I think most of us are familiar with the fear of failure. It's the paralyzing belief that keeps us from trying, or doing our best, because deep down we feel that our best may not be good enough. Because we don't want to fail, we often don't start. Or we quit before the finish line.
Fear of failure is often a result of perfectionism - if we aren't perfect right out of the chute, then we have failed. My friends, this is a mindset that robs you of creativity and keeps you stuck.
There is another kind of fear, one that we don't always consider.
The fear of success.
Just as paralyzing as the fear of failure, this belief causes you to self-sabotage and do things to undermine your own efforts to succeed.
It says: I don't deserve to be successful. I'm not worthy of being brilliant. I can't be the best in my field because I won't be able to handle a new kind of life. I'm afraid of what will happen if I live up to my potential.
And so we hold back. We don't give our all. We let life happen to us. We live in mediocrity.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Marianne Williamson**
I struggle with the fear of success. I've asked myself why I haven't returned an important phone call, or why I missed a deadline, or why I didn't stay up late to make my art piece perfect. And the answer is that I've sabotaged my own dreams with my actions because I've felt unworthy of letting my talent shine, of living free, of creating possiblities for myself.
But I'm determined to face this fear and not let it rule me. I don't want to live small.
How about you? Are you afraid of success? Fear failure? Both?
Today's Be More Creative Assignment is to face your fear.
Do one thing that punches fear in the face and says, "You do not have power over me." Remember that courage is not the absence of fear, but it is action in spite of the fear. Step out, do that thing that scares you, and let the chips fall where they may. Your light will shine on others and inspire them to do the same.
You ARE worthy of letting your light shine. You are deserving of living a creative, boundless life. And God delights in seeing you live free of fear.
So live it today!
2 Tim. 1: 7 God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love and a sound mind.
**(yes, I know...Marianne Williamson. I don't agree with some of her views, but the above quote is quite true.)