Do You Tend to Self-Sabotage? Here’s How to Handle Success

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Recently I’ve gotten a lot of questions from people about how to handle success, avoid self-sabotage and claim the greatness they manifest. These questions led me to revisit and update this blog post from 2014.

‘How do you trust that all will be well?’

Back in 2014, I received an email from a Spirit Junkie named Cynthia. Cynthia had been on a spiritual path for years, and her commitment had created a lot of outward success.

While she was excited to see her desires manifest, her success was also bringing up a lot of fear. Check out Cynthia’s email, which I’m sharing with her permission:

Dear Gab,

I had a vlog topic for you. We spend so much time wishing and envisioning what we want and what our lives could be like and seeking out opportunities that we think will get us there.  Well, what happens when it actually happens (you get the call from Oprah)? How do you literally not crap your pants and trust that all will be well when you take that next evolutionary step and break your current mold? How can you trust what will be waiting on the other side???

Yes, I have a big opportunity that I’m considering taking and it’s challenging me in soooo many ways!!! Would love your pearls!!!


Success can bring up a lot of fear

Cynthia’s email made me laugh out loud because it was far too familiar. I’ve had countless experiences in my own life in which my ego tried to sabotage my successes.

In my original 2014 video below, I offer up three tips for how to handle success. And keep reading to see the tips, plus new resources that I just added in 2019!

4 tips to handle success and not self-sabotage

I believe that the Universe will not give to you what you cannot handle. When we receive things, they are coming to us at the most divine time. Here are four tips to handle the success that is coming to you.

1. Quiet your ego’s fear with self-compassion.

When you start to elevate your energy, change your perceptions and vibrate at a new frequency, you become a magnet for what you desire. That can feel very scary to the ego, whose goal is to protect itself.

Anytime you start listening to the voice of love, you can expect some ego backlash. At times its fearful voice can become a scream. It will question your success. You may have thoughts like:

  • Who am I to be this successful?
  • I’m not sure I’m qualified for this. I’m in over my head.
  • Things have been going really well. This can’t last.

The way to turn down the volume on your ego’s shouts is by being compassionate to yourself. If this is new for you, check out this blog post on self-compassion for step-by-step guidance.

One simple thing you can do is recite an affirmation throughout the day that supports and affirms how you want to feel. It’s important to choose an affirmation that feels good to you, such as, “I am open to receiving greatness.”

Tapping on the fear of success

Brad Yates has a lot of great Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping) videos focused on how to handle success, stop self-sabotage, allow greatness and more.

Here’s one tapping video you can practice to get better at handling success! Note: As Brad says, it’s important to take responsibility for your own well-being when tapping, since sometimes unexpected emotions can come up.

2. Trust that the Universe has a much better plan.

I often give the example of  when I received a call from the Oprah Winfrey Network saying, “Hi, this is OWN. We’d love to have you interviewed by Oprah.”

Tweet: Embrace your success and trust in the Universe. Step into your greatness fully and have fun! @gabbybernstein

Even though I had been waiting for that call for 10 years,  I was so happy it didn’t happen one day sooner. If it did, I wouldn’t have been in the mental and spiritual state to hold the magnitude of it.

Trust in the evolutionary plan. Trust that the Universe has a much better plan than you do. Don’t try to speed things along and don’t block them when they come.

A prayer for surrender and receiving

Remember that you’re not alone. You can call on the ever-present support of the Universe at any time. When the ego is telling you that you can’t do it, that it’s too scary or that it just won’t work for whatever reason, turn to one of my favorite prayers from The Universe Has Your Back:

Today I surrender my goals and plans to the care of the Universe. I offer up my agenda and accept spiritual guidance. I trust that there is a plan far greater than mine. I know that where there once was lack and limitation there are spiritual solutions and creative ideas. I step back and let love lead the way. Thy will be done.

You can begin each day with these words, surrendering your plans and strengthening your faith in the Universe. Know that all the success that comes your way is part of a divine plan.

3. Become a magnet for what you desire.

When you receive a manifestation, it is your duty as a spiritual student and teacher to just say yes.

Embrace it. Accept it. Step into your greatness fully and have fun! That is the most magnificent part of who you are. Own the fact that as you elevate your life, you magnetize greatness towards you.

Lean toward joy

When I'm connected to my joyful presence, I attract support from the Universe | Gabby Bernstein | The Universe Has Your Back card deckThe most powerful way we become a magnet for what we desire is by leaning toward joy. In fact, we have a sacred responsibility to lean toward joy. The more joyful we are, the more light we can shine upon the world.

When we lean toward joy we raise our vibrational frequency, which gives us the energy necessary to show up and serve. Joy is the inspiration behind creative solutions for difficult problems. It provides us with generosity so we can give more.

Here is a beautiful quote from Dr. Wayne Dyer that will support you on this path:

Passion is a feeling that tells you: this is the right thing to do. Nothing can stand in my way. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says. This feeling is so good that it cannot be ignored. I’m going to follow my bliss and act upon this glorious sensation of joy.

Have fun and success will follow.

4. Take a powerful right action that supports your success.spirit junkie masterclass digital gabby bernstein

In my Spirit Junkie Masterclass Digital Course, you’ll gain the confidence and practical tools you need to step into your highest purpose, make an impact and earn big for your great work!

Enrollment is currently closed, but you can get on the waitlist to be notified when it reopens in 2020!

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  1. Thank you Gabbi for your words. I have been very blocked in more fields than I could possibly imagine. It has been both a lot of fun and hurtful to heal my wounds and I’m beyond greatful for that.
    Your book The universe has you back had been laying on my best friend’s bedside table for a long time and been staring at me. I had listened to many of your videos for years but not being open enough to receive full guidance. I read your book for two days straight a couple of weeks ago and wow – it changed my view on things in ways I would not even imagine! (I just bought a copy for myself – another block).
    Thank you for knockin on my door over in Sweden!! And thank you for the amazing visdom you share. I now try to surrender (even when I think I have) and ask God what I can do instead of ego-manifest.

  2. Thank you for this! Would you think that these steps would be the same for blocking a romantic relationship? I was dating an amazing man, and part of me couldn’t believe how aligned it felt. When I thought about him actually wanting to commit to me, it scared the sh*t out of me. I’m still trying to figure out why… but then it didn’t work, and he wasn’t able to commit to me at the time. Something deep in me tells me its not really over… Trying to figure out how to move forward and release the blocks… Thanks!

    1. Hi Kait! You can absolutely apply these steps to other areas in your life where you feel like you’re blocking your happiness. Sending big hugs your way. <3

  3. Another message that is out of the park great Gab! I am so eternally grateful for your teachings and generosity in sharing your gift with the world.
    On to greatness….

  4. Thank you Gabby! I signed up through you for B-School last year and went on to do your Spirit Junkie Level I & II last year. It has been truly life changing for me, as it’s given me so much direction, both in a business sense and spiritually, to be able to focus on my dreams.
    I leave my corporate job next week to take on the business I’ve been building full-time!
    Thank you so much for everything you do for this community.

  5. I just wanted to let you know, you & Brad have helped me more than you can possibly know. Today’s topic couldn’t of come at a better time, I didn’t even know I was scared until I started tapping. It was a lightbulb moment, followed by deep wave of emotions that needed to come up so it could be released. All the confusion and self doubt I had yesterday made sense now, it didn’t make sense at first because I’ve been wanting to do B-school for at least 5 years now, but was in an impossible situation before. Plus I was truly blessed with some increadable divine signs yesterday which made me very happy but I was still hesitating, and now I know why. Fast forward post tapping and I’m beginning to be more comfortable being visible, took a test and passed, feel excited and I can’t sleep and I’m now writing this….B-school here I come! Thank you Gabby & Marie because I think she’s great too!

    1. This is awesome Ella! Grateful these tools are inspiring and supporting you. Pumped for your continued journey ahead!

  6. Dear Gabby,

    OMG this blog was truly sent to me by the Universe. I’ve been following you for several months now and I truly believe everything that you say. In fact thanks to you I have become more spiritual and started teaching it to my kids.

    I have a network marketing business with my husband, and although we have achieve a lot of our goals, we haven’t still reached our financial freedom. And March 7th is the day that we will, we are opening a new market, and I know we will.

    But I am soooo scared. My ego is talking to me “don’t put you expectations that high! You may be dissapointed”. “Don’t dream that big, in 5 years you haven’t hit that goal, it is impossible opening a market”.

    So thank you for this blog. I already took a picture of the praying and I will say it every single morning.

    Quick question, I want to start meditating (I have your 4 meditations) can I do it with my children? Do you have one for kids?

    1. Happy that these tools are serving you! You may absolutely do these meditations with your children. I haven’t created any meditations specifically for kids, but many people do these with their families. This is so inspiring!

  7. Gabby I listed to this…I don’t know how many years ago now, but since you resent it in your ezine today I rewatched it and it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear today, literally right now. Last time I heard it, I wasn’t in a space to understand what being a container for what was coming meant…today, I heard it LOUD AND CLEAR #universesupportingme as that has been my journey and is still my most present assignment today. Continue working on being the container.

    1. Grateful you connected here, Michelle. Trust that the Universe has a plan for you. Sending lots of love your way. <3

  8. With success people need deserve with it, it mean people can create it and can belong with it. That need people efforts to make their this level.

  9. Dear Gaby,
    This was my first video ever I’ve seen from you. The topic was exactly what I needed. This was 2 weeks ago and right now me and my best friend and also my soulmate are starting week 2 on our may cause miracles journey.
    You’ve come to me exactly when I needed you most at the perfect time. I am thankful for everything You’ve done. Your Energy changes the world. I cannot wait until tomorrow to start working again and I enjoy it so much. Thank You Gaby. ??

  10. I am in the experience now of getting what I’ve wanted: After 9 years of dating, my boyfriend proposed (my ego screams don’t do it! Marriage ruins all! lol); I got a job where I am respected and I am great at it (but we’re supposed to hate our jobs…. and be miserable); I got that raise and I am making more now than I ever have (but you don’t need that much…); and there’s more to list. In the last 2 years I let go of so much and I’ve been able to become “the person who I always have been.” I feel more in my truth than ever before – even when I was obsessively listening to your lectures and meditating. Once I stopped forcing things, things began to roll. I sought out a therapist (the car literally DROVE itself into the parking lot. I had no plan going in, but I’ve passed it a billion times)– I left a toxic job (without another in site); a let go of toxic relationships, friendships that no longer served me and I began to enjoy my own company. I forgave those I needed to fully and completely, I let go of trying to damn hard to be like someone else & to try to fit in. Now I’m that magnet for people and abundance. Frankly, this is the first time I acknowledged it! It scares the hell out of me sometimes to see just how much things are flowing, but after watching this video, I welcome it. I see others struggling with things like I used to – I am there for them and I understand their journey. But I’ve stopped trying to force people to do what I think they should. It’s up to them. it’s up to us. 🙂

  11. Hi Gabby,
    Thanks for your vlog. You are awesome! I’ve been “following” you for several years and am glad to see how amazing things are going for you. Well-deserved!
    Here’s my question: I’ve been working hard to manifest greatness in my own life and amazing things are showing up for me. I’m very grateful! Yet I am finding that some other people are acting jealous and sort of “mean” toward me (not my friends, but other people) and it bothers me. I think this may be a reason that some of us don’t try to manifest more–because it almost feels “threatening” when other people are pissed off at our good groove! There’s even a “stalker” person who has done a couple of very weird creepy things to me anonymously and it’s kind of freaking me out 🙁
    How do I keep the negative energy from making me fearful of my own success?

  12. Thank you Cynthia and Gabby! The Universe has been opening up for me and I’m so grateful to hear this wisdom for guidance at this time in my life. So many blessings!!

  13. I used to be so impatient. I wanted everything NOW and didn’t want to wait but I now realize that things come to you when you are really, truly ready for them – and not a moment sooner. If I am honest with myself, I wasn’t prepared for success in the past and probably couldn’t have handled it at that time. Now, I feel like I am more centered than I ever have been in my life (or ever thought I could be:-) and can deal with pretty much anything. Your Vlog just confirmed what I guess I already knew…thanks so much!

  14. Gabby, this was just what I needed! Thank you so much for sharing. My little (well sometimes big) ego voice of ‘your not good enough’ (and blah blah blah) won’t know what hit it! x

  15. I am so grateful to have received this vlog post in my email inbox! It’s really great to listen to the wisdom of someone who is walking the talk and sharing their spiritual journey in such a beautiful way. I have recently achieved a life long goal to write about my spiritual experiences and how meditation helped me to transcend alcohol addiction.. and I published it.. then I sat back and said to myself.. okay what now? There’s so many amazing teachers out there.. how can I make a difference as well as be authentic? This video and your reminder about trusting the universe and divine right timing is exactly what I needed to hear. Sending so much love to you Gabby xxx

  16. Oh man, I so needed to hear this today. Own your light and know that it will come when it’s time and respect that. Gabby, I have a tendency to push and force and try to make myself ready. What is the difference between forcing it and stepping into it and breaking that mold?

  17. When I think of success, I do have these feelings come over me. I sense a very successful vibration, then fear and doubt set in… and just a feeling of being *overwhelmed*. Fortunately, I’m aware of it and working on opening myself up to all that I am and all which could be. I’m so glad for FB as I have gained great support from people I don’t even know. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing this!
    Love you, Gabby!


  18. Love it! Such a great question to ask! I’ve been invited to do an interview on a radio show and one of my initial reactions was “Am I ready for this?” Thankfully, this video has given me the reminder of “Yeah, I’m totally ready!” cause the universe really isn’t going to give me anything I can’t handle. 🙂

    Thanks so much for the reminder Gabby!

  19. Sometimes I stay up all night worrying that I’m making a fool out of myself or that people will think I’m stupid if I finish whatever project I’m working on and put it out for all the world to see. I’ve finished some novels, but haven’t done anything with them. I’m always working on motivational and spiritual nonfiction books, but I always stop mid-way and push them away because I’m not sure anyone will want to hear what I have to say. But today I did something…I submitted an article and video to Elephant Journal and they accepted it! I’m going to be published! The doubt only comes from over-thinking. I just always try to remind myself that the only failure is not trying. And someone liked my voice and what I had to say 🙂

    Thanks for everything Gabby. You always say exactly what I need to hear!


  20. YES I struggle with fear of success!!!
    So I will out my ego: I’m terrified that I will be rejected/abandoned by people: friends & my support team (therapist, acupuncturist etc.) if I shine in my greatness. I’m scared I will be ‘TOO MUCH’ for people when I am very confident and in my purpose: I have noticed some people have a fearful reaction when I am in my bold, leader side (which isn’t ego-led), even though I have a very gentle, nurturing side to me too.
    Basically, I’m projecting my childhood experiences onto the present when they DON’T apply ANYMORE!!!
    I commit to witnessing these fears in the coming weeks; and have a willingness to see things differently 😉 xx

    1. Monika, I am right there with you. I could not have done a better job of explaining how I feel than you just did about yourself.
      I, too, am going to work on how I perceive things. Thanks again, Gabby.

  21. Love this Gabby, thank you! What about the other side of that though? If the Universe doesn’t give you more than you can handle, and the opportunities you deeply desire AREN’T coming, how can you prepare yourself to BE that container to be able to hold them? Any tips or daily practices would be greatly appreciated.

  22. Changing my perception to what I want to perceive rather than that I perceive. I have been trying this out.

    I really appreciate the new meaning you have made me aware of. “The universe does not give you, what you cannot handle.” I have always linked this sentence to negative experiences in which life was just too much to handle. Now I can move forward with this new meaning.

    xo Lynne

  23. Gabby! I just want to tell you that I was going thought a lot in my life ana in a way I’m still working on it and wants to let you know that you inspired me and help change my life. I just want to thank you.

  24. This gave me chills! I have just been thinking about this. I love how you said you need to be the ‘container to hold’..something I need to remember as I have ups and downs with success in different aspects of my life…IT all comes as it should and when IT does, it is the perfect time. XO! Thank you!

  25. Thank you Gabby and Cynthia! This is exactly what i needed to hear today – and I know I will be referring back in the weeks and months to come –

    Thank you – 😉

  26. I am currently enrolled in IIN and have been doing great! But I feel like I am listening to my spirit guides when it comes to taking on more people until I am done. I would love to take on one more client but I am worried that I will not be able to handle it!

  27. Thank you, thank you! I’m in the middle of writing a book, and my procrastination (ego) is getting in the way. You’re right–we’re never given more than we can handle. I can do this.

  28. Thank you so much for your words, Gabby. I am an actor and often fear having big successes. This vlog is an important topic and came at the right time.

    Your #1 male-Spirit Junkie fan,


    1. Great video! I really needed this right now! I am launching my Vlogs/Blogs and shopping my Book and am have recognized fears around the success and exposure of my life.
      Thanks Gabby!



  30. This one is HUGE BIG GIGANTIC for me! It’s the thing I work on the most out of every block. I would get emails about opportunities and sit on them and wait, because I was terrified of shining. THEN, I realized I couldn’t be who I wanted to be in the world if I wasn’t owning the opportunities that presented themselves. Why would the universe keep sending me exactly what I was asking for, if I kept ignoring them when they arrived.
    I was a bad guest in my own life!

    When I realized what I was doing, it was a huge turning point for me. In fact, I just got back from Mexico from doing a retreat that someone hired me to present at. When you open yourself up and own the possibilities of success, your life will change.

    Thanks, Gabby! LOVE this video! 🙂
    Sending so much love your way!

  31. I teach yoga and meditation to children and I have been having trouble filling my Tween class. I felt hesitant at the time I opened up the class for registration because of other commitments and was worried about being able to give myself fully to these young girls and the class.
    I can now fully recognize why it hasn’t evolved like other classes have in the past. I’m not fully invested at this time and cannot be “a container to hold it yet”. I’m trusting all of this and appreciate your wisdom. Deep gratitude for you and your message! You are a lighthouse. AND where did you get the beautiful long necklace you are rocking in the vlog?? Would love to know 🙂

  32. Great video! I have been trying to figure out how to email you, but I haven’t found anything address that goes to you. I just see what goes to your business.
    Thanks for always being and inspiration!

  33. Fabulous advice, Gabby. I love that you remind us that we are ‘obliged’ to take these opportunities… it is our duty as spiritual teachers. That shifts a lot of energy for me. Thank you!

  34. I was just telling my husband two days ago how scared I was of succeeding.
    Haha. I’m laughing because I know these things that you say but they get so clouded by the ‘screams’ you mention.

    Just gotta keep puttin one foot in front of the other and ,”I know I’m being guided” swirling around in my brain!

    Thank you for continuing to put these messages out there!
    Life is soooo much more FUN knowing we are supported.
    You are a blessing and guiding light!

  35. What about dealing with failure or rejection? I recently found out that my job is being “phased out” and I have 4 weeks to find another job before I lose my pay and benefits. I’m struggling with this because this is the first full time job that I’ve had that has brought me enough income to pay all of my expenses and allowed me to live comfortably. I’m scared that I won’t be able to find another job that allows me the same freedoms. I know that it is not a reflection on me personally, but I still feel a hint of insecurity. I know these feelings are negative and not helpful to my current situation, and I’m really trying to see this as a blessing in disguise instead of a setback. Any tips for letting go of the negative feelings and embracing the journey?

    1. Hi Gab,

      First of all I love ur emails and I feel so happy and blessed when I see them. Thank you …

      How about jealousy ? Lately I feel my boss is literally sucking my energy when she looks at me 🙁 I lose all my power. Especially after meeting clients who show more interest in my speech. I always try to put spot light on her and to left her up with smile, positive ideas .. Etc but it seem nothing is working !! I love my job but she is sucking my energy down although all kind of trials not to respond to her! Any advise please ?

  36. My throat chakra finally swalled that avocado pit with this message. Just Saturday was my 1st guest appearence on a cooking show set in a luxery penthouse on the 27th floor. I was ready but not a minute earlier would I have been. Bless you.

  37. The other day, I was freaking out about the great deal of awesome contracts I was given « out of the blue ». I looked for guidance by opening one of your books and read this part where you quote A course in miracles.’’ Truth has rushed to meet you since you called upon it. If you knew who walks beside you on the way which you have chosen, fear would be impossible.’’

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