So, you’re feeling stuck and unhappy. Maybe like you feel like your toxic relationship represents a huge failure for you. But for some reason, you haven’t left yet. Or, you’ve left, but you still feel miserable and afraid.
You’ll probably think I’m full of it, but the truth is that you might just be scared of being happy. Afraid of success. And that, my friend, might be exactly what is holding you back. Seriously.
Look, we don’t change things that are wrong with our lives because we become comfortable with whatever situation we’re in. We might not like it, but it’s comfortable. We know what to expect. We might be unhappy, but we know we can deal with it.
After all, we’ve done it this long. Why not stick with the wolf we know?
Fact: WE DON’T LIKE CHANGE! It makes us uncomfortable. And, if we’re being honest, we also kinda hate the idea of failing or of standing out.
So how do you know if you’re standing in your own way? Well, this might be you if you:
- Consistently make plans for your life, but fail to follow through on them. Whether it’s to leave a toxic relationship, read a book a month, or hit the gym five days a week, you just can’t seem to make it happen.
- You leave projects uncompleted. This includes at work and in your personal life.
- You’re all talk. You rarely take action.
- You struggle to make decisions.
- Your life never changes for the better.
- You self-sabotage, especially when you’re nearing success.
This probably describes a few people you know. Now, the hard question: Does it describe you accurately?
If so, don’t beat yourself up! Just start creating that positive change right now by using these strategies to defeat your fear of success and make real changes in your life:
1. Imagine being ultra successful. Imagine yourself being even more successful than you want to be. If your goal is to make $100,000 per year, imagine making $1 million. If you want to lose 25 pounds, imagine getting lean enough that you can see your abs. Do this each night and morning in bed.
- Make the visualization as vivid as possible. Include all of your senses. When it feels uncomfortable, stick with it and just relax.
- In time, it will feel natural. When that happens, achieving your goal will be much easier.
2. Practice standing out. Many of us fear success because we don’t want to stand out in any way, and that’s especially true when we’ve dealt with a narcissist in a toxic relationship. Somewhere along the way, we learned or decided that it’s better to keep our head down than to be noticed. There are a variety of ways you can practice standing out in your everyday life.
- You can dress differently.
- You might even put on a pair of pink mittens and walk around the mall in the middle of the summer. Or you could wear your best clothes to the store.
- You could go out in public with your hair disheveled.
- You can do something in public that you’re either really good or really bad at, like bowling.
3. Reframe failure. Fear of success might actually be a fear of failure. Keep in mind that failure is just an undesired result. It says nothing about you. It simply means that you need more practice, more time, or a better approach. When you can view failure in this manner, there’s nothing to fear.
4. Focus on action over thought. We can’t fear success if we don’t think. If you need to send 100 cold emails to find clients for your business, just sit down and get busy. The longer you think about it, the harder it becomes. Just decide and take action.
5. Have a real vision for the future. Enough motivation can overcome any fear. Create a possible future in your mind that is worth overcoming any obstacle. Fear doesn’t matter if you have a very compelling future in mind.
Do you fear success? It seems counterintuitive to fear success, but it’s a common obstacle to making sustained progress in life. Success brings attention, the unknown, and the possibility of failure. Create a vision for the future that will pull you through any fears you might have. Learn to deal with discomfort. Remember, you only have one life to live. Don’t let fear limit your life.