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Fear of Success???

On a beautiful but cold Sunday morning, I was sitting at a cafe enjoying a delicious breakfast and having a conversation with my husband about why I felt stuck at times during my journey to becoming successful. Why am I not seeing the results of my work? I stated to him that I thought maybe it was a fear of failure. He wisely looked at me and asked if I remember the times that I did reach a goal and became successful? How was it different then that makes it so different now? He kindly reminded me that in our daily conversations I never talk about my failures and as a result he disagrees with me having a fear of failure. He pointed out that what I may have is a fear of success. I'm thinking to myself how can one have a fear of success? Every one dreams of success. Why would they fear it when they are getting close to it?

As the conversation continued I started to realize that there is something to that. Deep inside I do fear success. Maybe not so much the success itself but the responsibilities that comes with it. The "not knowing" where to go after that? My own paradigms kicking in with questions like what if I can't live up to the expectations that people will have of me? Once I reach a certain point, then what?

I believe that first of all we have to define success for ourselves. There are many perceptions of success and we have to find what ours is. Of course this goes back to what our purpose is. It's so easy to get distracted by other people's definition of success and immediately start comparing ourselves to them. However we have to remember that their purpose may be different than ours as will their perception of success. I soon realized that if what I'm doing is aligned with my purpose then I am successful. It's ok not to know what comes next. Once we get there we will figure it out. Whether it is about overcoming a challenge or what the next step will be. The important thing is to stay focused on our mission and purpose and recognize when we get distracted and get back on the path.

There are many ways to overcome the fear of success. Here are some suggestions:

1. Use daily journaling as a way to review your purpose and write down your successes that align with your purpose.

2. Explore the root of your fear.

3. Notice ways that you sabotage yourself.

4. See yourself as part of something greater.


Lastly remember that success does not mean you have to be perfect. It is more of a journey than a destination. Enjoy it and learn from it.

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