Thoughtful Thursday – The Fear of Success

Sometimes we arrive at a crossroads in our lives where the need for change is so clear. This is not always for negative reasons, in fact often the path offered to us is a road to bigger and better things. So why is it scary, why do we find decisions hard to make and why sometimes to we freeze at this point until we get run over by oncoming traffic?

The fear of success is very real, and far more common than you might realize. It is much easier to maintain middle of the road than to work toward excellence. Excellence brings with it the need for a work ethic, clear goals and letting go of habits, beliefs and people that stand in the way of our success.

Success calls for us to do away with thoughts that are holding us back as well:

  • Who do you think you are?
  • You think you’re better than everyone else.
  • It’s selfish to spend so much time on yourself.
  • What about us?
  • Who is going to take care of us?
  • That’s a pipe dream.
  • You’ll never accomplish that.

Whether these thoughts are within us (messages passed along throughout childhood till the present) or the reaction of those around us it makes it very hard to move forward on the path to success. If we listen to these messages we hear that working toward our personal goals makes us selfish, egotistic, irresponsible and unrealistic. What we don’t take the time to think through is that those messages come from places or people that are invested in the status quo – a need for us not to change in order that who we are and what we do continues to provide for them or maintain their truth. Moving toward personal success requires us to take a risk that we may move away from ideas, actions and people that have been fixtures in our lives. They have helped us maintain the here and now, but if that is not our vision of success they may not be part of the future you are working toward. Part of moving forward on the road to personal success is to be grateful for all that has been and peacefully letting habits, thoughts and people go that are not supportive of your vision. The habits and thoughts will be replaced by positive actions and ideas that will enable you to achieve your goals, some of the people may choose to be supportive and move along the path with you – others will need to be respectfully remembered as those who were in your life at a certain point for a certain reason.

This process of getting over the fear of success may take a long time, in retrospect you might realize you have been allowing the fear to hold you back for quite awhile. When you are ready to move forward you need to take this steps:

  • Create your vision of what success means to you – personally, professionally, spiritually
  • Write down your goals and the pros and cons of each – cons being the thoughts, habits and people that you need to overcome to move forward
  • Create a plan for moving forward – do you need to take classes, network, find a mentor, read and research?  How will you get started?
  • Create a vision page or book – physically in a notebook or online create a space where you put pictures, quotes and ideas of what components of your success look like to you

Be patient and be kind to yourself – but don’t let your fear continue to hold you back from the potential of what will be!!



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