“He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hey, guys, I apologise sincerely for my inconsistency in dropping my posts. I hope I am forgiven o.
It is rare to find that a goal is all roses. Like I said earlier in my previous posts, success requires change, mostly unfamiliar and inconvenient with varying shades and degrees of consequences be it positive or negative. It is most certainly helpful to focus on the positive consequences of a goal, however, taking a holistic view of the entire subject matter is a better option for progress or success as it were. It is a very true and firm notion that breaking out from the familiar may not be very comfortable, and it may conjure up some fears or risks in your mind as I discussed in my previous post. So I will be doing justice to ways to overcome Achievemephobia (Fear of success). Do not think I am going all psych on you (maybe a little, though).
In my first post, I mentioned the refusal to set goals as a major sign of fear of success. In response, setting goals that are slightly, but not overwhelmingly challenging can be one sure way of getting around your fear. Think of these goals as “early wins” that are designed to help boost your confidence. In the same vein, visualisation can be a powerful tool for goal setting.
For example, if you’ve been too afraid to work on that business idea that you have had for a long time coming, then write out your ideas and make it plain, design your business on paper. Or, you have been too insecure to talk to the new department head (who has the power to give you the promotion you want), then make that your first goal, plan to stop by her office during the next week to introduce yourself. Or, imagine that you’ve dreamed of returning to school to get your MBA, but you’re convinced that you’re not smart enough to be accepted into business school. Set a goal to find out the requirements for admission. Try to make your goals tiny steps on the route to much bigger goals. Don’t focus on the end picture as it can be overwhelming: being the CEO, getting the promotion, or graduating with an MBA. Just focus on the next step: working on your brand name, introducing yourself to the department head, and talking to an admissions officer. That’s it. Taking one small step at a time will help build your confidence, keep you moving forward, and prevent you from getting stuck with visions of your final goal.
“You can’t lose your nerve for the big failure because the nerve you need for the big success is the exact same nerve.” – Dr Regina Dugan
Funny that I have come to realise that in envisioning one’s goals and dreams, one has to be careful. The subtle little twist is that while you might be able to imagine success and even create it, that sinister sneering doubt remains that you just might not be able to handle it. The fear of success then often shows up as self-doubt, as an inner voice reminding you that you probably can’t handle the success you want. Sometimes, it just boils down you being afraid to be extraordinary. The need to blend in with the crowd can be so strong yet crippling as I am reminded of every time I happen to read Marianne Williamson’s quote as quoted in Akeelah and the Bee (for all those movie-watchers)
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Oh Goodness Me! I just got schooled all over!
Change is a natural, organic part of life. The only thing constant in life is Change, they say. Nothing really stays the same, but the thing is, it can feel like it does. Especially, when it comes to the ins and outs of your life from day to day. When changes occur, it seems like life has done an interception on you while you were trying to do a touchdown (I have been learning quite a lot about American football. Super Bowl LI today! Yay!!! ). Change can be amazing or frustrating, liberating or scary. Quite often it’s a flow of tedious, character-building work. But the super truth is it’s inevitable. If change is inevitable (and it is), then the first thing to do is to begin the process of getting absolutely clear on what you want. Write a description of the life you really want, without judgment. Just let it pour out onto the paper or should I say the tablet.
One valuable and important truth I would like to pass across here is this: Take time to find your authenticity. INSTINCT!!!! “A person is more likely to be born without sight than to be born without insight. Your instinct is an inner sanctum that springs wisdom we do not even know we possess. Success comes instinctively when you recognise your own tempo and recognise it in individuals and institutions with whom they collaborate. (Excerpt: Instinct by Bishop T. D. Jakes)”. You need to listen to your instinct in order to thrive.
This then brings me to Integration. Do not be afraid to acknowledge when your dream or idea is too big for you. But by the same token, just because you cannot do it alone doesn’t mean you have to give up or scale back. Why not try to integrate with those who are willing to share the risk. You do not have to cross the fence into new unknown territory alone. It could be as simple as sharing your vision of your life with someone you love and trust ( a problem shared is a problem half-solved), joining a group of people who are going for the same goal(s), investing in a mentor, or reading a really good book that resonates with the description of the life you really want. In one word, gather a great support system around you.
I once had a boyfriend who always said the Journey is the Reward. No matter how important success might seem to you really, it is still important to follow it with balance; otherwise, your journey towards success will turn into an obsession that will ruin everything that you truly love in life. Success actually is not a destination; it’s a journey, and it’s important that we take each step feeling grounded and balanced. As a swan ballerina needs both of her legs to be balanced on stage so also you need to lead a balanced life to be successful.
Spend time with your loved ones, enjoy your hobby or follow your passion, take care of your health and grow spiritually. This is the meaning of true success, the one that you can achieve only in balance. For if you ask me what the significance of true success is, I would say the real significance of success is in humans. It does not show up in the awards won, long resumes and titles or trophies gathering dust on your mantels. It is found in the hearts and lives of those who are some way better because of the way you lived. “Live in balance”.
Finally, Jesus Christ is the ultimate help.
So, Now What?
Now breathe. Deeply. Success comes in stages. You’ll always have the capacity to improve and strive for yet another success. When you’re done breathing, look at the thing you want most right now. Break it down and focus on that one little step or decision you can take or make today in achieving that thing. And then just be (your own unique) awesome!