back to us. And so if you’re listening to this take this as maybe your wake up call, because if success in whatever form you see success as being, is eluding you, then that likely means there’s some blockages there. There’s some resistance there. And we need to break that down and replace that resistance with new thought patterns and new beliefs.

So I can only share from my experience, but hopefully some of these tips and tricks for banishing success blocks, for overcoming that resistance towards success, might work for you too.

So here’s my first tip.

Number one. Get really clear on those experiences and stories you think negatively contributed to your feelings and beliefs around being deserving of success. Write them down if you need to. And then, rewrite those stories. You’re a writer, you’re an author, you can do this. But rewrite them in a way that empowers you to change your history and reshape the past. Put in as much detail as possible where you stick up for yourself, where you shut down any naysayers and you take back control of the experience. So we are writers, all of us, and we know that stories have power. We know that our words have power. So you need to re-story your life and give yourself back your power.

A second action you can take, number two, take inventory of those thoughts and beliefs about yourself that hold you back from living your most successful writing life. So those thoughts might look like: I don’t deserve to be successful. Or, it’s not possible for someone with my upbringing to be a successful author or to make a living as an author. Or the good old: I’m too. I’m too fat. I’m too thin. I’m too smart. I’m too dumb. Whatever ridiculous thing that’s been going around in your head that tells you that you cannot be a successful author. Even if it’s just that you’re not good enough. And once you get clear on those thoughts, then you need to do the work. You need to shine a light on those thoughts that are holding you back.

Now Gay Hendricks again, in the wonderful book The Big Leap, talks about there being four fears and related false beliefs that hold us back from achieving success. Hold us back from moving through our upper limit that we set for ourself. The first belief being that we are fundamentally flawed or not good enough and undeserving. The second belief, that by succeeding we’re being disloyal to people around us, or disloyal to our past or where we come from. The third is the belief that we’re a burden to the world. And the fourth is the belief that we actually have to dim our own brilliance so we don’t out shine somebody in our past or a family member or a parent. So get really clear on what those thoughts and beliefs about yourself are in regards to you being successful.

And then when I say do the work, I mean, do the work set forth by author Byron Katie, for example, in her book, Loving What Is, another fabulous book that I highly recommend. She suggests that you ask yourself these four questions and you work through them. You ask yourself:

1. Is this belief true?

2. Can you absolutely know that it is true?

3. How do you react? What happens when you believe that thought?

4. Who would you be without that thought?

And then you turn that thought around and you ask yourself, could the opposite be true? And you find three real examples of how the turnaround could actually be more true than the original story you tell yourself.

That’s really a summary of what she calls ‘the work’. And it really does work. But I do recommend for more information about it go check out Katie Byron’s website and her books to go more in depth.

But your next step, three, for moving through success blocks, is you need to replace those negative thoughts with new ones.

 And affirmations work really great for that. And use them however they work best for you. Write them out daily, say them while looking in a mirror, put them on sticky notes around your home or office, use Mala beads and affirmations in combination if you want to. And remember affirmations are about rewiring your brain for new beliefs about yourself. Some of my favorites are:

My talents are in demand and my unique gifts are appreciated by those around me.

I deserve to have a successful career and I accept it now.

My work supports the unfoldment of my highest potential, I’m successful at everything I do.

I’m grateful for all the success and opportunities that come my way.

 My success shines a light for others to be successful.

I also love the affirmation, My success is inevitable.

Or it might be something just as simple as: I deserve to be successful. Or, I deserve my success.

Now, moving on from affirmations, number four is to be grateful. And I talk about being grateful multiple times on this podcast. Be grateful for everything in your writing career. Celebrate everything, all your wins, big and small, because what we appreciate appreciates. So make sure you’re focusing on the positive so you can attract more of that. Increase your tolerance for success by accepting success and accepting even things like compliments. And I know this took me a long time to get really comfortable with, when someone gives you a compliment, make sure that you accept it, even if your first reaction is oh, no, no, no, no. It was nothing. Don’t dismiss the compliment that somebody else gives to you. For one, it’s kind of rude because you’re, you’re telling that person that their opinion is of no importance. But you’re also closing yourself off to that positivity. You’re saying to the universe that you’re not deserving of that praise. So we need to change that around.

You need to recognize those positives, recognize the praise, be grateful for them. Be accepting of it. And say the things that others might see as failures as stepping stones on the way to success. Because in its absolute basic form finding things to be grateful for, will generally put us in a better mood. More so than focusing on all the things that are wrong in our lives. And when we’re in a good mood, we’re much more likely to notice new opportunities and to attract amazing people in our life. There are so many positives to being grateful.

Number five. Recognize when you’ve hit your upper limit. Again, Gay Hendricks, who’s really the guru on this concept of our upper limit, has some ideas around signs that we might encounter when we have reached our upper limit. Things could be going amazing in our life, and then all of a sudden we start worrying about something that we have no control over. It’s a form of self-sabotage to bring our feelings down to a space where we feel comfortable. Sometimes, if we’re hanging out in all the happy, happy, joy, joy energy for too long, we get a little bit uncomfortable because we’re not used to being in that high vibe energy.

Another sign that we might be hitting or moving through our upper limit is when we start criticizing or finding blame in other people. It’s when we start criticizing or blaming other people for things and not taking accountability of our own actions.

Maybe we’re deflecting. Maybe all those positive things, those compliments, that praise, we’re not accepting them, we’re deflecting them. That’s a sure sign too that maybe we’re being pushed outside our comfort zone and being asked to level up.

Other signs that we’ve reached our upper limit is that we might start arguments out of nowhere, or a little bit of drama, something to just rein in all that positive energy to a volume that we’re more comfortable with. We might find ourselves getting sick or getting hurt. Or breaching our own integrity by breaking agreements with others or ourselves or lying. Even little white lies. Any of those things that put us out of balance with ourselves are usually signs that we’re coming up against our upper limit. That we’re ready to level, up that we’re ready to move through, but we’re trying to hold ourselves back. And so when that comes to success, it’s a sure sign that success is there, that we’re on the right track we’ve just got fears and resistance towards all that good stuff coming our way.

The purpose of recognizing when we’re at our upper limit, is because what we shine a light on, we’ll usually dissolve. So when we’re paying attention to our thoughts and feelings and we notice that our actions are not in alignment with our goals, then we’re more in control of pulling ourselves back on track, pulling ourselves back onto the path, and moving through those resistance and blocks.

Number six is that we need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. We need to move through discomfort and know that all of this discomfort is a sure sign that we are actually on an even bigger and better path for ourselves. We are leveling up. And it’s normal. So be kind to yourself. Catch your self-sabotaging behavior and know that it’s just a sign of growth. And know that as you push yourself to higher achievements, as you move towards success and you move towards your goals, there are going to be lots of times along the way when we are uncomfortable. So again, be comfortable with discomfort.

And number seven, keep doing all those bad-ass things that got you here. I mean, often it’s consistency that helps breed success. So do more of that good stuff. Keep writing, keep advertising, keep doing Tik Tok, if that’s your thing. Whatever’s brought you to this milestone, keep doing it, do more of it. Don’t falter just because of a little bit of fear. It’s that whole, feel the fear, and do it anyway.

And so the answer to moving through success blocks is really just to recognize when they arise. And ensure that your beliefs, your thoughts, and your feelings, are as attuned as possible to moving through those blocks and attaining the success you desire for yourself. So don’t be hindered by them, don’t bow down to their power, but recognize those blocks as positive signposts that you’re one step closer to your goals. You’re on your way, my author friend. Your success is inevitable.

 I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode and it’s made you reflect on some of your own thoughts and beliefs that could be holding you back from a successful writing career, in whatever form success looks like for you. And I also hope that you’ve found a sense of camaraderie in that you’re not alone if you’ve ever experienced this fear or disillusionment, when everything seems to be going right. You’re not alone. It’s all part of this amazing adventure we’re on, to achieving life’s that we’re truly passionate about.

I would love to hear your own experiences about moving through success blocks, and when you’ve noticed them in your life. Have there been times when everything has been going right, and you’ve felt unable to really celebrate, to really enjoy the moment?

And as I mentioned before, I’m always appreciative if you would leave a review or share this podcast with anybody else that you feel would benefit from it. It really does make my day and really helps me too cultivate more success on this author journey. If you’re wanting to support the show further, make sure that you join my Facebook Group, Alchemy for Authors, or you can subscribe to my newsletter. And in doing so you receive a free copy of my little booklet Manifestation for Authors. And you can do that at https://www.subscribepage.com/manifestationforauthors

So I hope you have a fantastic week and you banish those success blocks and you welcome in all the good that I know is coming to you.

So until next time, happy writing.