Have you ever felt like this?
“I am nothing, and I don’t deserve anything.”
“There are better, brighter, smarter and more talented people than I; I really don’t deserve to be successful.”
If this is the sentiment digging itself into the fertile soil of your mind, you’re not alone. You might be suffering from the fear of success, something which I have long had to deal with in my life.
I have no fear of failure, and I have long accepted that the moments when I fail are a part of the process of someone who is trying to be successful.
When I receive recognition for my positive accomplishments, however, I often feel that I do not deserve the acknowledgment. I shut down, or I clam up; I might even become angry and short-tempered. When this happens, my inner critic always sends me a reminder—the one that I constantly heard as a child—that I am not good enough. I tell myself that I won’t amount to anything. Once this recording starts to play in my head, I start to feel helpless and powerless. My fear has gotten the best of me! I feel that I have let myself down, and I start to give up hope. Without meaning to, without realizing it in the moment, I’m already convincing myself that my long-term success just isn’t meant to be.
I have found the spiritual tools to help keep me focused and in the moment when I find myself in such a challenging situation; in the end, what stops me from simply “throwing in the towel” is my sincere desire to help other people. I want to see them live long and healthy lives. I would also like to live my own life to the fullest, and to look back—in the end—without my past being nothing more than a series of regrets and missed opportunities.
I am realistic. I am well aware that there will always be times when I experience self-doubt. Fortunately, I have learned various coping skills that I can incorporate when I am caught in one of these unfortunate moments.
The three techniques which I am currently using to greatest effect may be found below. They require a certain effort of due diligence, but they work; they have helped me, and they just might be of value to you as well.
As far back as I can remember, I have been putting my thoughts down on paper. I have found that writing in a journal is very therapeutic. I make it a daily habit to practice at being honest with myself, in my journal, without the need for judgment—or for the approval of anyone else; this is a great thing to do on paper, where I can refer back to it later as-needed. In addition to this journal, I keep a separate gratitude journal. Each day, I highlight 3 to 5 things which happened to me, on that day, for which I am grateful.
Some benefits of journaling include:
- Reducing stress
- Improving your relationships
- Reconciling with your past
- Building self-confidence and self-knowledge
- Clarifying thoughts, feeling and behaviors
- Discovering yourself
For the next 5 days choose one question and spend at least 10 minutes answering that question. Do not censor yourself nor be too concern about grammar. The purpose of this exercise is to get you to gain mental clarity and help you to connect with your inner self by helping you to get thoughts out of your head and onto paper?
1. What would you do if you have 1 million dollars?
2. If you are to do something for free for the rest of your life. What would it be?
3. Who is the most important person to you in the world?
4. What frustrates You?
5. What drives You?
What are some of the tools you use to combat your fear of success? I would love to hear from you.