Have you ever had the experience of achieving a substantial goal, receiving applause, high-fives, and maybe even a bonus — but you didn’t feel any joy or even happiness?

You looked forward to giving that training for a major conference. You worked hard on it. It was even a pleasure to create. You knew your deck was clever and fun. You rehearsed several times all the way through. Even your teenage son thought you were good!

And the next day at the conference, in front of nearly 1000 experts in your field, you were “on”! You knew you aced it! The audience loved how you grabbed their attention (and the spotlight) with all your smarts and humor mixed together.

You were really, really fabulous! Everyone said so. They kept coming up to you at lunch afterwards congratulating you, and thanking you for making the conference a stand-out event for them. Several people even asked if you would speak at their next event.

But, as much as you smiled and felt pleased that they enjoyed what you did, you felt kind of empty, even a bit sad. It was over after all.

Was that it? It was over. Or was it that you had been truly triumphant? In fact, even more triumphant than ever before.

Driving home you found yourself feeling increasingly miserable. All you could think about was the guy in the third row who was texting throughout your whole presentation, and that woman at your table at lunch who couldn’t stop talking about how much she enjoyed a training she’d attended the week before.

Then you realized that rather than wanting to share your success with your spouse and your son, you were looking forward to crashing as soon as possible so you could turn off the lights on your distress.

What was going on?

My husband Jim Sniechowski, PhD, and I call it The Doom Loop, the conscious symptom of your unconscious loyalty to keeping yourself stuck in The Fear of Being Fabulous. That is what is running the show. Not you.

We discovered the unconscious roots of The Fear of Being Fabulous through our mutual commitment to discover what had been holding us back despite all of our previous personal work in therapy, workshops, and reading both individually and together. And it radically altered our lives and our work.

You see, The Fear of Being Fabulous results from direct and/or environmental messages we pick up when we are way too young to be able to judge them as false, inappropriate, or even damaging.

Imagine how often these kinds of things are said to children, by the people who the young one loves and believes in: “Who do you think you are?” “You’ll never amount to anything.” “Why can’t you do that as well as your cousin?” “You’re always asking questions, it’s so annoying.” “People like us don’t go into that area.” “Know your place, the world doesn’t like upstarts.”

Were you and/or people you know on the receiving end of these kinds of behaviors that children receive from the people who are supposed to love them and have their best interests at heart:

- being hit for disagreeing

- made to sit at the table to finish food the child hates

- required to get perfect grades and punished even when they do

- ignored when in pain, crying, needing comfort

- drunk or drug-induced erratic, hostile, even crazy behavior

- fighting in front of the children, screaming, physically abusing each other

- snubbed or ignored when being outstanding while the parent demands attention all the time

These are just a tiny sampling of the kinds of messages that go into a child’s unconscious programming telling them what life is about and how they believe they should behave. Being fabulous — exhibiting excellence, owning authority, going through life with a confident identity — that’s forbidden. It’s dangerous. It’s unlovable.

And even when, as adults, we “outgrow” these messages consciously, the unconscious is still in charge. And The Doom Loop provides the punishment that is deserved — unconsciously of course.

Author's Bio: 

Judith Sherven, PhD and her husband Jim Sniechowski, PhD http://JudithandJim.com 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://WhatReallyKilledWhitneyHouston.com.

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 http://OvercomingtheFearofBeingFabulous.com.