Fear of Success

When we watch ourselves repeatedly fail at something, it starts to become part of our identity. In order to grow, we have to watch ourselves succeed, and that can be challenging in its own right. Watch the vlog to hear my thoughts.


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  1. Jay

    Some thoughts on fear of success:

    In terms of loss aversion…

    1. Sometimes we fear falling short of a goal more than we fear exceeding it.
    So we procrastinate, focus on lesser tasks, because we can achieve those.
    And we can avoid the potential loss of falling short.
    That’s not really fear of success, it’s fear of failure.

    2. In terms of imposter syndrome…
    We fear success because we doubt our worth and value and think we are imposters.
    If we are in fact undeserving, actually achieving success could put us further out on a limb of imposterhood.
    And if someone saws off the limb, we will fall even harder.

    So that is fear of success, but still fear of eventual (and harder) failure.

    Reply ·
  2. Yoshino Shirota

    Great vlog! Hi Susan, my name is Yoshino. I am not doing Bright Line Eating, but somehow I got to you, probably through Hay House emails. I receive your weekly vlog, and I watch it when it is interesting for me. As I said, I have no particular health problems and I do not need special diet. What you said in this vlog applies to other issues. I suppose my problem was (is, still a bit but much less now) self-confidence, and what you said is so true. I will not go in details, but since my divorce, ending my 20 years of marriage, it was a recovery process, and I just published a book, using Hay House’s division Balboa Press, and I am going through what you described, spot on. I could not not post this. Thank you so much!

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  3. Debra Keirce

    Thanks. I really needed to hear this. I didn’t realize this was what was holding me back until you mentioned it.

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  4. Marta

    Thank you, thank you! Great insight into my own journey. When used to failure or being told that one is just like someone else (who is a “loser”), not accomplishing goals becomes the modus operandi. At least, it has for me. Yes, procrastination plays a part, fear of showing up also plays a part, but I think that visualizing myself in that successful role has been a bigger part of my self defeating journey. It doesn’t mean I have been unhappy or unfulfilled, just simply that I could have done more. Distractions, mostly put there by me, have been the hurdles keeping me from the finish line. I see I can move forward more easily now with the support I receive from your blog, vlog and book. Thank you for being here, present, authentic, victorious. God bless

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  5. Dawn

    Thanks for this vlog. I have struggled with my weight all my life. I have been successful in losing weight a couple if times but fall just short if my goals when I start to sabotage myself. Then it is back to the old ways and the weight comes back and then some. I had never thought that I was afraid of success but this makes me think that might be it. I think I need to look into your system more thanks

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  6. Karen

    Great vlog, Susan. Have been struggling ever since I hit my goal. Wish you would do a vlog regarding handling reaching your goal and transitioning to maintenance. Before BLE I never made it to goal, so I have no frame of reference.

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  7. Kathy

    Fantastic! Thank you. I’m going to use this philosophy for many things. How can I serve with my success? The global perspective makes my dreams feel more like destiny.

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  8. Petra Haderlie

    Thank you, Susan. That last line really hit me : who could you serve if you were a success — a success at being healthy and strong? That’s something to think about. I tried BLE last year (on my own after reading your book) and after losing 10 lbs I remember thinking: wow, this really works! And it scared me so much. I think Jay is right, too, when he says fear of success is in a way fear of not being able to maintain that success and falling even harder. I’ve lost weight so many times, but I’ve never been able to keep it off. And every time I can’t prevent gaining the weight back, it destroys a part of me. I don’t want to go through that kind of pain again, so I stay away from success. But I’ll have to think about your question: is there someone — or something — worth the fear and the possibility of failure and pain?

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  9. Becky

    Absolutely fantastic vlog!! This applies to so many challenges, including big challenges I have in front of me that are not Bright Line Eating but are related to food, food choices and (trying to regain) health. I will be watching this over and over as I love the message! Thank You!

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  10. Rosalind Murray-Kendall

    One day at a time. It’s all we really have.
    You are truly lovely.
    The simplicity, the clarity and the wisdom of you, “carrying the message” is just beautiful.
    Well done you!!

    Reply ·
  11. Christine Ardita

    You are so beautiful in so many ways. Thank you for giving me the courage to be successful in my life.

    Reply ·
  12. Wenda McMahan

    Just wow

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  13. kim

    Wow is vlog hit home more than any lately. I about 40 lbs over weight but I have struggled with it since my mid 30’s. I have tried it all and I even do BLE read the book and lost some weight then got bored with the program like I do every program…took much work weighing food and then journaling it the night before etc…. I figure just cut out processed foods and sugar and flour and I will lose weight.. wrong… you can eat too much cheese and protein and not lose weight still…. ugh… But I think the real issue for me is fear of success and these are all excuses so thank you for the reality check, you motivated me to get back on the bandwagon again! The program works….I have just been maintaining not eating sugar and flour, but I need to get back to weighing and catorgizing and planning because that is when I lose…. Just love the vlog and it truly is something I look forward to each week…

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  14. Diane

    Thank you, Susan. That vlog was a gift that I’ll treasure. Words that carried to straight to my soul and have set me free 💖

    Reply ·
  15. Evelyn Ziegler

    Susan, I love you so much!!! Thanks for this message. Again you think of everything! EZ

    Reply ·
  16. Jane Rosebrough

    Susan, will you let us know the date USA Today publishes your
    Photo & Article?
    Jane 🌹BlH member

    Reply ·
    1. Rachael

      Jane, did you get an answer? I too want to know.

      Reply ·
  17. Jane Rosebrough

    Susan, eill you let us know when USA Today
    runs yourbphoto & article?
    Jane🌹 BLH Partcipant

    Reply ·
  18. Kathy Ramsperger

    I did BLE and lost 30 lbs. then started to get inflammation in my gums, my gut, and my eye. After 6 months, I finally gave up when I had a colonoscopy, the prep had sugar, and felt awful when I ate anything and everything for a couple of months Afterwards. I had a lot of external stress during this time, so that may have resulted in inflammation. Long story short, I gained it back…again. But no more pain. I know fear is the root of it all. Fear of dying from IBD like my dad. I’m taking BLH now, and I hope this time, I don’t have pain and inflammation, and I lose all the weight. All you can do is pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep walking forward. I’m hoping I’ve done enough work to have a healthy enough body to bypass the inflammation this time. For some reason, my gut stays afraid and the food calms it down. For me, it’s real, physical pain so bad I go to the hospital. Someday I’ll get past it! It’s frustrating when I do everything else well. Fear of Dying from fat and inflammation ironically keep me fat.

    Reply ·
  19. Rhonda

    I lost 90 pounds on the ketogenic diet easily and have easily kept it off for a few years now. I have the typical story of struggling all my life with weight, trying every diet, losing and regaining hundreds of pounds. Here are some things I have experienced about finally being successful with this in my 60’s:

    1) Anger at the medical community for feeding us lies about the best way to eat for years: telling us fat is bad, espousing a high-carb diet which is anathema to me.

    2) Realization that all that therapy work and books I read about emotional eating, food and weight issues stemming from trauma, unconscious payoff for being fat, bad eating habits, etc. DO NOT APPLY TO ME! I’m sure these are issues for some people, but all I needed was to learn how to eat right for my body. Once I did, all these emotional / psychological / spiritual were not relevant at all.

    3) Frustration that it took me so long and I exerted so much earnest effort to figure this out over my life. It wasn’t for lack of education or trying.

    4) Great excitement / relief / understanding when I finally had success and fascination that other people can’t do what I did. I have lots of friends who have also struggled with weight issues for years who eagerly want to know what I did. When I tell them, some try it and can’t stick to it and some won’t even try it. I realize that the ketogenic diet isn’t for everyone, maybe it’s not for them, and maybe they do have emotional / trauma / psychological issues that need addressing first. But I suspect that for some of them, it’s simply not wanting or not being able to eliminate the sugar, processed foods, and other junk. Several people have told me that they admire my willpower when I don’t think I have much willpower at all. I simply know how good it feels to eat right for me, how bad I feel when I eat junk, and how great it is to finally be (and stay) slim. That’s a huge incentive not to eat junk.

    I don’t think I’ve had fear of success at all. I am reveling in my success, and expect that I will for the rest of my life.

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  20. kelli

    LOVE this one!!

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  21. Des

    The message is fine. The eye roll, sing song dolly head thing is looks ridiculous.

    Reply ·
    1. Stefi

      Its her signature mark as way back in the first vlogs , probably some nerves started them this way & when someone spoke of it as you did – it became her way which is her thing. We all have some thing we do that another person may not view it as we want. Too bad … I for one, like her stand to keep doing her thing.

      Reply ·
  22. Tini

    Thank you….for being you! I’m always on the outskirts watching and would like to say. You are an amazing person. I’ll keep watching. You always make my week

    Reply ·
  23. Esther

    Oh, great. Not only do I have to show up for me, now I have to do it for someone else. Yup, that’s the right thing to do. Great vlog Susan.

    Reply ·
  24. May Mazzone

    One of my FAVORITE SPT vlogs. Thank you XO

    Reply ·
  25. Teresa

    Brillant blog you really help people .Thank You xx

    Reply ·
  26. Stefi

    LOVE the vlog & message LOVE the make up LOVE the dress LOVE the background LOVE you Susan😘👍

    Reply ·
  27. Lena Frändberg

    Thank you so much for this vlog. I can relate, because every time I am almost at goal weight I mess up, keeping myself trying but failing. Since I also feel kind of a failure in other areas of my life as well, I do think this is a key issue for me, having the courage to succeed.

    Reply ·
  28. jacqui

    Dear Susan:

    Just to say you look great in this vlog and not actually all that different than normal. I hope your next video is as successful and you are! Your comments about cognitive dissonance very helpful to me at the moment. Thanks again for all you do.

    Reply ·
  29. Nancy Goss

    What a powerful vlog! Be who you were meant to be! Who are you meant to serve?

    Reply ·
  30. Kathy

    Susan – you´re a good looking woman and you also come across as genuine. The extra make up makes you look rather conservative – the normal, polished, successful well-to-do American – and for some viewers, that look is a bit off-putting. Loved the vlog you shot between flights at Chicago Airport once – love it when women show up looking themselves and not all dolled up to be socially acceptable in a particular kind of way!

    Reply ·
    1. Beverly DiCarlo

      We love however, whenever, and wherever Susan shows up! It’s always for us and her service. That’s her higher self showing up however, whenever, wherever. There is no variance in being genuine.

      Reply ·
  31. Linda

    Hi Susan, thank you very much for this week’s vlog. Gosh, you seem to be a ble to read my mind all the way from America and often say exactly what I need to hear at a particular time. Love the vlogs.

    Reply ·
  32. Carol

    OMG I love you, woman! What a powerful question to end with: Who might I serve if I allow myself to be successful?

    Reply ·
  33. Jeanne Vogel

    WOW. . . that’s all I can say when I watch your videos. You have an amazing way of touching on a very important subject that is so true to heart that you start to realize that there is hope. I have been overweight my entire life, and I am 57 year years old. I’m wondering if it is finally time for me to open my heart up and allow myself to be the person that I know I can be. Thank you so much for being you and for your honesty. You’re one of a kind.

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  34. jill wolk

    Beautiful and true Susan! Thanks for inspiring me today :)) Love you! Jill

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  35. Dilia

    What an amazingly big lesson, thank you Susan

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  36. Susan

    You what I needed to hear today- thank you! Make-up looks great by the way.

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  37. Mercedes (from Argentina)

    THANK YOU! I love you, Susan

    Reply ·
  38. Robyn

    Another weekly vlog, NAILED IT!!!!!
    As always thanks for showing up and being you.

    Reply ·
  39. Gabrielle

    Thank you so much Susan. Fear of failure and fear of success have prevented me from spreading my wings properly all of my life, this not only with overweight issues. I will definitely keep the concept of “One day at a time” and ” who would it serve if I were a success” close to my mind and my heart from now on. Love, Gabrielle

    Reply ·
  40. PremackLife

    Great points on how we see ourselves, cognitive dissonance, and the struggles to success. The points on how to see yourself successful are so relevant and everyone can benefit from this type of practice. Here’s more tips on harnessing imagery for success : https://premacklife.com/fitness-and-nutrition-imagery/

    Reply ·
  41. Kim

    This was so well said. I think when you first start you are so hyped. Then when you start seeing success, which I did, you start getting fearful because now you might be successful and then what? The weight challenge becomes a crutch you use to make yourself fail so you don’t have to be accountable to yourself or anyone else. It becomes a vicious cycle. This was very timely for me and I thank you.

    Reply ·
  42. CherCher

    Take pride and owner of your photo shoot and spot like. Don’t down play it like you did. It seems so common for a woman to not take full ownership of their successes. Instead of saying “whatever” say “yes, I did this and I’m proud!” I saw a little irony in your vlog and what you said about your photo shoot.

    Reply ·
  43. Barbara

    Hi Susan again great vlog. I’m successfully applying your principles except weighing and measuring. I’ve written a song about it and recorded it in Cuba with musicians amongst the best. Mastered by a Guy who mastered also Ami Winehouse. But something was lacking for publishing. Maybe fear of success? Would you like to hear the song?

    You look better with your normal makeup.

    Reply ·
  44. Marty

    I love you just the way you are, you’re an inspiration for me, every time I listen to your Vlogs. Thank you. I look forward to your weekly Vlogs, please don’t stop! You are my calm in my sometimes daily or weekly storm, reminding myself it’s one meal at at a time to a life fulfilled being in a right-sized body, free from my food addiction and thinking 24/7 of food.

    Love and blessings.

    Reply ·
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