18 Feb The Legitimate Fear of Successful Keto and Banting Transformations
Thanks Victoria Webster (clinical psychologist), you’re a champ
I remember applying for my first job. I sent in my CV and didn’t think much more about it. The very next day, I got an e-mail asking me for an interview. This should have been an exciting and thrilling moment, right? Well, I was scared. Of course, my wise parents had told me, “No matter what happens, think of this interview as a way to gain experience on how to do interviews.” Yet somehow this was not reassuring.
Deep down, a part of me wanted to delete that e-mail and pretend the whole thing never happened, in fact, delete my whole e-mail account. I thought perhaps that the solution would be to delete my whole online presence, buy some chickens and move to a farm where I could “live off the land”. I decided that I didn’t need money or a job; the working world was just not for me. The chickens and I would form a strong animal-human bond that would fulfil my life’s purpose. Plus, I like eggs.
When I look back at this experience now, I realise that I was very stuck within my own fear, but not so much fear of failure — my parents had assured me that it was ok if I didn’t get the job. The fear was more subtle than that. I played through the many different scenarios of failure that could have happened (including tripping and falling on the interviewer as I arrived). I was actually kind of prepared for failure and if you think about it, a lot of us are: we are wired to expect the worst so that we can prepare for all situations. Everyone thought I was afraid of failure, but what I was really afraid of… was success.
Now I know this sounds strange, but suddenly with the prospect of an actual job ahead of me, I felt like everything was going to change and I had to grow up in a matter of seconds, like when Super Mario eats a mushroom and suddenly grows to double his size. All I could think was: “Please can’t I just go back to living on eggs and looking after the chickens!”
Looking back at it now, I realise I was so fearful because getting the job would mean a whole bunch of things would have to change:
- I will have to commit to this job
- There will be expectations of me (chickens don’t have high expectations — some are pickier than others)
- I will be accountable to other people (not just chickens)
- I will have to be more real and vulnerable in my relationships (chickens don’t have a high EQ)
- I will have responsibilities (yikes!)
- I will have to risk not knowing what will happen next (chickens and eggs are beautifully predictable – we just don’t know which one came first)
If the words in bold above cause you some minor heart palpitations, it might indicate that these are scary concepts for you too. It turns out that succeeding comes with a lot of extras. It’s totally normal to be fearful, but if we become paralysed by that fear then we hold ourselves back. Jumping into the unknown and doing something new also requires vulnerability as you are giving up a sense of familiarity and control. It is hard work.
Without even being fully aware of it, all these changes and responsibilities were freaking me out And the chicken farm prospect was sounding more and more tempting because, importantly, I could then avoid how uncomfortable this all felt. This is the part where running away from discomfort felt like the easiest option and so that’s what I did! I convinced myself that I didn’t want to do the interview anyway, the job was not for me, and cancelled it. Self-sabotage.
Now, success means different things for different people. Maybe for you, success has to do with your job, or your relationships, your health, or maybe you have defined it as reaching a certain number on the scale.
Success in the weight and health department is an interesting one, because we have been given all the wrong information about how to eat for so long, we have been set up for failure (failure is actually a comfort zone when it comes to eating and food).
When it comes to a real opportunity for change, like joining the RMR coaching program or the Hero Group Support Group Program, it might be worth looking at how you might sabotage this process. You might find that to actually succeed in this area of your life, it is going to mean a lot of change, vulnerability, accountability and responsibility. You may tell yourself that it’s just not possible and you can’t do it, but this may come from a place of fearing success.
This is what this may look like for you:
- I will have to commit – even on those really hard days
- There will be expectations of me – not just from friends, family but maybe my RMR coach and support group
- I will be accountable to real people
- I will have to be more real and vulnerable in my relationships – I will need to learn to say no, and to put down healthy boundaries
- I will have responsibilities – I will have to start looking after myself in real ways and stop making excuses
- I will have to risk not knowing what will happen next – it will feel uncomfortable!
Acknowledging where you may feel uncomfortable around success and where your fears may lie, means you can now do something about them. RMR offers ways to make the necessary changes but also help with maintaining those changes. They can help you visualise your success, possibly in ways that are not only about weight, but perhaps liking yourself and your body a whole lot more, and treating yourself better, who knows? But it takes jumping into the unknown to succeed.
You might have gathered by now that I like chickens. I really like eggs (they are a Keto-friendly package of goodness) but I have also realised I can do so much more with my life than maintain my relationships with the chickens (no offense to the chickens). I also figured out the answer to this old age question: Why did the chicken cross the road? Well, obviously, to get to the success on the other side. Time for you to do the same. Don’t let fear of success hold you back, with some hard work, help and support, you can crack this!