One of the scary fountains in Chicago.
Fear plays an implicit role in many aspects of our lives. It is often disguised, yet omnipresent. This quality alone makes it difficult to identify and conquer. As Denis Waitley said,
“Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy.”
If you are successful, can you handle it? Or are you really fearing other outcomes?
Either way, the first step is awareness. You are probably experiencing fear if:
1) You are procrastinating: This is clearly stated in the quote.
2) You are rigid about your ideas of success: Personal conceptualizations of success evolve. You may think you know exactly what success looks like and the path to get you there. However, success is not static and some flexibility is necessary. For example, I graduated from college thinking I was going to be a Clinical Psychologist. I am far from it. If only I knew then what I knew now.
3) You persistently attempt perfection: You may be experiencing fear if you are avoiding moving forward with something until everything is perfect. I find that perfection is often self-defined and fabricated view. I try to be knowledgeable, not perfect.
Just because your heart is not beating fast or your palms are not sweaty does not mean fear is not in your life. Many times it’s covert.