It is well documented that many people fail to achieve their goals in life due to the phenomenon known as "fear of failure" but are you aware that a major factor that is often overlooked, is a state known as "fear of success"?
Fear of failure will lead many people into inertia - the inability to make decisions or to take action in case they receive rejection or negative outcomes. This mental state is fairly easy to identify and there are many tools in the personal development industry to help combat this barrier and reprogram the mind for success.
However, the fear of success is much more subtle, harder to spot and also harder to navigate.
Perhaps you have this tendency in your life. Here are some indications of a fear of success mentality.
- Studying and trying to implement self-improvement techniques and/or personal development tools but your life does not improve or may even get worse.
- You settle for less than you feel you deserve or are capable of achieving.
- You start new projects full of enthusiasm and optimism but wane in your efforts or stop short before you have completed them.
- You expect things to go wrong no matter how well the situation appears to be at the moment.
Can you identify your own patterns in any of the above statements?
The fear of success can also make you behave in ways that hold you back. Look at the list below. For example;
Putting off what needs to be done or not doing what you know will bring you closer to your desired result. Everyone suffers from this inner 'demon' at some point in their lives (although some of us suffer from it more than others!).
Procrastination is a 'success killer'! How can you expect to reach your destination if you do not take steps towards it? Strive to do little things each day that will bring you small steps closer to your goal. This is why having a personal development plan is an essential ingredient in the fight against procrastination.
Take action! Any action!
Refine your steps as you go along. It doesn’t haven’t to be perfect BUT taking small and steady steps, probably smaller than you initially imagine, can help you slowly start to BUILD the EVIDENCE of confidence towards your destination.
2) CAN’T SEE THE WOOD FOR THE TREES!
This is almost the opposite of procrastination but has the same effect on your personal development and growth. We can often get caught up in than plan believing that it is more important than the materialised goal!
Not only do we get STUCK in the planning phase, we get stuck BUYING THE STATIONERY for the planning phase (girlies - whose with me?!?!)
For many years I got caught in this trap and still, Amazon can be my best friend. I probably get MORE of a buzz in planning than I do actually achieving a goal. So is it any wonder that I then get stuck there?!? NOOOOO! Because my brain likes that feeling right?!? BUT at some point I have to make a decision to ACT in order to move forward and change. I can’t stay in the ‘Plan Mode’ forever.
You see, the realisation was that I was telling myself yet ANOTHER story - that I loved the plan more that achieving the goal. I had started to think and act as though my plan was more important than my end result and thus missed many opportunities to alter my path and reach my goals more quickly!
Guess what?! We need to let go of our ego (or atleast befriend it) to step back and observe the routes open to us to achieve our goals. Our PLANS might not always be the best for us. And our plans WITHOUT action are definitely not the best ones for us!
3) THE TIMING IS OFF - IT’S JUST NOT THE RIGHT TIME!
Have you ever waited until the timing was perfect before starting something - anything - in life or business? Have you ever waited until you had more information on a better plan?
I recently spoke about this with a client and discussed how much time we waste waiting for the perfect time or the right amount of information. Barack Obama made his decisions based on 51% information - because ultimately he would make the same decision whether 51% or 100% - it's just that one offered him more time and efficiency.
Taking small steps forward is better than taking none or waiting to see if your foot is landing on the right spot! Even if your actions take you away from your goal you have at least gained insight and knowledge about what does not work!
4) BEING A PERFECTIONIST
This is similar to the point above and has the same effect, namely, that you never really move forward. No matter how good a job is when it's finished it can always be improved!
I have heard so many artists say how much they dislike their art - that they can see all of the faults and issues. I have also heard a number of artists who have ruined their art because they just couldn’t stop trying to “fix” it and make it better, and in doing so, ruined it altogether.
Yet, we still (as viewers) tend to enjoy the art or the music or sport or wherever it is that is being over analysed by the creator.
How do you focus beyond the problems that you see and that are often causing perfectionism? How can you change your perspective of what is required? How can you change your expectations? Do you constantly see only and all the problems involved?
Carol Dweck’s work around a “Fixed Mindset” often links quite heavily with perfectionism so it may be worth exploring how you can move, steadily, towards a growth mindset. Not only that, assess perfectionism alongside your relationship with CONTROL. What does that word mean to you?
Because the reality is, perfectionism can, or maybe already has, prevented you from moving forwards or grabbing opportunities with both hands. Imagine what you could achieve if you shifted that, even just a little?!
Lot’s to consider here, but hopefully it has started to challenge your thinking or question why and how you do things.
ABOVE ALL REMEMBER - enjoy the journey! It can be hard to face some of these fears - ESPECIALLY the fear of success. BUT taking that time to challenge yourself, to be compassionate whilst you do so, and move to a new space of knowledge, understanding and being will benefit you in more ways than you can imagine.
If any of the above does resonate with you and you would like to dig deeper into these areas, make those changes you want in your life and/or business, but feel like you need some guidance and support along the way - REACH OUT!
Book in for your FREE Coaching Experience now and let’s get you on that magical journey of growth, personal development, and more!