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Is Fear of Success Limiting Your Productivity?

Is Fear of Success Limiting Your Productivity?

    Most people will readily admit that they are afraid of failure.

    But what about fear of success? Is it possible that you are afraid of success and it’s limiting what you want to do in life?

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    Do you often wonder why you are not as successful as you know you could be – or should be?

    Do you blame it on circumstances? Time? Money? Or do you ever, gulp, blame it on yourself?

    No way…right?

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    The truth is a lot of people are afraid of a lot of things. And there is lots of good advice out there to help you overcome many types of fears. But when it comes to success, most people who are afraid of it are not even aware of it.

    So, how can you tell? How do you know if you’re one of those people who are afraid of success so you are unwittingly the one responsible for holding yourself back? CNN Money has a quiz you can take which includes the following questions:

    • Do you feel guilty about your own happiness if a friend tells you s/he is depressed?
    • Do you find yourself not telling others about your good luck so they won’t feel envious?
    • Do you have trouble saying no to people?
    • When you start a project do you suddenly find a bunch of others things you suddenly have to take care of?
    • Do you believe that people who look out for themselves are selfish?
    • Do you avoid asking for help because you’re afraid of bothering someone?

    Did you answer “yes” to some of those questions? If you did, it’s entirely possible you’re afraid of success. But does it really matter? Is your fear really limiting you?

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    People who are afraid of achieving success can experience the following:

    • A noted lack of effort in achieving goals, personal, school, or financial
    • Self-destructive behavior
    • Inability to make decisions and choices
    • Lack of motivation
    • Underachievement
    • Belittling your achievements
    • Feeling guilty when you do succeed
    • Making the “wrong” choices to ensure you will not be happy and successful
    • General negativity

    Clearly the answer is if you fear success then your life is less than it could be.

    But what can you do? What can you do to overcome success-fear so you can get on with creating the life you want to live?

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    Step One

    You can begin with taking about 10 minutes to examine an area of your life where you are not as successful as you would like, or know you can be. Ask yourself, what will happen if you really succeed in that area. Be realistic in your considerations and don’t forget to examine the “downside” of success in that area. For instance, if you lose weight will you suddenly get noticed in ways that feel stressful? Will you have to spend a lot of money you don’t have on new clothes? Make a list of everything that comes to your mind.

    Step Two

    • After the examination period, ask and answer the following
    • What can you do to accept yourself as successful?
    • What can you do to eliminate your “excuses?”
    • Who can you call on to give you honest feedback when you go into self-destruct mode?
    • What can you do to keep a closer eye on your motivations and commitment’s to goals so you can more quickly get back on track?
    • What can you do to learn to accept compliments and recognition?

    Step Three

    This is the most important step of all. We often tend to put ourselves around like-minded people without even realizing it and that makes it even harder to break a pattern. So go out of your way to surround yourself with successful people rather than others who may also fear success. Start today.

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    Last Updated on January 3, 2020

    The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

    The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

    Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

    The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

    1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

    Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

     I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

    To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

    And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

     2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

    Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

    3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

    Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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    4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

    The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

    5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

    Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

    6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

    Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

    7. Positive people smile a lot!

    When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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    8. People who are positive are great communicators.

    They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

    9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

    One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

    10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

    Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

    How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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    I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

    Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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