Fear of Success and Fear of our Greatness
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear
is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness,
that most frightens us”
By Marianne Williamson, from “A Return to Love 1992”
When I first saw that quote, my brain slammed to a halt in order to try to make sense of that.
That quote seems to be saying that we are more frightened of massive success than we are of failure.
How could that be?
For many people this is one of their biggest fears and one of the most destructive, because it is the least discussed.
Fear of Failure- yes, - most of us can understand that one.
But Fear of Success….
Ask yourself, What if I were really GREAT and did outstandingly well at my business? My job? In my relationship?
Notice how you feel when you ask yourself that question. Does it make you feel all tingly and excited? Do you start planning what you would do with all this success and probably the wealth that would follow it?
Do it now
Imagine yourself to be fabulously wealthy, living in the home of your dreams, travelling to all your favourite vacation spots, having and doing all the things you would love to do- if you had the time or the money.
Really imagine it and notice how you feel. Notice any words that come up in your head. Do the words sound like a parent or teacher or someone from your childhood who told you all the reasons why “YOU” couldn’t have the life of your dreams?
Or do you suddenly feel really uncomfortable and start to think, “What would other people say? What would my "friends" say if I suddenly outshone them or my income took off?”
“Would I still have any friends?” or “Would I attract hangers-on, who just want to be with me because I have got money?”
Or “What would my parents say if I earnt ten times as much as they ever did?”
These thoughts can often be more unconscious than conscious. For many people, all they know is that they do not feel really comfortable with the idea of massive success, and as a result don’t try.
Anyone who has achieved massive success will have gone through this and had to give themselves a good talking to about it.
The fact is, as you become successful, not everyone around you will wish you success. Many of you will probably try to bring your friends along with you on the success journey, but many of those friends want to stay where they are and want you to stay where you are, so they don’t look and feel bad.
Actually, the more success you allow to come into your life, the more new friends you will attract, who will be on your new wavelength. Certain people will get left behind, but if they don’t want to grow with you, there is nothing you can do about that.
People often fear the positive changes, maybe extra responsibility, that great wealth and success brings.
They get caught in all the old negative programming about rich people being mean, selfish, arrogant and not spiritual and that money can only be acquired by foul means, and decide that it is not for them.
They get caught in negative thoughts of people begging for money and others taking it away from them, or what if they make it and then lose it? How much of an idiot would they look then to their friends and family? How much extra tax they might have to pay?
Yet, Success and Abundance is our birthright. We were not meant to live in poverty or stress.
The more Abundance you have, the more you can freely give to others and help them to improve their lives. Money builds homes, schools, hospitals, and many other great things.
True success is also about being able to be ourselves and to be comfortable with who we are.
Many people go through life trying to BE who they think other people- family, friends, employers, employees, partner etc- want them to be, in order to win love and acceptance from those people.
The most important person, however, is ourself. It is far more important to totally LOVE & ACCEPT ourselves exactly as we are. Once we can do that, we attract to us people who also love and accept themselves and they can then love and accept us exactly as we are.
So how do You overcome a fear of Success?
The first thing is to be honest and to acknowledge the fear, if it is something that affects you.
Once you have identified and acknowledged it, then you can change it.
One tip to change this is to find someone who has done what you want to do and model them. Modelling is a term which means learn from them, copy their good bits and adapt them to you.
There are a lot of people who have made their own success story, in whatever success means, and most of them are very open and approachable people.
Many of them remember where they have come from and are willing to help other people, providing those people are prepared to help themselves.
Pick someone who respect and admire, start to read their blogs, their articles, and newsletters, download their free stuff, maybe buy some of their products, contribute to their forums and get to know them- or at least about them
You don’t have to stalk them, but you can learn a lot from them. The key here is to take action on what they teach. Apply it to your own life.
As Kris Akabusi, the famous Olympic gold medallist says “Successful people should be looked “IN-TO”, not “UP-TO”. What can you learn from these people about their success mindset?
Read as many books about successful people, particularly in your chosen field, as you can. Discover for yourself what they did to overcome this fear of SUCCESS.
Find people online and offline who you can mix with, who are on their way to their goals, and start to mix with them. Mix with people who are going somewhere with their lives and that will naturally pull you along as well.
You can start to upgrade your success mentality a bit at a time.
Each time you go out, go to a nicer and more exclusive and expensive coffee shop or restaurant or spend a bit more each time on the clothes you buy.
If you upgrade your success mentality in small increments, then it is much easier for your subconscious mind to accept and support, because it does not see it as a huge change.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and have found some ideas you could apply to your life.
With abundant blessings
©Amanda Goldston 2006
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