September 26, 2017

Are You Afraid of Your Potential?

Whether it’s in the realm of romance, business, finances, or personal growth—are you being held back by fear of your own success? It seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? We all want to reach our goals, find fulfillment, be successful in life… right?

It’s like a glitch in the continuum of your life. Things are going along fine and you feel confident that you are hitting the markers. You’ve met a great guy or gal. You’ve dated a few times, really like each other, are feeling good… and then bam. You feel the fear of your own success.

Let’s back up. Before you began to see success appearing on the horizon, you were engaged in a process of self-discovery and self-fulfillment. This process goes in stages.

  1. You want something different—a new job, personal fulfillment, or a rewarding relationship.
  2. You work to regain the part of yourself that you lost along the way—a job that, in itself, is huge. It involves figuring out who you are, what you want, what has been missing, and how to get it. In terms of romance, it entails setting goals, figuring out what your priorities, desires, and deal breakers are, and how to get the relationship you want for the real, unapologetic you.
  3. As you work through this process, you become stronger, more aware and grounded. You embrace your fabulous true self, perhaps long hidden away.
  4. Though the process is liberating and freeing, it can be scary, As you begin to feel that you are getting things together at last, your fears often will float to the surface. The “what ifs” rear their heads. Why now?

We tend to think of fear in negative terms—as the emotion that holds us back or keeps us from fulfillment. And it can be… unless you reframe it by seeing fear as a powerful tool that can project you forward.

Ask yourself, “Why is this fear showing up?” Here are some ideas to ponder. See if any of them strike a nerve, ring a bell, or give you that “aha” epiphany.

Loss. With your goals finally in sight, you feel like you have something to lose. My client Virgel told me recently, “I’m finally in striking distance of the thing I’ve wanted for years, a really great relationship with a fabulous woman, and panic is setting in!”

The unknown. Even an unfulfilling life has the benefit of familiarity. It’s easy to stay in that old worn out rut of unhappiness (being alone or with people who are not worthy of you) because it isn’t as scary as not knowing what the future holds—even if that future could well be a fabulous, fulfilling, and thrilling connection with someone.

Judgment. Many people fear the judgment of others. When you show up differently in your life—as successful, happy, empowered—they might not get the “new you.”  Jaclyn was actually rejected by her own mother when she stopped letting other people control and misuse her. Her mom did not recognize her, and more importantly could no longer manipulate her. But Jaclyn learned to forge healthy relationships based on mutual trust and respect.

Can I maintain? Simply put, sometimes we fear that we won’t be able to keep our success going. In a world of “happily ever after” movie-endings, we are not sure we can do the work to make success continue into the future. Does is seem easier to sabotage success now than feel like a failure down the line?

Self-worth. Do you fear you may not be worthy of this happiness, potential, power, success? You know you deserve it. Own it!

Vulnerability. People are often terrified of being fully exposed. When Tammy opened herself to possibility, she struggled with anxiety at the thought of others seeing who she really was. Do not be afraid to stand in your brilliance and shine bright!

Responsibility. Being your fully realized self is a responsibility—or feels like it—and you may be scared of what that entails. No blame game allowed here. You are stronger than you think, and besides, if you slip now and then, that’s called “being human” and you should not judge yourself harshly for that!

Once you know what it is that scares you about living to your fullest potential, how can you overcome that fear so it does not hold you back or sabotage your happiness and success?

√ First, identify the fear and drag it out into the light of day.

√ What belief about yourself have you attached to this fear? (You’re unworthy, you are not up to the task, you are a “fake,” you don’t have “what it takes,” you will lose it all if you make a single mistake?)

√ Is that belief something truly your own or is it someone else’s beliefs, thoughts, words, or energy you have absorbed along the way?

√ What scares you the most? Does addressing this Big Fear require action or a new way of being?

√ Write an affirmation in the present tense e.g. “I am easily and effortlessly successful.” Say it for at least 30 consecutive days. Doing so will create a new neuro-pathway in your brain. The affirmation represents a truth you are embodying. It may not be true at first, but in 30 days, your brain will accept it as fact.

√ Meditate and tap into your vision, wisdom, and intuition. Trust the answers you find within!

√ Journal everything imaginable about your fear of success—write until you have nothing left to say.

√ Embrace and love the “new you” and all it entails.

When you have embodied your fulfillment—found and embraced connection and love (and of course career success, financial abundance, and anything else you use this strategy for)—you will be living in alignment with your best self—which is your true self. Fear is banished, you are whole and happy, empowered, and entirely ready to live the life you deserve.  


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