In my work I help people stay in action and get more done, so I’ve spent a lot of time seeking to understand why people don’t do what they say they want to do.
People don’t like to admit it but I believe the number one thing holding them back is fear.
Most people just assume that the fear could be one of failure but my experience tells me it could be fear of success as well.
In my studies, I’ve found in many cases the problem is not that people don’t know what to do. Rather, it’s that they just don’t do it.
They sit back passively and wait for something to happen.
And the only thing that happens is they get more frustrated with themselves.
From what I’ve seen, people often have a clear overall idea of what they are supposed to do, but they often lack the step by step plan of how to go from Point A to Point B. Or they may even have a plan, but haven’t figured out the steps in sufficient detail to know how to execute them… Perfectly…
In other words, people build up incredible expectations of themselves as if they are afraid to fail – when in fact they are setting themselves up for “failure.”
But I’ll go you one further. I think people are secretly afraid of success.
What do you think?
Take a moment and put your thoughts in the comments below.
sam charoen says
I guess this might qualify as “stumbled onto”. I was looking for the book that is offered under the page with the ‘7 Free reports’, I think it’s called “being unreasonable” which I am very interested to purchase and read. Being student of AWAI since earlier 08 and have procastinated until now and still have not completed the courses yet. I must say that your comment on the ‘fear of success’ hit me like a ton of bricks. I came upon your wisdom following Daniel Levis off Clayton Makepeace e mail, guess this is a lucky stumble (even though I don’t believe in such a thing as luck). Thanks Paul for such great prompting, am looking forward to knowing you & your writing more.
Thanks a millions,
Hi Sam, You can get a copy of Be Unreasonable from Amazon with this link. -PL
Very great site.
The information here is really valuable.
I will share it with my friends.
Andi Mac says
What a great topic. You inspired me to write an article on our blog that goes into this with a medium-size, fine tooth comb from the point-of-view of working with what we all have available internally.
What appears to limit forward movement in any area of life, is worth examining for many reasons! If you were on a trip and found yourself on a road that leads to a dead-end, you wouldn’t just stop and say, “Well, that’s it. I’m done. This is the end…” There are always answers. They show up when we’re asking the right questions.
Great question Paul. Kudos for bringing up this topic and thank you for the inspiration! If you’d like to read my related article – you can find it here: http://innercodeschool.com/why-people-dont-do-what-they-say/
Debra Eloise says
Greetings, Paul –
Thank you for the insightful information. I was referred to you by Andi Mac from the Inner Code School after reading her article called “Why-people-don’t-do-what-they-say” where she referenced your article! It is fascinating to read the different perspectives on how humans behave and interact. I would have to agree with Andi based on my personal experiences and turning observations around several times that the challenge is great than fear itself or fear of success….it’s conflict! In my business relationships as an entrepreneur I even find myself occasionally getting “stuck” and unless I stop myself and start observing the conflict that is occurring (often I don’t even realize it), I may feel the fear, but once I realize the conflict then POOF! the challenge tumbles down like an old brick wall.
this must be a hot button for a lot of people. i have been giving this some thought lately on my own behalf, and i agree there may be a fear of success. but where does this come from and do i overcome it simply by the “feel the fear and do it anyway” theory?
Jennifer – after repeated applications, yes. In other words, it may take a while for it to go away. The key is to recognize how you operate, and then take small steps to get results. Over, and over, and over.
Fear of success has indeed been prevalent since the dawn of time and is not new revelation. However, it is succinctly interesting how subtle it may operate in one’s subconscious. In my experience, when I found myself buried in ventures and ideas – some I had not even begun to initiate – yet kept accummulating (signing up for more), I knew something was wrong. In my self-analysis, I realized (and had to admit to myself) that deep within I undoubtedly was fearful of success and the changes/challenges that would accompany it – the unfamiliar. Since then, I have found time management skills to be very helpful as I learn to focus, be consistent, and build momentum through determined and disciplined commitment – one venture at a time.