Spoiler alert: When you get really close to having everything you want, sometimes your mind will come up with all sorts of excuses for why you can’t pull it off.
This is the fear of success, and it can be a major roadblock on your path toward living your life’s masterpiece.
Have you ever gotten really close to a goal, and the closer you got, the more stuff started getting in your way? Did it feel like you were so close to having what you wanted, only to feel it slipping through your fingers? That’s how it feels when you begin having the fear of success.
Sometimes, after we taste success, we tell ourselves that we shouldn’t enjoy it too much because it might not stick around. We begin to identify strongly with success, which makes the thought of losing it even scarier.
This is the moment of truth: We can either cling tightly to our success and exacerbate our fear of failure (which will totally sabotage our joy) or we can realize that success was never really the point.
The point of a heart-based goal is not really the achievement of it, but rather the way that it makes us feel in pursuit of it. That’s the difference between a heart-based goal and a goal that we pursue for validation—the former is intrinsically fulfilling all along the way, and the later is fulfilling briefly only when and if it is achieved.
The point of a heart-based goal is not to achieve and keep success, it is that every step of following your heart, although challenging, lights you up and inspires you and infuses you with passion and vitality.
Here’s my three-minute coaching on this topic:
A heart-based goal is fulfilled every moment that you allow your actions to be guided by inspiration.
The goal is just an excuse to go on a sacred inward journey of trusting ourselves, learning to deserve doing what we love, and learning to give ourselves permission to be truly fulfilled regardless of circumstances.
The whole point of following our hearts is not so that we can acquire things—money or fame or validation or popularity or success. The point of following our hearts is to have an opportunity to accept ourselves after failure and rejection and disappointment—to love and trust ourselves more deeply.
When you understand the true purpose of “soul goals,” you can learn to overcome the fear of success.
Yes, success is scary. It requires us to be different people than we were before. We can’t commit the same mistakes, and we certainly can’t make the same excuses.
So when things start to go better for us, we have new responsibilities, and a whole new onslaught of challenges to overcome that were different than in the past.
Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s lonely at the top?” That’s because it takes a lot of hard work to not only get there, but to stay there as well.
When you are successful, people expect more from you, and you have to do more in order to maintain that level of high performance. This is why goal cleansing is so important.
You can’t keep burning yourself out by doing things that don’t matter. There’s only so much time in the day to get it all done.
I see this all the time at my weekend retreats. There are amazing women who are afraid that this year won’t be as good as last year, or that their marriages won’t be as hot as they used to be.
These are insecurities that point to a specific problem: fear of getting what you want.
Why would someone be afraid of getting what they want?
Well, if you make 10 times more money this year than any of your friends, your brand new Tesla might make you stand out, or people may begin to talk about you behind your back. They might even say you aren’t worth it!
The joke is on them though, because you know that their expectations, opinions, and judgements are just reflections of their own self-doubt.
So you don’t need them to give you your self-worth, and you don’t need to keep succeeding to feel good about yourself.
When you are able to think about it that way, you can create your life without worrying about what anyone else thinks about you. You must find inner peace through how you feel about yourself, regardless of whether or not you’ve accomplished the goal.
The goal isn’t important; the way you feel about yourself before and after you achieve it is what really matters.
The fear of success is easy to get over: Do things that you love, be excited about your actions, and don’t be tied to their results.
Author: Brandilyn Tebo
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Editor: Leah Sugerman
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
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