Are these 3 Fears holding you back from Success?
Procrastination is a major problem that most of us face. We are all guilty of procrastinating… at some point or another. It is important to understand that our actions (or in this case inaction) stem from our feelings. Procrastination stems from fear. Understanding some of the fears that hold us back is the first step to fighting this success killer.
Fear of Failure
This is one of the most common fears. We have been conditioned by society to think that failure is a bad thing. Is failure really that bad? Well, that depends on your definition of failure…
If you see failure as falling down, then you are likely to beat yourself up before you even attempt anything. However, if you view failure as not getting up after a fall, now that’s an entirely different thing all together isn’t it?
“Failure is not falling down. Failure is not getting back up”
– Chinese Proverb
Besides, if you are so afraid of failure, then it only means that you should take action!
Because you fail in everything you do not do. Think about it… Are Olympics athletes who come in last place failures? No… as long as they complete the race, they are winners. As long as you do it and give the best of yourself, you are never a failure.
Fear of Success
Are you surprised? Don’t be. Fear of Success is a legitimate fear. I remember that when I was in high school, I was always among the top students in school. Did it feel good? Well… yes and no.
While I was proud of my academic achievements, I was also keenly aware of how lonely it was at the top. I was from a neighborhood school and most of my classmates were more interested in fun and games than studying. Whenever the results are announced, I would always hear some nasty comments that were made out of pure jealousy.
It made me a little fearful about my accomplishments. I was afraid I would become unpopular and I did let such thoughts affect me a few times, leading to a drop in my academic rankings. It’s silly, I know. Sometimes you just want to blend in… and you just want to “feel accepted”.
Fear of Success is as real as it gets. One way to deal with it is to think about yourself as a role model. By becoming successful, you show others that they can do it too.
Embrace Success. Become an inspiration.
Fear of Embarrassment
This is perhaps one of the biggest fears. People would do anything to avoid being embarrassed. That’s why so many people are afraid of public speaking – they are afraid they’ll say the wrong thing and people will laugh at or ridicule them.
I wrote about shyness in my last post and what it cost me. If we were to break it down, shyness is primarily fear of failure (rejection) and fear of embarrassment. We are afraid of getting hurt and shyness is a form of defense mechanism. The thing is it not only protects us from perceived danger, it also robs us of possible joy.
When you experience the fear of embarrassment again, ask yourself this question: “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” Decide whether the costs really outweigh the benefits.
Fear is a double-edged sword. It can serve as a good warning system to alert us of dangers but more often than not, it tends to hold us back from taking the actions that will serve us in the long run.
Feel free to share with me your fears and how you go about overcoming them. If you enjoyed this article, you may want to stumble it or bookmark it at your favorite social bookmarking sites.
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