Don't Let Fear Sabotage Your Success
Are you afraid of success? That may seem like a ridiculous question, because most people consciously want success in their endeavors. But being successful can bring change, and some people may not be ready for all that means. When they get close to success, they back away from or sabotage it.
For instance, they turn down an opportunity, justifying it by saying, "It just wasn't right." Or they resist or procrastinate taking action that could take them to the next level. They don't make the phone call or follow up on a lead that could bring them a sale. By default, they stay with what they know, even if it's uncomfortable. The idea of success stirs up fears that prevent them from moving forward.
Becoming aware of what you're doing is the first step to remedying the situation. The next step is to understand what specific fear is prompting your resistance. Only then can you overcome it, recognizing it for the falsehood it is. Here are some of the reasons that could be at the core of your fear of success.
1. Fear of visibility. You avoid calling attention to yourself because of past rejection. For you, appreciation or acknowledgement would be uncomfortable and even threatening. But isn't being able to share your gifts more important than staying safely hidden in the shadows?
2. Fear of criticism. There's a difference between criticism and feedback. Criticism has a mean-spirited component to it. It's never pleasant and chips away at your self-confidence. Whether you succeed or fail, it's going to attract disapproval from someone. Why not do what you want and deal with the censure on your terms?
3. Fear the envy of others. This is very similar to the fear of criticism. Jealous people will try to belittle you to build up their egos. Generally, their jealousy isn't about you. It's more about the person who is trying to tear you down. Holding yourself back isn't going to help them feel better. You might as well let yourself shine.
4. Fear of the responsibility. Greater success brings greater responsibility, and that can be scary. You may feel that you aren't capable of handling these extra demands. But as more responsibility comes to you, you grow to meet the challenge. Think of it like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes.
5. Fear you're not ready. You may feel you don't have the skills or competency for the next step. If you wait until you feel ready, your time may never come. There's always going to be something else to learn or ability to develop. As long as you’re willing to improve your knowledge, you'll grow into your success.
6. Fear of disappointment. You have an image of what success would look or feel like. Is it better to keep it as a dream rather than risk it not living up to your expectations? If it doesn't, you'll still have gained so much more than you have now. You'll have learned how to achieve that success, and apply it to a new dream.
7. Fear of what else could change in your life. You may be concerned about how much time you'll have to devote to your success. Or uneasy that your lifestyle might be turned upside down. You will have to let go of mental and physical habits that have outlived their usefulness. But you'll still be in control of your choices. If you don't like what has changed, you can always make different decisions.
All these fears bring old ideas about yourself to the surface, such as unworthiness, incompetance, or incapablility. Being successful would mean that these concepts are false, and you'd have to shift your self-image. This is a massive change in itself. That could be the core of all the anxiety you experience.
Once you have identified what you're specifically afraid of, it no longer controls you. You can take measures to overcome the fear. Refuse to allow it to hold you back any longer. Forge ahead and claim the success that's always been waiting for you.
Copyright © 2009-2021 Linda Ann Stewart
As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to gain clarity, focus, and get back in control so they're able to accelerate to the next level of their business. Watch her FREE training video on Set Your Course to Success: 4 steps to strategically achieve your goals with confidence and ease. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.
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