How to Overcome Your Fear of Success

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Scenario: "Dude, I'll remove failure by listening to more motivational songs. Yay!" It probably won't help, but there's a better way: Remove fear of success by visualizing that sweet success.

A Halloween Analogy

We're about four days from Halloween, but of course you're not scurred: You've experienced the sucker before.
  • You've seen scary costumes.
  • You've been to haunted houses.
  • You've knocked on doors.
  • You've asked for candy.
Nothing about Halloween scares your badass. But, do you remember your first Halloween? How freakishly scared were you? Now, be honest. Likely if you're anything like us, Halloween scared you shizless that first time. But the second time? Not so much. The third time? Hardly. What explains that phenomenon?

Humans love familiarity.

For instance:
  • It's a reason why we do: __________, on most weekends.
  • It's a reason why we drink: __________ on most days.
  • It's a reason why we kick it with: __________ when we go out.
And, it's a reason why we go to the same Taco Bell among the several others in our city. It's also a reason why we don't change barbers too often, or get our oil changed at a different place, or use a different route to get from Point A to Point B. Familiarity keeps us safe in our little space from the big freakin' world. So if you've never experienced the success you're seeking, you're probably fearful. (We certainly know we are.) Don't trip. Here's the solution:

Visualize Yourself Kicking Ass

When you visualize yourself achieving a success, your mind starts thinking the event actually happened -- boosting your familiarity with it. In turn, that drives you to achieve that success like it's no thang but a chicken wing on a string. Explains a study of 94 engineering students from University of Washington Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus:
When adults vividly imagine the occurrence of events that took place in their childhood, they become increasingly confident that these incidents actualty happened to them. This phenomenon has been called imagination inflation.

"Okay, I'm visualizing -- but I'm still fearful of success. Ahh!"

You want to write that success sucker down so you can use your five emotions to experience that sucker.
  • Write a screenplay about what your life will be like.
  • Take the Fortune 500 list, scratch out a dying company -- and insert your company in that slot.
  • Act out what you'll be like 30 years from now -- as if you were performing for Steven Spielberg.
  • Or, do whatever else that uses your five senses to fully visualize that success story.
Now the tough visualization part: Vividly connecting your life now to that ultimate success. What steps will you experience to achieve that success? What fears will you overcome? Who will you meet? What resources will you need? That's what we affectionately call: "Visualizing like a badass."

Visualize like a badass.

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Posted on October 27

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