“Every great work, every big accomplishment, has been brought into manifestation through holding to the vision; and often just before the big achievement, comes apparent failure and discouragement.” – Florence Scovil Shinn
This month marks the 15th anniversary of my discovery of success anorexia. On October 20, 1997, I was attending a seminar on eating disorders when I realized that I wasn’t starving myself of food; I was starving myself of success.
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of my discovery, I’d like to re-publish the very first article I ever wrote for this newsletter (originally entitled “You Are Enough”), first published in 1998:
>>Welcome to the first issue of You Are Enough, the first and only ezine on the Net devoted to helping you understand and reverse success anorexia.
This week’s topic: Understanding Success Anorexia
Success anorexia is a condition that prevents intelligent, creative, sensitive people from allowing or enjoying their own success. Early data shows that between 10 and 15 million men and women in the United States alone suffer from this condition.
Which of the following statements can you identify with?
1. I own a lot of success literature, which became “SHELF-help”.
2. I’m often embarrassed to ask for or accept help from others.
3. I feel frustrated in my work; I’m not doing what I would love to be doing.
4. I’m afraid of being or looking less than “perfect” all the time.
5. I often try to be all things to all people and usually end up being nothing to everyone.
6. I often feel like a failure even when I’m succeeding.
7. I’m facing debt, insolvency, bankruptcy, or huge credit card bills.
8. I often isolate or withdraw from social situations.
9. I often find myself procrastinating or putting off things I know I should do.
10. I have a long list of “shoulds.”
11. I sometimes overwhelm myself with all I “have” to do.
12. I find it very easy to start projects and very hard to finish them.
13. I’m working in a job far below my level of talent or ability.
14. I was told or unconsciously believe that “success” means you have to step on other people, and I don’t want to do that.
15. I often let other people win, even when I could easily win.
16. I usually settle for crumbs, even though I know I deserve better.
If you can identify with 6 or more of these, you may be at risk for success anorexia and unconsciously starving yourself of success.
Take Action Challenge:
Notice when any of the above behaviors show up in your life. For example, in your daily journal, you could write: “Today I noticed myself pushing away success when…”
Then, over the next 21 days, notice the times you push success away.
These are just some of the subtle signs that you may be unconsciously pushing success away.
PS. Drop me a comment below if something in today’s message spoke to you.
I believe in you!
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Noah St. John, Inventor of Afformations®
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