Fear of Success (What is your “WHY”, pt. 2)
Written by Laura Prather on August 16, 2013
If you read my previous post I asked the question of WHY you do what you do. I was asking the same thing of myself and, in effect, thinking outloud while I was writing the blog. I listed some important reasons why I push through and do the hard work of running my own business but I realized I left out one thing – and a really important “why”. I wanted to ask myself WHY I had left it out.
In case you hadn’t guessed, the one obvious reason that I had left out for my WHY was money. $$$$$$$$$
Why I didn’t include that in my list of motivations for doing my business? If I am honest with myself it IS a motivation for me but I didn’t want to admit it. So I asked myself some more WHY questions to get to the bottom of my thinking patterns it came to down to this: A Fear of Success.
I know I am not the only one with thinking patterns that sabotage my own efforts to succeed in business. One of my favorite authors and speakers is Joyce Meyer and the very first teaching I ever heard from her (back in the 90s) was called “Stinkin Thinkin”. How we were raised, the friends we surround ourselves with, every aspect of our environment molds our way of thinking and subconsciously we pick up thoughts & values that can help or hinder us.
So I asked myself “what thoughts have kept me from admitting that money should be a legitimate motivation to be successful?”. Here is where I am going to be vulnerable and let you see into my mind a bit.
- I felt guilty admitting I want to make money. Why? >> I feel like making money is wrong/selfish.
Why? >>I grew up as a pastor’s kid and the general consensus among the public and within the church was/is that pastors should never make much money because then motives for being in ministry would come into question and you would be considered greedy. Pastor’s were supposed to be poor. Soooo… I equated making money with greed.
- I always thought it was okay for other people to make money but not me. Why? >> I didn’t feel like I deserved it. Why? >> (well, that is for me to dig through on my own.)
- Failing (or flailing) is comfortable. Why? >> It’s what I know. It is what I expect from myself. I EXPECT every day to be a struggle in everything I do. Why? >> I’ve messed up so much in my life and it feels like those close to me expect as well because it’s what I have done in the past.
So it is not the fear of failing that I have to combat – it is the fear of success! My own thoughts, which guide my decisions and actions, are keeping me from being as successful as I want to be.
I‘m good at business. I have many gifts and talents, but for all my preaching that I want to move beyond mediocrity and do everything with excellence, I have held myself back with my own subconscious thinking that somehow I don’t deserve what I am working so hard for.
Jon Acuff has a chapter in his book, START, that discusses the FEAR OF SUCCESS. Ironically, I read that chapter the night I wrote part one of this blog post. It was serendipitous and really opened my eyes to some deeper issues that I was hiding from.
So now it is time to change my “Stinkin Thinkin” so I can move forward beyond mediocrity and reach the goals I have for myself without being my own worst enemy. It is time to get uncomfortable with “flailing” like a bird caught in a
trap and realize that the only “trap” is the one made up in my head. Time to kick Fear of Success out and bury it for good.
So what kinds of thinking hold you back in your journey to accomplish the goals and dreams you have?
Here’s to your success and mine – whatever that may look like!
OH!! One more thing: pursue YOUR dreams. Not someone else’s. Society in general, family, friends, or anyone else do not get to tell you how much money you should make or what kind of dreams you should have. God has chosen you specifically. Pursue what is on YOUR heart.