In my coaching practice, I have had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of people. They all bring their own personalities, strengths, talents, weakness and fears into the relationship. Part of what I love about coaching is learning how I can best motivate each person to achieve their best.
One characteristic that I have found is that everyone has to deal with fear. Two of the most common are the fear of failure and the fear of success. The first is most commonly understood and recognized. We all experience a fear of failure. It is when we don’t want to do something because if it doesn’t turn out right then others may laugh at us or we worry about what they may think. If we attempt to start a business and it doesn’t work out, then people will say, “I told you he/she couldn’t do it.” We don’t want to look bad and make a mistake that may harm our family or friends. Embarrassment is something that we all work hard to avoid. Unfortunately, this robs us from many exciting experiences in our lives. It can keep us in an unfulfilled life or job living a life of mere existence without any passion. This is a life that has ended well before death. I would rather burn out than to simply fade away into the night.
There is another equally debilitating fear that I have discovered, a fear of success. Now this may sound crazy but it affects more people than you realize and may be a reason for you not being where you want to be in your business or personal life. A fear of success can result from a feeling of not being worthy of a better life. Or someone can keep themselves from trying a new venture or taking a new position using the excuse of, I’m not smart enough or good enough to do that. It can even be hidden in a false humbleness. I don’t want to get too important or take on that responsibility because it will bring attention to me.
What happens is that a person starts to have success in their business or new position and more opportunities for growth result. A picture starts to develop of a new life with greater economic success and responsibility. But this new picture challenges their long held beliefs about themselves.
One example of this was a sales person who had set the world on fire at the entry level accounts. He was making about $ 70,000 a year but had tapped out his earning potential in that market. To give him a chance for even more success, we moved him to larger accounts where he now had the chance to make six figures easily. However after a couple of months, he was failing miserably. He wasn’t doing the actions that made him successful in the smaller accounts like following up with prospects and building strong relationships with his clients. In an attempt to find out what was wrong, we had a meeting with him. After many questions and probing, he finally said, “My Dad never made over a $ 100,000 and he always said that rich people were a bunch of crooks and liars.” This long held belief was affecting his ability to do his new job. We were able to work with him to overcome this belief and he is now one of the top salesmen in the organization.
What about you? Are you dealing with either of these fears? If so, you may be saying things like; I’m not smart enough, good enough, I don’t want to make a mistake, I don’t want to change my life that much, No one in my family has ever done anything like this so why do I think I can. These are all signs of fear.
Don’t let fear keep you from living the life you deserve. I believe we are all connected and we all need to live our lives to the highest potential we can. Failure to do so robs not only you of some wonderful experiences but also your family, your friends, your community and maybe even the rest of the world. Now is the time to overcome your fears and take the leap of faith.
“The key to success is for you to make a habit throughout your life of doing the things you fear.” Vincent Van Gogh.