It's strange to think that fear of succeeding could be such a big issue and do much damage. I've found it to be a common underlying source of paralysis and a unyielding block for many of the creative people I mentor each day. What's even stranger is that the people who suffer most profoundly from a fear of success are usually not even aware they have it.
Here are the Top 5 behaviors that indicate a fear of success:
1. I have trouble saying no to people.
2. Before I start to work on a project, I suddenly find a lot of other things to take care of first.
3. When I see someone succeed, I feel like I've lost out on something by comparison.
4. I adopt positive creative habits, get going on my work, and then suddenly revert back to my old habits.
5. I usually compromise in situations to avoid conflict.
Fear of success is the work of the Inner Critic. People fear success because they place such a heavy weight upon it. Self-esteem and self-worth is tightly wrapped around whether on not one is successful. All they identify with at the moment is a perceptively unsuccessful person. The person who fear success fears losing their identity. She may not like how she feels about herself but that's all she knows; its her comfort zone. To move out of that zone is too scary.
"Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the 'someday I'll' philosophy." Dennis Waitley
Success comes with a lot of responsibility. What will happen if you become successful and then fail, once again? Now you can fail privately. A public failure would be too humiliating, too painful. This scenario is a fear of an event projected by your inner being out into the future. Using the "avoidance of pain" as a motivator is like driving with the brakes on. On the surface, it looks like you're trying to achieve your goals but, underneath, you are holding yourself back with all your might.
Some people even have deep rooted irrational beliefs around their ideas of wealth. Again, these beliefs are the work of the Inner Critic. For example, one may believe that rich people are selfish and only look out for themselves. Essentially, they're jerks. The person who fears success, and the wealth it would bring, may not want to become a jerk! So, he holds himself back so he can stay the kind compassionate person he is now. Truth is, wealth does not change people. If you're kind and compassionate now, you'll be kind and compassionate as a wealthy person.
"I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened." Mark Twain
The only thing standing between you and your success is - You! Look within. Identify the beliefs that serve as the foundation of your fear. Look for evidence of the opposite. Notice successful people who are kind and compassionate. Remind yourself that you are a responsible person. As a responsible person you are responsible for your success as well as your paralysis. Since you are already responsible, you will be able to handle the joyful responsibility of your success.
Copyright (c) 2009 Valery Satterwhite
About The Author
Valery Satterwhite is an Artist Mentor who specializes in empowering creative people to create more profoundly, more prolifically, and more profitably. Empower yourself to trust your intuition, acknowledge your truth, and disarm your fear and self-doubt. Valery developed a proven unique "Inner Wizard" methodology to empower other creative people to actualize their full potential. Join now athttp://www.InnerWizard.com. Get Free "Inner Wizard tips" too!