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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 March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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