The key to understanding how we all end up being limited by Unconscious Allegiances and Forbiddances—that result in what we call The Fear of Being Fabulous—is rooted in every child’s earliest beginnings and driven by the environment that child grows up in.

That is a psychological and biological fact. Because the way our family treats us when we are very young programs our unconscious when our brain development is still too primitive to even begin to evaluate how we are being programmed, and we naturally and unconsciously give our heartfelt love and loyalty to that environment, for good—or for not.

So, take a minute to reflect on an area of your work life, your career, that is less than optimal.

Perhaps you can’t speak up when your manager criticizes your work, can’t put forth the leadership potential you know you have, can’t ask for the promotion that you know you’ve deserved for over a year. Whatever it is, write it down.

Then, take a look back at the environment you were raised in for the first 10 years of your life.
Make a list of any and all evidence of messages you received then that are playing out in your life today. What were the role models for not standing our within the adults and older siblings/cousins in your family? What were the overt and covert messages you received to not stand out? What displeasure did your “stand out” behaviors create for people in your family?

For example, a former client of ours who had difficulty presenting herself and her expertise to the executives above her who actually needed to know more about her leadership skills and what her team was accomplishing. She had been raised in a family where equality was a high value. Now, while that sounds good on paper, what it meant for this client was that she wasn’t to ever outdo anyone else, couldn’t make her excellence known on her own behalf as that would be “grandstanding” and “playing politics,” and couldn’t even really receive the praise that she was given on a routine basis.

Why? There was no model for it in her imagination.

Neither of her parents ever talked about their own achievements, never celebrated their successes, and couldn’t even receive the children’s birthday gifts much less with joy and gladness.

Without help, where would our client ever conceive of how self-promotion is not only necessary, but also an excellent way to model career advancement for her team?

Okay, now that you have your list of “hold back messages” from your early years, understand that how you have been embodying them in your current life is not only “normal,” it’s unavoidable. So there’s no room for judgment that puts you down. You’ve been doing the best you’ve known how given the Unconscious Allegiances and Forbiddances that took root during your growing up years.

You not only need to change your behavior, but before you can do that, you’ll need to give yourself permission to be “disloyal.” Yes, that is the word and the feeling because you now have to consciously leave behind the programming, and your Unconscious Loyalty to it, that’s been holding you back. And in its place, you have to give yourself permission to behave in ways that have been previously forbidden. You actually have to betray some elements of how you were raised and where you came from—with no blame. It’s simply a fact of consciousness that requires you to shift your values so that they work for you now big time.

Start small. Do something on your own behalf that previously you would have said, “I can’t do that, that’s not who I am.” But you know you need to do it to advance who you are in your work, in your career, in your life.

For example, if you’ve been unable to speak to the person whose cubicle wall you share to express your need for them to take their personal phone calls elsewhere as they disturb your work space, while it may give you “ginger ale” in the gut, commit to speaking with them this week. All you have to say is something like, “Hey Roger, do me a favor and from now on please make your personal phone calls outside. They interfere with my concentration and I really shouldn’t be knowing about them anyway. Thanks.”

Before, during, or after you’ve done it, if there is anxiety, painful feelings, even grief that’s to be expected because you’re not just doing something new, you are daring to be disloyal to where you came from.

You are respectfully daring to claim your own larger life!

Author's Bio: 

Judith Sherven, PhD and her husband Jim Sniechowski, PhD have developed a penetrating perspective on people’s resistance to success, which they call The Fear of Being Fabuloustm. Recognizing the power of unconscious programming to always outweigh conscious desires, they assert that no one is ever failing—they are always succeeding. The question is, at what? To learn about how this played out in the life of Whitney Houston, check out http://WhatReally

Currently working as consultants on retainer to LinkedIn providing executive coaching, leadership training and consulting as well as working with private clients around the world, they continually prove that when unconscious beliefs are brought to the surface, the barriers to greater success and leadership presence begin to fade away. They call it Overcoming the Fear of Being Fabulous