Our fears come at us in many forms and can stop us before we ever take action towards our goals. The good news is by becoming aware of these barriers, we can change the meaning we are giving them. In doing so, we can lessen their grip on our lives.
After studying the laws of success for over twenty-five years, I have decided that the fears that do us the most harm and keep us from achieving our goal are as follows. The fear of disapproval, the fear of failure, and the fear of success. Begin conquering these fears and discover how quickly you begin to manifest your what you want in your life.
You may fear disapproval.
I know many students who choose a particular career path only because they fear their parents or friends might disapprove of the career they really wish to pursue. Choose it anyway. Those who love you may give you a hard time about it, but many times they are envious of your courage to move in the direction of your choosing. Once they see your passion for what you are doing 99% of the time, they will support you.
I believe one of the greatest gifts my wife and I have given each other over the years is support for one another’s passions. I know Shelley has certainly supported me through the years. In college, I probably have the record for most major changes. I declared so many different ones that there was a running joke among my friends. “What’s your major this week, Sims?” Knowing that I was the only one living my life, I would just laugh and go on my way. Because of Shelley’s support, I didn’t allow fear to control my choices. Instead, I felt free to experiment with different classes and discover what I loved learning about.
The truth about approval is that we gain more of it when we are living by our own standards. Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen if I do this, and can I handle it if it does?” If your answer to the second half of the question is “Yes” then do it. What do you have to lose? After all, if it really is your passion and purpose that you are pursuing, you have much to lose by failing to act and everything to gain if you do.
2. You may fear failure.
The first step in overcoming this fear is realizing that failure is a myth, an illusion. It is a personal judgment we place on an outcome. We may tell ourselves that because we tried but didn’t receive the result we were hoping for, then we failed. However, this is not true. In reality, we succeeded in getting a result, but because it wasn’t the result we were seeking it is often labeled a failure.
As William Shakespeare said through Hamlet, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” You wouldn’t tell a stroke victim who is learning to speak again that they are failing when the words they are struggling to produce come out less than perfect, would you? Of course not, so why then would you claim you have failed when you don’t automatically produce they results you are seeking in your own life. Does it matter if it is learning to speak, ride a bike, or starting a business?
Examine at all the great successes of the world and count how many times they were denied the results they were initially seeking. The difference between them and those who gave up early was their ability not to get discouraged, learn from their results and modify their actions based on their prior outcomes.
Dr. Richard Bandler, the co-founder of Neuro-Linguistic Programming says, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” If you want to let the fear of failure go from your life, all you must do is change your perception of failure to feedback and then let it guide you to making another attempt. Do this enough times and eventually, you will discover what works.
3. You may fear success.
The fear of succeeding may hold more people back than the other two fears combined. Why? Because the fear of success is really the fear of change. To be successful, one must do things differently than they did before. Before you achieve new success, the expectations others have of you and you have of yourself is manageable, you’ve done it, you know you can handle it. Once you begin to succeed, however, you know you will have to do more to keep up with it, and you may not be ready for that.
When I began blogging, I knew that if I were going to be successful, I would have to work at it daily. I knew I couldn’t just write a couple of blogs a year and then just ride on their success. No. I would have to learn how to create, promote and manage my website. I would have to not only write but also edit and the re-edit everything I produce.
I had recognized before I began that I would have to spend my time differently than before, which meant a change in my lifestyle. I think this is what holds so many people back from doing what they really want to do in life. They know that real success equals work, which means giving up some parts of their current way of living. In this case, it is easier to dream about living our purpose than it is to begin living it. We reduce our anxiety by telling ourselves and other, “Someday I will pursue my dream, but right now I don’t have the time.”
The best way to deal with the fear of success is to begin small while thinking big. Don’t quit your job tomorrow, instead, create a six-month plan. Ease into it. When you first start, work at it for just an hour a day, then as you get more comfortable begin adding thirty minutes more to your schedule. Before you know it, you will be looking for opportunities to express your purpose and work towards your dreams.
Question: What about you? What parts of your current lifestyle must change for you to become successful? Why does that scare you?’ You can leave a comment by clicking here.