Success Repellent

People often talk about being more magnetic but magnets both attract and repel. Are you pushing success away from you?

It was the end of their first date and after a nice dinner of unusually expensive Italian food, she couldn't help but think that there was a certain intensity to his stare and his questioning had felt a little more like an interrogation than a getting to know you session. Being the epitome of English politeness as she had been raised to be, she kept smiling and tried to keep the tone light and casual. 

He walked her back to her hotel in New York trying several times to hold her hand and getting brushed away each time. They got to the corner of East 55 and Lexington which is where it happened, the thing that would make her want to run as fast as her small and elegantly shod feet would allow her, the moment that turned a mostly enjoyable evening of getting to know each other into the kind of awkward horror we all hope never to experience. He stopped her in the street, turned her around to look at him and that's when he did it. He said, "I love you!"

It's the kind of statement that stops you in your tracks. The only times she'd ever said that in a relationship, she had waited until they'd at least been dating pretty steadily and even then had always worried that she was moving too fast. All sorts of thoughts rushed through her head. How could he know that after one evening meal together? Had someone drugged his cannelloni? How did she feel? She liked him but this was a lot and she was still recovering from her last break-up. She did the only sensible thing she could do, told him she'd call and then ghosted him.

We've all had situations where we have encountered people and behaviours that we have wanted to get away from as fast as possible. I know I have been on the receiving end of this and probably on the doing end at some points in my life, although propriety and ego prevent me from detailing my own experiences and so I shared a story from a friend who is now happily married to someone much less intense and more willing to take his time.

My experience in life has always been one of seeming paradoxes when it comes to getting what I want. The things I wanted always seemed to be out of reach and the more I wanted or needed them, the further away they seemed to get. It's like when going for jobs, if you really need a job because you're either out of work and need to earn or in a job you badly want to leave, then that comes across in your applications and your interviews in ways that are often unconscious.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not into woo-woo stuff, I'm not religious, not really spiritual in the sense most might interpret it and I don't believe in the supernatural at all. You can class me as being highly sceptical. However, I do believe that there are energetic states and ways of being which are magnetic and conversely there are energies and ways of being which are repulsive (as in they repel).

One of the things I often end up working with clients on, especially when it comes to podcasting and creating any kind of media content is personal state management. I'll probably return to this topic many times in the future in different ways but personal state management, or PSM if you will allow me to abbreviate it, is one of the most critical parts of the charisma formula and if you ain't got charisma, you're gonna struggle. 

There's a line RuPaul says at the end of every episode of Drag Race (and yes, I'm a fan) which is "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love anybody else?" We could put this in a more generic way, which is that you can't give to others what you don't possess for yourself. To really drive this home, we can't use other people to plug the holes in our own emotional needs but we often try and inevitably fail in the long run.

One of the hardest lessons for me to learn in relationships was that I was the real reason my relationships were not working out. Prior to my now very happy marriage, my average relationship length was around 3 weeks to 3 years and nothing longer. The gift of hindsight allows me to see that whilst I was not the only issue in those relationships, it was my own lack of self-love and my poor self-worth that was always leading me to try and get other people to fill the void I felt inside. 

I started working on loving and accepting myself, which is still a work in progress but I did reach a point where I no longer needed to be in a relationship. I happily resigned myself to probably always remaining single and I was going to make the most of it. This is, as you have probably predicted, around the time that I met the man who is now my husband. 

It's not so different in business. When you need clients or work it can be hard to come by but when you don't and you just get on with being out there serving and helping others, stuff seems to naturally happen. It feels like the stars have aligned and things are in more of a flow when you stop focusing on what you don't have, appreciate what you do have and be content knowing that you would also like to have more.

So much of success in life is state-dependent. When we feel good life feels easier. When we feel down, life feels harder. We are often either in the virtuous circle of good feelings or the vicious circle of bad feelings but anyone who has ever read Richard Wiseman's book 'The Luck Factor' will know that when he and his teams researched luck, they found that good luck or bad luck was nearly always determined by the belief of the person. This is good news, it means we do have some control and that the locus of control is internal.

Do you want to be luckier? Then you need to work on changing your belief from being unlucky to being lucky. Do you want to be happier? You have to choose and support happiness within yourself. Do you want to be magnetic? You need to work on being charismatic which also requires believing in your good luck and deciding to feel happy even if there's no apparent reason to.

I'm not saying this is at all easy. It takes practice and some days it will be easier than others and sometimes you just won't manage it at all, but the more you practice showing up in your life in with the kind of energy and emotional state you know to be more attractive (in the magnetic sense), the easier it gets for this become your normal behaviour. 

We are wired to respond to each other's emotions, you can read up on mirror neurons if you don't believe me. Energy is infectious. Your energy is infectious. This means that it matters how you show up in the world, not just for you but for those you come into contact with. Your smile can make someone's day. A kind word or act of kindness can transform someone's life. Your good energy can transform a team or motivate a corporation. This stuff matters.

Having a charismatic state is critical in mastering influence and persuasion for leadership and success, and that mastery is also the goal of my podcast which is currently preparing to transition from Speaking Influence to Podfluence, where I will be discussing, learning and mastering influence and persuasion (including charisma) in the world of podcasting along with expert guests. 

One tool that will help you to become instantly more magnetic and charismatic is to start telling more stories, both in your personal and professional life. My recent guest Sophie Wadsworth is an executive coach who is helping executives and C-suite people to learn and master storytelling to help them be more effective and charismatic in their communication and leadership. I invite you to take a listen and check out the show's catalogue of almost 150 episodes.


I love to leave you with a song each week. Music is one of the most powerful tools we have in affecting our personal state management. Want to feel happy? Put some happy music on. Feeling a bit blue? Put some blue music on. Want to feel calmer? You get the idea. I've been talking about positive energy and charisma, so this song is from someone who always exuded charisma in bucket loads, the great Freddie Mercury. There was only one song for me to choose since this is indeed a kind of magic.