The most common reason I hear from people for not following their dreams is their relationship with FEAR. And it is not just fear of failure, for some, it is fear of success.
Why would anyone fear success? Success changes a number of things; the way people see you, the way people treat you, the things people say and of course, the raised level of expectation, not only of others but of yourself.
Women, in particular, tend to battle with what other people will say about them and as there is still a degree of scepticism around how a woman can expect to balance being a successful business/career woman with being a mother and/or wife it is hardly surprising.
It is struggle enough to deal with your own inner critic that will constantly be questioning you without being bombarded by external remarks that compound any negative feelings and thoughts you already carry around being successful. It’s not unusual to hear ‘who does she think she is?’, ‘what makes her so special?’ ‘No one else in our group is doing that, why is she?’
How do you get past this fear of success? There are a number of things you can do to help yourself:
- Be aware of who you are surrounding yourself with – are these people a help or a hindrance? Do they encourage or discourage you? You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with so think carefully about who you give time to.
- Focus on your successes – it is too easy to start questioning yourself negatively; ‘what if they are right?’, ‘I don’t have all the answers’, ‘I’m kidding myself if I think I can achieve this’. For you to have started the journey to your dream you must have experienced a sense of possibility either based on something you already achieved or based on an undeniable passion for bringing your dream into reality. Don’t let go of that.
- Realise that you are striving for the dream because you have come to realise that you have choices and that you can be in the driver’s seat of your life. You understand that your life is not about waking up each day and going through a set of motions, it is about grabbing the steering wheel and carving a path to where you want to be, doing what you want to do, being who you are meant to be.
- Remember that the magic happens outside of your comfort zone! It is where all the lessons are waiting for you, it’s where the challenges are that will make you stronger and ultimately it is where your dream lies.
The other part of fearing success focuses on the feeling of there being nothing left to do. You might think that by attaining your dream life you will feel unsatisfied but it doesn’t have to be that way. Each dream is part of your journey and as you fulfil one dream another is likely to be created – that is your choice.
Keep exploring the possibilities, help others to do the same and remember:
‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.’ Les Brown