Are You Afraid of Success?
– Sohaib Niazi
Every person in the world possesses certain unique talents and in this way we all can achieve excellence and self-actualization – to be the true and best version of oneself and to realize one’s potential. If someone correctly identifies one’s talents and polishes them to the highest level, self-actualization is an achievable goal. But the question arises why only a very few people achieve excellence? There can be several factors for it such as lack of knowledge about one’s true talents, lack of will-power, a loss of interest and motivation to pursue one’s goals for a relatively long period of time. But there is another factor which is lethal for our ambition to achieve self-actualization –the fear of success. Like fear of failure can sometimes fuel a person to achieve something, fear of success can hinder one’s ability to achieve success.
WHAT IS IT?
Fear of success is a special kind of fear. It is the fear of one’s own greatness and hence most of the people who fear huge and massive success evade their true potentials. Such people try not to build upon their true talents so that they may not feel mental anxiety for not realizing their true potential.
All people love great rewards, status, fame, wealth, respect etc. but still they fear striving for such highest level of success. In fact, people don’t fear success (results) but the loss associated with the efforts to achieve that success (process).
Of course, to achieve excellence one has to do efforts and those efforts require change and following one’s own unique talents. People fear:
- The responsibility that comes along the process of achieving and maintaining successful life. How many times we see popular figures become nothing due to single mistake. Because we often become famous by choice but we can’t become infamous by choice – people see you as a public figure and expect you to be like the image they hold about you. Hence bigger the authority you have, bigger the responsibility and bigger the accountability.
- By being on top, one is ought to lose mediocre friends, one doesn’t generally comply to social standards in order to nourish one’s unique talents.
- By being excellent, one can only fall down as one is already very high. So the person thinks that it is better to be mediocre where I am complying with the peer group and no one will criticize me for any failure because I am on a course of life like everyone else.
- By taking a stand about any unique venture, one fears getting labeled as suffering from extravagant self-love, arrogance or “you are not Einstein”.
All these factors in different forms manifest in front of us and then most of the people internalize these limiting views of others and these views slowly become our negative self-talk.
When one is on the high and sees that one is an outclass person in a certain field of life or has some unique talent, he or she in a moment of highest imagination may think, “hey! I can be better than Edison!” This voice is a true one if one is really aware of his or her unique talents and has identified them correctly.
But when he or she is depressed or gets something wrong, one thinks and internally say to oneself, “Who? You? Look at yourself, you think you can be better than Allama Iqbal? You are only day dreaming!” These sort of thoughts allow one to rationalize that yes I am not capable enough to be a huge success story of the future. What one doesn’t account for is that, accomplished personalities of the past will have thought the same about themselves in their imaginations or self-talks! They just conquered their fears and their will to succeed was greater than their fears that lead them to self-actualization.
Similarly, some people think they can evade the above mentioned factors, fears or responsibilities by just not following their talents. However, it is an established fact that no matter how much we escape our true talents we can never escape the misery attached to our life. Simply because when we don’t follow our strengths, what better we could expect from ourselves in areas of life in which we don’t have special talents? Those who can be best engineers will ever suffer going into a field to which they don’t belong and it is logical too.
So the point is to follow one’s own potential. Fear in itself is not a thing to be fled from because it is not a thing attached only to following your unique talents. Everyone on the earth has some fear, we all have fears and fears don’t mean we will necessarily fail. But not trying guarantees failure and lack of satisfaction. Trying in vain to flee from our true natural abilities and thinking that we will evade fears and failures is a worst bet. Nature has blessed us with certain talents only because we were best suited to those talents so nature charges a cost for not using them for the better.
The unfulfilled potentials are the reason that on average only 1% people set trends and the rest follow them. We all are success stories if we allow our self to become one for the future generations. If we deliberately plan to be less than what we are capable of, then we will be deeply unhappy for the rest of our lives. Our subconscious mind knows that what is achievable and is not tried for and what truly is unrealistic.
We can overcome this fear of success by not following the “expert advices” that keep on labeling humans with psychological complexes and also by not fleeing from fear rather taking it as a challenge. We achieve what we expect and deserve (by working for it), not what we desire and what we wish. So in order to expect self-actualization, one must love the process, the hardships, the obstacles, the challenges and set-backs that will come along the process of transforming you in to a self-actualized and excellent individual. By only loving and wishing for the big results you will end up really day dreaming and fantasizing, by loving and enjoying the process required for excellence, you give yourself a good great chance to really achieve it.
Those who win are not those don’t have any fear and limits, it is wrong to say that nothing is impossible, humans have limitations, if you don’t believe try flying to Kuwait from Pakistan and return in one second! That’s why it is said that goals should be realistic. Everything may be possible but not for everyone. So those win really identify and get to know that what areas of life they can conquer, they brush up their true talents, they conquer their fears and stay motivated to become one day not the Einstein, not the Edison or Iqbal but the true and best version of themselves. No one can be better you than yourself. Be your own brand and your own massive success story.
Unused potential is the worst regret one can have in life. From now on, follow your own path to achieve self-actualization and live your definition of success your own way!