The thoughts of being successful as well actually achieving success can be very empowering, yet there are those who truly fear success. Long-held goals and dreams may wait quietly, even dormant, on the bucket list of things one desires to achieve because fear of failure as well as success overshadows any efforts at all. I would like to invite you on a journey toward success. The difference between success and failure really comes down to the small actions we take on a daily basis. Ask yourself, “Are the things I’m doing, people I’m meeting, contributions I’m making, and the patterns of my thought moving me toward my goals, my dreams…my destiny?”
It should not surprise us that along the way as we pursue success, there have been and will be seen and unseen obstacles. We experience self-doubt and perhaps even the doubt expressed from others that we allow to become limitations and barriers to our progress. This can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed and discouraged, both of which can stop us in our tracks. It is at these very moments that we must garner the strength to launch past the fears that are standing between us and the success we know can be ours.
At times, we can liken ourselves to several cars that approach a four-way stop at the same general time. There is that fear that someone…or everyone…will move into the intersection at the same time, leading to a horrible accident. So each driver tries to motion to another driver to proceed. We sit, we watch, we wait…with the expectation that someone will eventually act and then we can go ahead and move forward toward our destination. However, at some point, if you are going to make any progress, you must make a choice and act. Certainly, just like being at the intersection, it is important to survey where you are and what is happening around you. Yet, even in the midst of exercising necessary caution, you must eventually act. When it comes to goals you want to reach and dreams you desire to become a reality, you are your own best advocate. We cannot expect others to “direct traffic” for us throughout our lives. Your beliefs and your motivation will ultimately drive you toward the success you desire over the course of your life. Yes, the support of others who are seeking to be visionary can be a source of encouragement. Listening to others who have proven pathways that have led to success can help you move past your fears. However, when it is all said and done, you must be decisive, step out, and act.
The reality is that just thinking about those words…decisive, step out, act...can sometimes set off within our hearts and minds what can only be labeled as what happens at fireworks shows on the 4th of July. We all have a comfort zone and sometimes it is just easier to remain there and be assured we are “okay” rather than step outside of it and try something visionary. How many dreams remain unrealized? How many goals remain untouched in terms of any real progress? Unwillingness to go outside of your comfort zone could very well be the one main barrier that continues to hold you back.
I want to encourage you. We may not always FEEL comfortable taking that first step, but know that you have an inner strength that continues to grow each time you step out and take action. What was outside of your comfort zone today becomes new insights for today and more confidence the next time you face the unknown.
Something I have come to realize over the years is that it is also easier to procrastinate at times of uncertainty. Most of us might even be able to find some very legitimate reasons that we could give for why we do not step out and take action in an effort to reach a goal or achieve a dream. To the outsider, our reasons might not be questioned since they appear reasonable. Yet we know that behind that screen, we stand there frozen in time. Even if we make all the plans for what we want to achieve, if there is no decisiveness, no stepping out, and no action toward bringing those plans to fruition, then we become stagnant.
What are these fears that threaten to keep us mentally, emotionally, and psychologically hiding in our comfort zones? I believe it often comes down to a series of questions we continue to ask ourselves and they all being with, “WHAT IF…?”
- What if I make a mistake?
- What if I act to soon?
- What if I look stupid?
- What if I succeed?
- What if I succeed and lose the relationships I currently have?
- What if I sacrifice and succeed and find out that I am not fulfilled?
- What if I fail?
Asking the “What if…?” questions is normal. When stepping into the unknown, it is important to take stock of where we are, where we are wanting to go, and the potential consequences of our actions. Actions that lead to success can involve risk. Taking action involves RISK! Believe me, I know it takes courage to step out of the comfort zone and venture into the unknown. I also know that it is in doing that very thing that it is possible to move forward toward desired dreams and goals. No one else can do this but YOU! I want to encourage you to believe in you!
Use your past successes as well as your failures as stepping stones to guide you. Take your visions for success and your passion and allow them to be fuel to reach your goals and dreams. Your plans need not be perfect in order for you to begin taking action. Realistically, exactly WHEN are life conditions absolutely perfect when it comes to reaching out and pursuing goals and dreams?
The fear of success (the actions it takes to reach it as well as even reaching success itself and what that means), can truly paralyze us and threaten to completely halt any momentum we have. Yes, there are those “What if…?” questions, yet it doesn’t always stop there. Why would we fear success?
Here are some thoughts:
- Making changes can be plain scary. It is easier to stay with what is familiar, keep living life on autopilot, and steer clear of the unknown.
- Achieving success means that you have raised the bar for yourself and for those who now see that you can do more. People will have higher expectations which lead to making more demands, and with that can come more anxiety and stress to maintain the level of success you have and even move beyond it.
- We might as well mention the elephant in the room, so to speak. Envy of another’s success does happen. Jealousy, unfortunately, is a part of life. Achieving success could bring envy and/or jealousy from others to the surface and there can always be that potential for others to try and sabotage your ideas or your future progress.
- New demands on your time (refer to #2), have the potential to interfere with your personal life. When you feel your personal comfort zone invaded, you may sense your overall security is also threatened.
Here are some tips that may help you take that step out of your Comfort Zone and put you on the path to having and being the success You Desire:
- Like a pair of glasses you can’t believe you ever chose to wear or a picture on your wall that would be far better if it were surrounded by something else, change the FRAME. Change your frame of mind. Change the frame on the artwork that is your life. Embrace more positive thinking. There is never a shortage of vampires who live for sucking out the positive energy and optimism of others. File down their fangs with the strength of your vision and the depth of your passion.
- Be authentic, maintain your integrity, and allow others to see your passion. Over time, you will begin to see those who are like-minded visionaries who share your passion.
- Have a clear choice of the specific goal or dream you want to achieve. Passion that drives forward action needs a specific target.
- Make a habit of engaging in daily gratitude. Look for the good that is happening all around you. It can be helpful to even write down those things that come your way, bringing renewed hope, fostering positive emotions, and kindling the passion inside you.
- Remind yourself that what you are seeking to do can have a positive impact not only in your own life, but also in the lives of those around you and those who will come after you.
- Remember the importance of living your life in balance. Do not hesitate to increase your own Self-Care by focusing on those things that edify your mind, body, and spirit. Then pursuit of your goals and dreams suffer (and potentially ceases), when your mental, spiritual and physical health is compromised. You don’t have to just plant a fruit tree…you want to be around to enjoy the pie you will make from what grows on it.
- Devote time to building a strong support system in both your personal and professional life. While stepping out and taking action toward reaching success is something that only you can do, you do not have to be alone.
The fact that you are here, reading this and allowing me to journey with you right now means a great deal. I believe we are all meant for greatness and each of us has a destiny to fulfill. Stay focused on the results you desire. Utilize the strengths that you have as well as remembering the need to always be flexible.
Believe in yourself for you are a magnet and you can draw toward you all good things working in harmony. While it is important to be aware of what others are doing around you, you need not compare yourself to anyone. Know that you are unique and you have what it takes to see your goals & dreams through to completion.
With much gratitude and success,
- Posted By: DRC Editor
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