In Monday’s post on “Self Sabotage: When you play the role of Punisher,” I alluded to some of my fears of success so I’m going to expand a little more today on what I’ve been learning from what these fears are trying to teach me. It’s all a process, but I enjoy sharing with all of you here on the blog because so many of you have incredible insight as well. I learn as much from all of you.
Many people have fears of failure, and in my younger years, I had quite a few fueled by my inner perfect girl. But somewhere along the line, the fears of failure turned into fears of success which at first sounded ridiculous to me, but then made more sense after I started seeing the “patterns” in my life. I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about, uh-hum!
That’s the thing about getting older, you start getting clearer on your “patterns” because you find yourself in similar situations over and over again. The players may have changed, but the game is the same, and you come to the cold reality that the only thing in common in all of it is, well…you. Ouch, I know. So what could be so scary about success then? Well…
I mean come on; it’s all that anyone thinks about right? We’re all aspiring to have or be something more like getting married, getting that promotion, owning a profitable business, buying the dream house, getting a book published, getting back into the skinny jeans, and the list could go on and on. How can you become afraid of success? We all want to have the best in life, right?
Well, do you? Honestly?
Someone asked me this a long time ago, and I thought the answer was an obvious yes. But if that was the case, then why was I always finding myself in similar situations like dating the same non-committal man; Jerry, Bob, Steve, Bradley, same guy, different name. Or, getting so close to a promotion then quitting and going to a new job to start all over again. And, why the running need for the unrelenting critics in my head?
If we always created the best for ourselves and acted accordingly and lovingly, then the concept of self sabotage would not be necessary. Think about it. I’ve been thinking about it all the time lately.
Why would you torpedo yourself if your consistent state wants the best life for yourself? You would always be your best cheerleader and best supporter. You’d never give up. No is never an option. You’d get creative. You’d be solution oriented vs. self-depreciating oriented.
You’d be tough yet kind to yourself. You’d allow yourself the flexibility of flaws and mistakes because that’s how you learn and that is part of being human. You would not judge others because you would not be judging yourself so harshly. You would love and accept the wholeness of you…the you as is, not the social you, the “perfect” you, the “somebody else’s standards” you, just plain fantastic you.
You would be enough in your own eyes and feel worthy of all the good there is to be had for you and the higher good of all involved. And what’s amazing is that you have all of that capacity right now. You’ve always had it. It’s never been beyond your reach because you’ve always been sitting right on it.
So then, why do we start killing the things we love?
I’m talking about self sabotage. I’m talking about when we kill our dreams, our passions, our enthusiasm, our goals, our hopes, the good things in our life. I’m talking about when we start acting like a jerk to the people who’ve been nothing but kind and loving to us or when we start taking them for granted. I’m talking about when you get so close to your weight loss goals and then all of a sudden start binging and stopping the exercise. I’m talking about when you’re getting closer to your dreams and you start doing whatever you can here and there to somehow make that success “go away.”
We start killing the things we love because as a wise one shared with me we start becoming afraid of what that success means. We become afraid of our light. We doubt our worthiness. We cling to the fear of loss. We are afraid to step into our bigger shoes because that means more expectations, a higher bar, and farther to fall.
We are afraid that we are not good enough for this wonderful significant other so we push them away before they can leave us. We start engaging in lower vibration activities like jealousy, being judgmental, and pettiness because it creates separation from other people. We keep ourselves closed off because if we get too close, we might become so happy that we get our heart broken because the happiness somehow will get taken away.
It’s better to live small, and stay small because then you’re safe. Success means risking too much possibility of loss of happiness, joy, and security. It’s safer to stay in the unhappiness of the smallness you know, then to risk the loss, expectations, and vulnerabilities of the unknown of where your dreams live.
This is how fears of success can come to be, and we can either feed those fears, or look at them, and listen to what they have to teach us. And of course, much easier said than done!
Perpetual student I am
I’ve been working on acknowledging the fears yet still move forward the best I can and focus on what can be gained versus what can be lost. I’ve been trying to be kinder and more patient to those acting out against me and see that maybe they too are just acting out of their own fears, and it really isn’t about me. Of course, my lower self feels like getting mean girls on them, but there are better ways to handle a situation with class yet be clear about boundaries. I see these as homework assignments.
When we become more open to being real with ourselves and start looking at the ways in which we are killing the things we love, something scary yet healthy, the challenge comes to not punish ourselves and start being our own worst bully.
This is about learning and evolving, and is being judge and jury really helping you? For me, it’s no! Because again, why are we less worthy of the same patience and assistance we would extend to our loved ones in the same situation. Maybe the unknown stuff is scary so we can find out what we're really made of, the good stuff. My inner perfect girl is really getting a better understanding of this. It’s one day at a time on this journey, and that’s okay :)
So, what are some things you’ve done to help yourself or someone else deal with fears of success?