Fears are paralyzing. When we experience fear we cannot think straight, we blow things out of proportion, and situations can become larger than life realities. Fears can be of different kinds and when we are experiencing them it is a good idea to identify the type of fear we are dealing with.
Two common fears are: Fair of Success and Fear of Failure
In this article, we will take a look at the Fear of Success.
To help better understand this fear, let us consider an example. Say, you are starting a new business venture and come across some new ideas (learning) that if you implement would drive more clients to your business. You might be excited to try out these ideas and might even have some success. You do what is necessary and take all the action steps based on what you have learned. New clients start coming in, and then you do something to completely bring this progress to a halt.
What you do might have no proper reasoning behind it, but you do it nevertheless. Why you do what you do makes sense to you, but it jeopardizes the efforts of success in the venture. This affects your implementation of the new ideas and you return to your earlier status quo of struggle.
What is being described in this scenario is self-sabotaging behavior. If we consider behavior to be an outward projection of our internal state, then this example of self-sabotaging behavior reflects the fear called – The Fear of Success.
The Uncertainty of Being Successful is driving the Fear. If we do not know how to embrace success and its demands, then that would become an area of uncertainty for us. Uncertainty can cripple our ability to think clearly.
We might subconsciously decide to stay within our comfort zone and stay within what is known which is the certainty in struggling.
This way of thinking sounds so counterproductive but we as humans can very well behave in this manner. We might not even be aware that we are doing it because the choice to sabotage our own efforts often happens outside our conscious awareness. It is an automatic response based on how we have conditioned ourselves based on previous experience.
Our previous experience could be based on a pattern of thinking which could sound like – “I do not know what success is, and what I might have to do, or what I might have to give up (uncertainty) so it is better to stay exactly where I am (certainty) in what I am comfortable and known to me. “
The essence of this article is to make you aware of this type of thinking and behaving. Take some time to reflect on how you think and behave when you are faced with new situations or you are embarking on a new project or venture.
- Do you in subtle and even sneaky ways try to self-sabotage your progress?
- Do you have a voice that undermines your ability to be successful?
- Does the fear of the unknown stop you from moving forward or find ways to wrangle you out of the situation?
- Do you find it hard to stay committed to change because thoughts of uncertainty flood your mind?
The goal here is not to ignore, avoid or deny that the fear exists, or fake it till you make it. The lasting change comes from learning to embrace success and release/let go of the fear.