Fear of Success
By Ray Terris
It takes courage to achieve victory.
You would not think that people would have a fear of success, but they do. It is
a fear of the unknown. People are scared of making changes, 'What will happen if
There seems to be an instinctive fear of anything new,
different or previously untried. I think it may be a basic animal instinct, an
animal will usually back away from anything it is unfamiliar with. We are not
animals, we have a rational, reasoning mind and that is what we must use to
overcome our fears.
Different is 'Dangerous'
All through history there have been men and
women who dared to be different, to step outside the box. They are often
ridiculed, sometimes violently so. In 1628 when William Harvey showed that blood
circulated through the body rather than flowing like tides, as stated by the
early Greek physician Galen, the medical society mocked and shunned him. There
is even a quote from that time, "I would rather err with Galen than be right
with Harvey!" It was not from disbelief that they rejected Harvey, it was the
fear of going against the status quo. Fear of being outside the pack. Harveys
truth was not widely accepted for over a hundred years.
fortunate for mankind that there are some brave souls who are willing to take
the risks. I came across an old book where the author 'proved' that traveling at
more than 30 miles per hour could collapse a mans lungs and rupture his liver.
And this was written after people had been traveling on railroads for years. He
had a real fear of success, other peoples success.
The Uncomfortable Comfort Zone
People tend to have a comfort zone that they rarely, if ever,
step out of. When I was younger, just starting to work, I had a desire to
travel. Two of my co-workers also said they wanted to travel, they continually
talked about roaming the world, working their way. We agreed that we could and
would do it. Months went by and they were still planning. It took me a year to
realize that they were never going to do it.
I quit my job and started to travel around England. It was not
easy, I worked on fishing trawlers, picked peas, worked in factories and a few
times even had to sleep on the beach. Of course I was being 'irresponsible' and
'foolish' but I was living my dream.
I have since traveled across Canada a few times and most of the
United States at least once. I plan to travel a lot more, only from now on it
will be with a bit more money and comfort.
You will hear people complaining about there life, they hate
their job, they have no money and on and on. Try to get them to change it, with
some people it would be easier to get them to drink poison. Even when you show
them a good way to make money they will come up with all kinds of excuses. "I
don't have the time, I don't have the money" well they never did have the time
or money, and they never will unless they change something. It seems they have
more fear of success than fear of failure.
To be successful you
have to step out of your comfort zone. You will have to accept that you will no
longer be one of the majority, you will be one of the five percent who are
There are some other factors that
make people have a fear of success. To be really successful you must take full
responsibility for your life and actions, that takes courage. Can you look at
yourself in the mirror and say "all the failures in my life are my fault." The
broken marriage, the huge debt, that lousy job all of them occurred because of
your actions or lack of actions.
Do not take this as a self guilt trip or put
down. It should be just the opposite, it takes a big person to be that honest
with themselves. Here is a quote that I thought was to the point.
err is human; to admit it, superhuman. Doug
It is always easy to blame someone or something else, but
look at the price that is paid. When a person puts blame somewhere else they
have effectively reduced their own power. They are handing control of their
lives to outside influences that they have no control over. Being at the
mercy of other people and things will never lead to success. "It's not my fault,
they made me do it" these are the cries of failure.
thing, in order to succeed you will have to DO something. It is so comfortable
to not do anything, then you could not be blamed for anything. People who stick
their necks out sometimes get their heads cut off.
Be prepared for some attacks
or rejection from the people who fear success. Particularly when you are
starting out on your road to success. You will hear that you are being
ridiculous, it will never work, you think you are special. Don't take it to
heart, just realize that it is their fear of anything different. Let your
you through any hard times.
So now you have a choice, you can take the seemingly easy route and never be
really comfortable. Or you can grit your teeth, face your fear of success and
take control of your life.
I know what my choice is. It is not
always comfortable or safe but it sure is a lot more enjoyable.
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