Fear of Success

fear of failure

I don’t consider myself a fearful person. I don’t live based on worrying about things that I can’t control (which is mostly everything in life). But, for a long time I have been hiding a fear that, until a few days ago, didn’t show itself into my awareness. I have been fearful of success. I have stopped myself so many times because of not hurting anyone with my career choices. It wasn’t until a few days ago when I was redoing my blog and giving it a new face-lift that I said to my husband, “It was time to do this. I don’t know why I haven’t taken care of this before.”
My husband immediately answered, “You have been paralyzed by the fear of success.” I pulled away from the computer and looked at him across from the dining room table. He was right. I have stopped growing with my writing career so I wouldn’t hurt anyone else. I feared that if I succeeded others might not love me or accept me. I feared that my success would alienate others who didn’t know their own worth. I feared losing those who had self-worth issues because they would somehow feel less with my success. I fear the idea of what succeeding would create for those who needed me around them.

Here is what I know about success and others: Anyone who can’t handle your joy, progress, abundance, or growth has an issue with their own ego. They aren’t really part of a healthy support system. To me, seeing others succeed is a drug of choice. I love to watch them rise and move forward. I get a high from being able to witness triumph and advances. If I can help them with words of encouragement, I feel like I have had a massive dosage of Oxytocin. I feel their joy and their vibrations. It’s a place I love to be, surrounded by those who move forward and align with their purpose.

I’ve had an inkling about this but sometimes it takes someone else to point it out. Every time someone has given me an opportunity for growth I have stopped myself in the past. I would start with the best intentions and then stop while returning to the comfort zone. I had this idea of what writing could be and not what is it right now (or what it will become). I had this perception, old programming from childhood, that writing wasn’t going to pay me anything. It was a hobby. I wasn’t going to be Hawthorne, Frost, Poe, Mary Oliver or Elizabeth Gilbert. I had to come to terms years ago that it was just a means to get my feelings out in the open. Through the process of writing I have found myself. I have met hundreds of people who are now in my tribe. If I hadn’t written a word none of these folks would be in my life. And because of those unions, I have finally figured out that what I want is to write stories of how the world moves, feels, and survives. I want to share humanity’s echoes and voices while inspiring others to succeed and overcome obstacles.

Success has an egotistical tone to it. The word itself feels mighty over accomplished when you say it. But, the reality is that success is overcoming all illusions of failure. We have no problem accepting failures, disappointments and heartaches. That, we accept without an issue! We actually expect it! Ah…but to triumphantly engage above and beyond what you can imagine…now that is difficult for most of us to conceive.

My husband has witnessed me at the lowest points and the highest ones. He has seen me move forward tenaciously taking what I want when I put my mind to it. He knows me enough to sit across the table and say those words without judgment. He knows me well enough to know that I understand those three words, “Fear of success.”

I have written about it in my journal the past few days. I have moved on through the root of when the programming began and why I allowed it to become a core belief system. I have seen success many times in my life. I have been very successful in many areas. I have overcome obstacles. I am certain you all have as well. But when was the last time that you sat down and said, “I am going to live my life’s purpose without this nagging fear that is paralyzing me?”

We create excuses for not pursuing our dreams. I don’t have enough money, or time, or help…. We can truly find time when we want something badly. You want to write a novel? Get up early enough to write a page a day. In a year you will have 365 pages. You want to be a hat maker? Go for it. Start today with just scraps of materials. You want to climb the highest mountain? Start walking around the block first. You want to paint and get paid for your art? Start selling your work at a flea market or in front of your house then work yourself into selling on Etsy. You want to be a greeting card maker? Start your own line of cards on a blog. You want to teach yoga? Start substituting at a studio on the weekends.

You know the only thing that stops you from achieving a goal? YOU! You stop YOU! You scare YOU. You fear YOU. You don’t fear success. You fear YOU being successful. Fear is a horrible emotion and when we buy into its darkness we refuse to turn on our inner light to dispel it.

So today, I am working towards my goal. I am going to succeed in writing stories from all corners of the world. I urge you to email me and share what you have overcome in this life. I will be more than joyous to write these into an article and share on my blogs. We all have stories. It’s time you inspire another! Live your truth no matter how difficult it feels. Nothing exciting ever happens in your comfort zone. You have to leave it in order to find change and growth!

Please email me at dharma.1111@hotmail.com

Thank you and I love you!

Learning through Pain

I believe we learn from pain.  We have been trained to feel the heartache and push through it with anger, depression, or whatever other emotion it conjures up.  Every morning I receive quotes to my cell phone. Today’s was by William Faulkner, “Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.”  I agree.  My failures, aches, and breaks have taught me more than never trying anything at all. Because of such failures and lessons, I have been transformed and re-molded. It has not only been the life I have chosen but God’s will in an incredible story He helps me write so that I continue to aspire for more.  And those painful experiences push the boundaries in life.  Those amazing lessons have humbled me, forcing me to honor the divine.

Even as young children we learn through pain.  If we touch something hot we know to stay away from it in the future.  Children register the simplicity in the reaction of circumstances.  As adults, we sometimes choose selective amnesia to deal with the same situations (which cause the same painful effect), like that old saying: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

In this depth I feel closer than ever to the Divine.  Each painful experience has allowed me to accept something frightening about myself.  I have rehearsed all my life for this particular moment, like a dancer preparing for the ultimate recital.  Every rehearsal has been painful, frustrating, but enlightened while preparing for the final testimony of strength.  I have learned to take materialism and abstract emotions and placed them on some shelf high above to observe.  I keep those parts of my life in view so I won’t fall again in the same mistakes.  Failure can be repeated if it’s not recognized as failure.  Experience is the after mass of falling down, getting hurt, and hitting a rocky bottom.  As Bill Cosby once said, “I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

I have learned from spiritual teachings that we are ultimately responsible for our choices and actions.  Our decisions come from knowledge or the lack of knowledge.  That’s the law of responsibility that explains the cause and effect.  As elementary science teaches us – for every action there is a reaction.  Divine reasoning cannot destroy this or change it.  There would be absolutely no memory.  In order to solve any problem in life we must focus on a solution and recognize the problem without excuses.  Through pain we are pushed to step back, acknowledge the lesson, and then decide if we want to repeat.

I would not change a single obstacle, challenge or heartbreak. They have molded me to grow while acknowledging the path. This is a mystical journey. We are always held through love, joy, grace, and compassion. Each lesson has taught me the capacity of my humanness. Each sorrow has opened me to a higher consciousness of acceptance.  It is purely serendipitous. As Oprah says, “Turn your wounds into wisdom.”