Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Do You Have Fear of Success or Fear of Failure?

No one wants to fail. Fear of failure is common, even immobilizing people, hindering them from pursuing or achieving your goals. But for some, success is an even greater source of fear, also resulting in inaction. "The fear of success is an expression of inadequacy in believing we don't deserve to achieve, combined with emotions of guilt when we do better than expected," says Denis Waitley, speaker, author and productivity coach. When you don't really believe in the validity of your dreams and you aren't prepared for achievements, you will fall short in and again, says Waitley, who has coached astronauts, CEOs and Olympic athletes. "I call this curse of permanent potential." While a fear of failure is more internal, fear of success is external, says performance Coach Joseph McClendon. "What does society say about people who are successful? We have been taught they are selfish, evil, bad or wrong." Gilda Carle, an educational leadership expert and counselor, suggests people become more aware of their "deserve level." "Who you are today and how successful you are is based directly upon what you think you deserve," she says. "What you think you deserve manifests itself." Experts say overcoming fears, either success or failure, involves taking deliberate action. Rather than taking a huge, scary leap toward your goals, Waitley suggests taking small, incremental steps. Each small accomplishment will bolster your confidence, giving you the oomph to tackle the next hurdle.

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