Fear of Success is Self Sabotage
Whether we realize it or not, fear of success is self-sabotage because we cut off imminent success right before it is about to happen.
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Author and Coach Gay Hendricks defines this concept as the Upper Limit problem in his popular book Leap of Faith. To summarize his book, the author describes how we will often sabotage ourselves without ever realizing we are doing this as we are approaching success.
This type of Machiavellian behavior of “screwing ourselves” when we are about to reach a new level can undermine us like an insidious disease. It often will manifest itself in strange ways, like getting ill right before an important entrance exam when applying for an Ivy League school, and it seems improbable this is anything related to misfortunes of happenstance.
Other times it will be blatant, such as deliberate delays we make, or while driving and getting lost.
Never do we even consider the possibility that we have unconsciously created this internal self-sabotage to thwart our imminent successful actions.
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Fear of Success is Self Sabotage: Avoiding Deadlines
Here's a really important one, but one we too often overlook and do not commit to when we work for ourselves.
When we make a promise to ourselves to stick to our goals, take action, and to get something accomplished, why do too many of us either not set or meet a deadline?
Hard to say. It's very complicated.
But here's something we must remember......
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We must set deadlines and not avoid making them for self-sabotage not to happen.
Consider this as an important reminder for everything we do, for every action we take moving toward a goal that is important.
This action seems really simple, doesn't it?
Yet why is it time and time again that we do not hold ourselves accountable to a time, a date, and a firm commitment to get something done?
The answer is rooted deep in human psychology.
The fact is the possibility of potential success is absolutely terrifying to you! However, in your mind it doesn’t register as fear of success. Instead, your brain will misapprehend fear of success as a fear of failure.
Here’s the reason. Success is change despite it being a reward. Failure is safe. Life remains comfortable when you continue to fail, it is familiar territory for those who are used to self-sabotage.
The alternative of achieving any amount Success, represents a life-changing event. It’s really scary. The transition is uncharted territory for us, which is why we unconsciously seek destroy any chances that we attain success.
Greater self-awareness is a good start. You are aware enough to know you have a problem, perhaps that’s why you are reading this article. Or perhaps you are just curious.
If you fall into the former category, I congratulate you for being open enough to read this article. Acknowledgment is the first step on the right path.
However before we can define the reasons why you fear success, we need to set a Golden Rule Commandment!
Please recite the following Golden Rule like a mantra.
My 2019 Golden Rule for Fear of Success
Here is my 2019 Golden Rule #5:
Thou Shall Not Sabotage myself due to fear of success.
I Must Learn to Set Realistic Deadlines that are Actionable and Achievable.
Master the unique skill of consistently meeting deadlines, and the Sky of Success will Truly Be the Limit.
Fear of Success is Self-Sabotage: 10 Ways We Set Ourselves Up to Fail
Once we learn the following 10 Ways why we set ourselves up to fail, only then can we begin to eliminate the deep core problems that cause us to self-sabotage due to fear of success.
Learn to recognize the following Top 10, and keep this in a secure place for frequent review.
- We Don't Write Down a Deadline
Anything we don't see, we will conveniently forget. Write it down.
- We Write Down Deadlines Know We Won't Remember
Sure, set a deadline, and then forget it? We've all been there. Arggghhh.....
- We Write Down Deadlines in Places Difficult to Retrieve
What good is writing down a deadline if you cannot find what you wrote, where you wrote it, nor can even remember what the Deadline was for!
- We Set Unrealistic Deadlines
Rushing is never a way to accomplish any task successfully. Don't go too crazy, be realistic in your goal.
- We Make Too MANY Deadlines
Don't think you are Superman or Superwoman! If you are too stressed, you've likely set too many deadlines. Keep your goals balanced, it's not feasible to be an overachiever 24/7, it's dangerous to your health!
- We Lack Motivation toward a Deadline
Procrastination is a coping mechanism due to lack of motivation to complete a project. Which leads me to the next one.
- We Take on Projects That Aren't Our Passions
Sure, some projects we must do that aren’t fun, but make a habit of taking on a majority of these and this will surely be the death knell of never completing another project.
- We Try to Mimic Others’ Deadlines
Do what works for you. If your colleague met a deadline in 2 months, that doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Setting the same expectations of meeting the same deadlines as others is a recipe for failure. Don't feel pressure to mimic others.
- We Lack Urgency toward a Deadline
Don't set a deadline for 3 years down the road. That'll never work! That's not a deadline, that’s a long-term goal. Break that goal down into smaller actionable and consistently attainable chunks (deadlines). Only then will you get somewhere.
And the Last One is something many of us don't see, and few dare to admit:
- We Are Scared to Meet a Deadline
Anxiety from Uncertainty. The naked truth can be uncomfortable. We are so scared we will spend 6 hours working on a new topic and thus producing something incredible, even when we plan our time efficiently we STILL will fall down a rabbit hole. This is our own self-sabotaging mechanism at work due to our fear of success.
Here’s my final bit of advice: remember there is nothing wrong with feeling uncomfortable with something novel.
It means you are brave enough to tackle a new task.
Understand and Conquer!
By understanding these 10 Reasons why fear of success is self-sabotage, you will soon learn to condition your mind to avoid these self-sabotaging pitfalls.
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And avoiding these self-sabotaging pitfalls will empower you to set and meet deadlines like a true Champion.
And as a True Champion – the Master of Deadlines – you shall ultimately succeed!
Please feel free to leave your comments below, and I Wish You Great Success!