People often think that we can conquer our challenges and be done with them. While that’s sometimes the case, more often than not we have to fight our battles more than once to truly win, especially when it comes to the deeper, darker wounds in our souls. Let’s say, for example, you suffer from impostor syndrome. Maybe you make it to VP and work with a coach to help you conquer your impostor syndrome. Great! Then, a couple of years later, you’re promoted to SVP. Whoops, impostor syndrome shows up again. “I thought I already did that work,” you think, “Why am I feeling this again?” I’ve had clients who did really well in coaching, and who reached out to me again when they moved to the next level, because they didn’t understand why old, familiar feelings were showing up again.
Here’s what’s happening: at each level, you’re reactivating the fears and uncertainties that come with new and bigger responsibilities. You’re asking yourself, “Am I ready for this?” If you’re like most of my clients who suffer from impostor syndrome, you might be worried they’ve promoted you by mistake or maybe they have no idea how much you’ve been faking it. Each challenge we face requires different levels of courage and self-mastery. So the battle you fight today might feel finished, but you very well might discover those same challenges reactivated when you experience greater levels of success.
Success, at its heart, isn’t about fighting and winning one battle. It’s about staying on top of your mindset and attending to obstacles and challenges as they emerge. You’ll fix what needs to be fixed for today, and that will give you some tools to help the next time around. Still, you might need to check back in with your coach from time to time, just to stay on top of things.