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Conquer your fear of success

Most people secretly link a tremendous amount of hidden pain to being successful. Their beliefs about success are terrifying. The real danger is that they don?t even realise that they are frightened of success.

india Updated: Dec 31, 2005 12:48 IST
PTI

Most people secretly link a tremendous amount of hidden pain to being successful. Their beliefs about success are terrifying. The real danger is that they don’t even realise that they are frightened of success. After all, who would think that success could be intimidating? We were all raised to desire success.

Or were we? For many, it’s not the fear of failure that keeps them from exploiting their full potential. It is their fear of really making it to the top.

I resigned from my position as a school teacher to be a full-time mom and housewife nearly 13 years ago. When my third child joined school, I began to work on a home-based business. The business quickly grew in size, and I had to hire an assistant to help me manage the rapid growth.

My life looked ideal — on the outside. But inside, I was in turmoil. I didn’t feel like I was successful at all. I didn’t “fit” into my new life of business success.

“How can I be a good parent with this success?” was one of my unspoken thoughts. “I don’t deserve all this,” was another. At the same time, I said things like, “How can I get everything done? There are so many people depending on me now.” I felt like the more I achieved, the greater the pressure to maintain my success. I would often remind myself, “Who am I to think that I can run such a successful business? I have been ‘just a mom’ for so long.”

I found little peace or fulfilment in my career achievement. The demons from my negative beliefs about success overshadowed the joy of my accomplishments. Even though I was successful in the world’s eyes, I knew there was something missing. My success story could have been so much better. Like me, you may dread being a top salesperson and having to maintain that success.

You may be afraid of a commitment to marriage and all the responsibility that it involves. You may fear really succeeding in your business and dealing with being at the top with no where to go but down (or so you believe). You may fear that you don’t deserve success and one day you will be “found out”.

If you feel that you just don’t measure up and believe that you are not doing enough, working enough, spending enough time with the kids or your spouse, praying enough, making enough, or are enough to be successful, then a large amount of the time you don’t like yourself. You are in a private war that affects everything you do.

I was enslaved in the same battle with my own self-limiting notions and my fear of success. It wasn’t until that day in Bermuda when I faced my fear of success. It wasn’t until that day that I could be free. It wasn’t my husband, my family, the way I was raised, the company, the culture, or the economy, that was keeping me from enjoying my success. It was me. It was my fear, my self-limiting beliefs and my lack of faith. I was the only person who could change these three success assassins.

(Courtesy: Conquer Fear by Lisa Jimenez, published by MacMillan India)

First Published: Dec 31, 2005 12:48 IST