Johanna Kern’s article “Success is NOT Your Enemy” was featured in August A 2019 edition of OMTimes Magazine.
OMTimes Magazine is one of the leading online content providers of positivity, wellness, and personal empowerment in every English-speaking country – with millions of readers.
Success is NOT your Enemy
by Johanna Kern
The Fear of Success can subconsciously haunt us, resulting in us repeatedly sabotaging our goals and dreams.
Success is not your enemy
Most scientists and psychologists agree that the Fear of Success is similar to the Fear of Failure. The reasons for developing the Fear of Success may vary from person to person:
It might be that we subconsciously believe that we are not good enough to reach for our dreams or – it might be that we associate success in our mind with things that we subconsciously believe to be “negative,” “wrong” or even “disgusting.”
It might be that we subconsciously believe that we won’t be able to maintain our success and will eventually fail anyway.
We might subconsciously believe that to achieve success in life; we need to be cunning, ruthless, arrogant, bullying, heartless, etc. We might even hold resentment in our heart toward some successful people whom, for whatever reason, we despise and do not want to “end up” being like them.
Or – we may feel some level of guilt or shame when we see less fortunate members of your family or co-workers who hadn’t had any success.
What happens when the Fear of Success drives our life:
We may avoid or procrastinate on big projects, especially if they could lead to recognition.
We may compromise our agenda or goals so that it won’t cause any problems or conflicts in our family or organization.
We may sabotage our efforts just moments before achieving our dreamed of or thoroughly planned success. Or we might give up already at the beginning and never start working on our plans at all.
If you find out that any of the above applies to you – it means that you might have a subconscious Fear of Success.
Its symptoms are often similar to the symptoms of the Fear of Failure. It is because the Fear of Success is rooted in our imprinted belief that success will bring us sorrow.
We might believe that success may alienate us from our family because of working longer hours or being asked for favors and money.
We might be afraid that we will be criticized more when we are “higher up,” and that our friends or family will react to us with jealousy, cynicism, and that we might lose our loved ones.
Or we might be simply afraid that upon accomplishing our goals, we will intensely regret that we didn’t act sooner.
Whatever reason hides behind our Fear of Success – it is effectively sabotaging our happiness.
How to Overcome the Fear of Success:
Step 1: Ask yourself the following questions:
– Do I think that it is better to be unhappy in an unhappy crowd, instead of proving to others that everything is possible, and if I can succeed, they could do it too?
– Do I believe that my family or friends are happier because I haven’t achieved my success yet?
– Am I sure that my success needs to lead to disappointments and bring me sorrow in the end? If so: what makes me think that way?
Ask yourself similar questions, bringing to the surface each of the issues that may subconsciously sabotage your life. Answer them truthfully on a piece of paper – compare pros and cons.
Step 2: Notice and accept the simple fact: If we don’t follow our dreams, if we don’t reach for our goals – we will end up unhappy, frustrated, and disappointed anyway.
Success Is NOT Your Enemy.
Giving up on your dreams will bring you sorrow. You can be sure of that.
Step 3: Notice that every human being on this planet lives his/her own unique life. Every single person has a choice of how to stay pure in their heart, and how to conduct their actions. There is no need to succeed in a way that is not in harmony with what you hold as precious and important.
You are a unique being, one in billions, with your own story to tell. You can be successful on your terms: you don’t need to behave in any other way than that which is TRUE TO YOU.
Step 4: Realize that the Fear of Success is stopping you from fully, and happily, experiencing your life:
Fear of Success = fear of becoming our true self
Fear of becoming our true self = not believing in ourselves
Not believing in ourselves = wasting our potential
Wasting our potential = lack of happiness
Lack of happiness = lack of fulfillment/success
Living without the Fear of Success equals happiness, fulfillment, success
Step 5: Now you can admit to yourself how wonderful it would be to follow your heart, love your life, and share your success with those you love.
You are smart. You are strong.
Now you can be happy as well.
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About the Author