Are You Afraid of Success?

alignment mindset success Apr 27, 2022


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 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 plague and reprogram the mind for success. However, the fear of success is much more subtle, harder to spot and also harder to eradicate. 

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. These are some symptoms of the fear of success. 

Procrastination - 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 but do not sit and do nothing. Taking action is one of the key aspects in personal development. 

Here’s the Aligned perspective on procrastination:  If you have the option to wait until you feel up for it, the outcome will be amazing. You will meet the right people who will help you. You will find the right sources when doing your research. You will come up with ideas to be more effective in ways you couldn't have imagined. Understand what procrastination is really telling you because, once you are ready, things will magically fall into place for you so seamlessly you will wonder what took you so long to get up to speed with things! 

Can't see the forest for the trees?- this is almost the opposite of procrastination but has the same effect on your personal development. The aforementioned saying is well known but have you ever given it real consideration? 

Don't get caught up in your plan believing that it is more important than the materialized goal! Some people start to think and act as if the planning phase is more important than end results and thus miss many opportunities to alter their path and reach their goals more quickly! Let go of that part of the ego and allow things to show you a quicker route to your goal.  Remain flexible

Thinking that the time is not right - have you ever waited until the timing was perfect before starting a venture? Have you ever waited until you had more information on a better plan? 

Again ACTION is the key to the door to success. Taking small steps forward are 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! 

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 is finished it can always be improved! I have heard many great musicians tell how they hate listening to their own songs because they can find a million things that need to be improved. Yet, we still enjoy them. 

Here’s the Aligned perspective on perfectionism: It’s okay to be compassionate with yourself. Not only is it okay, it’s the best thing you can do for yourself. There is no such thing as perfection but self-disappointment is the worst thing we can do to ourselves. Make this assumption: everyone is doing the best they can, especially me!

Seeing only problems - How do you use your focus? Do you constantly see only and all the problems involved? If you are this way inclined it is pointless trying to change overnight! However, you can use this mindset to your advantage while you strive in your personal development to acquire an opportunistic frame of mind instead. 

"How can you use seeing only problems to my advantage?" you say. "Easily", is the Aligned perspective! Look at the problems and prepare a plan to deal with them. Every time you overcome one, congratulate yourself. Use them as a gauge for your achievements. If you keep seeing more problems remind yourself of how well you dealt with the others. Look at how far you have come! If you see a problem ask yourself, "how best can I overcome this challenge?" or "how quickly can I rectify this situation?". The quality of your questions are important. Seeing the glass half full will yield more positive experiences because it will recondition your expectations. Use the problems as fact finders. Is there a real problem now? If so then deal with it. Is it a potential problem? If so then create a contingency plan in case it does occur but don't get caught up in it just be prepared. 

Enjoy the journey, follow the above guidelines and you will achieve success. Eventually your fear of success will dissipate and you will have moved a long way forward in your personal development.


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