Did you ever feel like you didn’t fully belong – an emptiness like you need more from life? I think many of us do. What is holding us back from exploring life’s possibilities? Is it fear of failure, fear of the success – or are we scared to dream, feeling we don’t deserve to be more, have more and live out our fullest potential, outside the traditional boundaries of our communities!
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”
A possibility, according to the dictionary, is a thing that may be chosen or done out of several possible alternatives. Abraham Maslov, the man behind the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – said this about possibilities.
“We fear our highest possibilities. We are generally afraid to become that which we can glimpse in our most perfect moments, under conditions of great courage. We enjoy and even thrill to godlike possibilities we see in ourselves in such peak moments. And yet we simultaneously shiver with weakness, awe, and fear before these very same possibilities.”
Maslov`s theory described how fulfilling human needs in priority, starting with the need for food and shelter would culminate in self-actualization. Today, all of Maslow’s needs are met in most western society`s – except, maybe, for self-realization. So, why don’t we climb that final step?
Fear of failure
Many of us have probably experienced an immobilizing fear of failure. A fear that causes us to do nothing, and stops our forward progress in life. To find the causes of fear of failure, we first need to understand what “failure” is. do you recognize these symptoms of fear of failure?
- feeling insecure about trying new things or get involved in challenging projects
- self-sabotage like procrastination, or not following through with goals.
- Low self-esteem or commonly using negative statements such as “I’ll never be good enough”.
- Perfectionism: Only doing what you know you’ll finish perfectly and with success.
We all have different values, and belief systems, and therefore different definitions of what failure is. A failure to one person might be a learning experience for another. There are several reasons for fear of failure to manifest in your life. For instance:
- having critical teachers
- Having unsupportive parents
- Being bullied
- If we were routinely undermined or humiliated as children
- Experiencing a traumatic event like having a presentation that got a bad review
The experiences might have been so terrible at the time, that you became afraid of failing at other things. The fear of failure manifests into all sides of life an stops you from progressing through the possibilities that show up in life.
Fear of success
Many of us are afraid of success without realizing it. What could look like procrastination or insecurity could be a self-sabotaging road to nowhere? subtle signs like
- The feeling you are not good enough
- Working slowly
- Willing to let go of an opportunity because others probably think it is stupid
- Prioritizing everything but work so there is no time to work on your dream
- Afraid of who we might become
- Designing the perfect logo, webpage, content, but not the product and sales work
- Making detailed plans but not following them
- Being uncomfortable with happiness when your friends are not
When the brain is facing uncertainty, it creates certainty. Driven by the emotional need to solve this tension it chooses the least-painful option – the comfort zone. If we lose the ability to control things we become unhappy, helpless, hopeless, and depressed, so we back out instead of pushing through.
The fear of success is easy to miss because it looks different to everyone, depending on your measure of success. Is your success measured in followers on Instagram, financial gain, or how many lions you helped save in Africa!
Fear of success is related to the fear of failure, but the phobia for success is unconscious. There are several reasons for fear of success to manifest in your life. For instance:
- If you experienced trauma, you may associate the excitement of success with the same physiological reactions as trauma. So, you avoid subjecting yourselves to excitement-inducing activities.
- We believe that the road to success involves risks and “getting our hopes up” which threatens to lead to disappointment.
- We are reluctant to set goals
- If you were verbally abused and told you were a loser your whole life, you might have internalized that feedback and feel that you don’t deserve success.
- Those of us who were not abused or otherwise traumatized often associate success with uncomfortable things such as competition and its evil twin, envy.
If we are not able to handle success we will self-sabotage our success. We might close a successful business down or do something that is incompatible with keeping the success. That could be self-destructive behaviors like drinking, drugs, and sex or in such a way that you end up losing all that you have achieved.
How to push through fear and say yes to possibilities
Success is available to everyone at every minute in time. Just like a great football player you need to rehearse to win. It will not be easy but it is a simple and available recipe. Yet, most people never take it. Right now – You can choose to become:
- 100% financially independent.
- To have extremely rewarding and intimate relationships with your friends and family.
- Become fit, active, and healthy.
- Go through complete emotional healing.
This is available for all of us today – but, they have a price. They require us to change our life. To get rid of old habits that keep us in our comfort zone, and adopt new habits that will make us grow, learn and do. To cut off ties with toxic people to make room for the right minds. And to admit “I don’t know.”
Every next level of your life will demand a different you.” -Leonardo DiCaprio
Become a humble student
You have two choices. You can evolve into someone who is open to learning and corrections. A person that is grateful to receive wisdom from experts – someone who is not afraid to welcome growth and new knowledge to become an unstoppable force.
Or you can choose pride and stagnation over humility and massive growth.
Evolving is painful. Most people simply choose not to do it. but if you do – you’ll become more capable than 90% of the population to achieve massive success.
Face your problems – they teach you the growth mindset
The philosophy of Stoicism is the endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint. facing your problems and solving these obstacles directly – instead of running away – is the best way to become a successful person – that is stronger, faster and smarter.
That means facing rejection, being frustrated, handling setbacks, controlling your emotions, learn to thrive in uncertain environments. Focus and you will conquer your weakness. It is painful, so most people will not endure. Up to you
Leave the comfort zone
The comfort zone is a safe, stable and protected place, filled with pleasure, and good feelings. Nothing ever grows there. To grow is to learn – that means working, doing, creating, resisting, and failing over and over. It means saying no to TV, party`s and sleeping in – and yes to reading books, working with mentors and learn to fail and rise strong.
Growth will not happen if you choose comfort over learning.
Leave Normal for Extraordinary
So, what is normal”:
- Buying things you don’t need to impress people you don’t like with money you don’t have.
- Binge-eating an entire pizza while binge-watching an entire season of a TV show.
- Sleeping in as late as you can.
- Doing what others tell you to do.
- It means following conventional advice, never leaving the safety of the herd.
- The way things have always been done.”
But “extraordinary” is something quite different.
“Ordinary people seek entertainment. Extraordinary people seek education and learning.”
- Extraordinary means buying books, online courses, and conference memberships instead of buying products you don’t even need.
- Extraordinary means saying “no” to good opportunities and wait for the truly great ones.
- Extraordinary means investing your money in assets, not liabilities. The wealthy don’t become wealthy by sitting on their hands — they spend enormous amounts of time becoming extremely financially literate and make their money work for them.
- Extraordinary means becoming fit and healthy so your body and mind are able to function at extremely high levels so you can produce work that can truly change the world.
- Extraordinary means devoting the majority of your time learning and investing in personal development.
Most people don’t prioritize the characteristics of an extraordinary lifestyle. Being extraordinary means doing things others won’t.
Drop willpower for commitment
According to the latest psychological research, your willpower is like a muscle. The more you use it, the more tired it gets. As a result, your willpower is nearly gone by the end of your long, strenuous days. Suddenly, you don’t even stand a chance resisting that junk food and watching TV.
Commitment is something entirely different. Commitment goes above and beyond your energy, stamina, or how you feel, even after an extremely strenuous day. If you’re truly committed to something, in your mind, it’s as though you’ve already succeeded. All doubt and disbelief are gone.
Leave entertainment for learning
Success requires you to close the wide gap between what you know and what you don’t. If you want to be extraordinary and successful, choose education and learning over entertainment.
Set goals for all areas of your life
Are you lazy or irresponsible in a part of your daily life? Even if they’re in the area you don’t deem worthy of your efforts — are they there?
If they are, they need to be changed. The whole cannot become healthy if there are still toxic areas that remain unaddressed. Like a broken ankle or a dislocated shoulder, the entire body will suffer if even one part remains broken.
Are you willing to change your life?
The truth is, there are probably dozens of daily activities you do that don’t serve you. They only serve to distract you, bring you down, or keep you “busy.”
Paying the price of success means changing these behaviors. The choice to become extraordinary is not unlike the addict who knows he has to quit to survive; do you keep doing the same things, or are you willing to change everything to transform?
Prepare to go through the transformation solo
The world is full of members of the “mediocre majority.” Most people will never be successful. They may try or claim they want to, but in reality, it never happens.
This reality becomes all the more keen for the few individuals who actually choose to become truly successful and extraordinary. It’s lonely. There’s not a lot of company. Only those who have reached the top of the mountain knows how to find the path up there.
Even the most well-intentioned people around you may begin to disparage and discourage you from leaving the safety of the herd. Family, friends, and loved ones all may not understand your choice to go on a new path. In some cases, they may even become resentful and hurtful.
This is because since many people never reach their dreams, they don’t want others to reach theirs. In order to prevent the reality that you achieved your goals while they did not, they strive to keep you in the herd or, or exclude you from the group.
If you want to reach new heights and achieve success unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before, it will likely involve loneliness, rejection, and being excluded.
Develop a winner vision
This sentiment has been echoed throughout history.
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”
Do you believe you can win? Can you envision yourself with your goals completed? Can you see yourself with everything you’ve ever wanted?
If you can’t, you’ll almost certainly not succeed.
What you focus on, expands. This is why most critical, judgmental, and negative people invariably have negative, toxic lives. If all you focus on is how much of a victim you are, you’ll always be a victim. If all you can see is how unfair your circumstances are, you’ll be doomed to stay in your stagnation.
Winners become winners by envisioning and acting like one.