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Fear of Success

WHEN friends ask me why I have never aspired for something more in life than being content in sitting at a table and proof reading other people's work, I have no clear answer. Could be that I am afraid of failing at something that I am not good at and I do not want to face the fact. It is definitely not fear of being successful... that's a ridiculous thought and presumptuous because I am not even that! Or is it? One of my friends for instance doesn't want to accept the promotion her company is offering her, as she is perfectly happy with the position - she has, and the work and responsibilities that go with it. She knows of what she is capable and is content with her lot. I don't know what I am capable of and hence the doubts and dissatisfaction.

Fear of success is the lack of belief in one's ability to sustain personal progress and accomplishments; a niggling doubt that you are not as good as others think you are and that you can be replaced by just about anybody else. It is also the fear that once you have achieved what you had set out to, you still may not be happy or satisfied. Fear that your motivation levels will dip.

However, before you seriously start doubting your ability, try these `therapies' to get yourself through some of the self-defeating mistakes.

Recognise the problem

Recognising and accepting your problem is half the battle. Most of us sweep the unpleasant things of our life under the proverbial carpet and try to pretend that they do not exist. If you recognise your problem, you will also know how to solve it. The more you beat yourself up the more terrible everything will seem. Remember Henry Ford's maxim: "If you think you can't, you're right. If you think you can, you're right." Clichéd it may be, but positive thinking does have some power.

A friend indeed

Enlist the help of a friend or even a trusted and caring senior to warn/stop you whenever you are headed on the road to self - destruction. In such cases, mentoring is of great help. It provides one the much-needed support and encouragement and a patient ear. Sometimes just a `wise' presence can make all the difference. Being able to honestly appraise your success and accomplishments can diminish your `success-phobia.'

The first step

Fear of success is a complex emotion, one that needs a good fight back. But those who are willing to do so, the cure rate is reassuringly high. Decide what is it that you really want, take a good hard look at life and as Nike says, `just do it'. What's life without a few risks, after all? But be prepared to put in some hard work.

The first step is to identify the root of your fear and then work on it. Identify the beliefs that led you to harbour these irrational fears. They could be diverse, ranging from your job to your family, relationships, career, physical and emotional health and even your spiritual life

Try and refute the irrational thoughts and replace them with rational and logical thinking. Replace negative emotions with positive, self-affirming ideas. Identify what new behavioural traits you need to develop. Learn to reinforce the hard work and effort you have put in. Acknowledge the accolades people bestow on you on your success. Remember it is well earned and not immodest to bask in your hard earned success. Do not make excuses for being successful

Once you have identified the behavioural patterns that you most want and need to develop, make a commitment to accomplish them. It is good to remind yourself once in a while that you are one of the few blessed ones whom the elusive goddess of success has chosen to be kind to. So, accept yourself as you are - happy, content and yes, successful

We all are unique and different in our own ways. Do not become your own worst enemy by believing that you don't deserve your success, that you cannot sustain the momentum once you have achieved your goals. Remember you still have the right to fail too!


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