Why You’re Too Afraid to Succeed, Thrive & Love Boldly

by Melissa Karnaze

What does it take to succeed? To thrive? To love boldly?

You’d think it takes perseverance, knowledge, and courage.

Sure, they help. But only if you go beyond their conventional definitions.

Perseverance doesn’t mean toughing out the challenges — it means learning to live with and work with self-doubt, mistakes, guilt, and regret.

Knowledge doesn’t just apply to information that helps you — it applies to unsettling information that may trigger you or propel you to get clearer about your goals, and why they’re worth your time.

Courage isn’t acting despite your fears — it’s the act of embracing your fears, because the only way to get past them is to move through them.

What do each of these definitions have in common? They each refer to working with, rather than against, negative emotion and challenge.

Why you’re afraid

You’re afraid to succeed, thrive, and love boldly, because ultimately, each of these can lead to your getting hurt.

If you were to succeed
, you could be judged, disowned, criticized, misunderstood. You could lose friends, your existence could make others feel threatened, you could attracted people who just want a piece of your success. And you could discover that to succeed is not an end point, but only a beginning.

If you were to thrive, you could alienate those who aren’t on the path of health and healing. You can lose an excuse to make excuses. You could also lose your health.

If you were to love boldly, you could get badly hurt and bruised, no matter how unimposing or genuinely kind and gentle you are. You could be rejected, at any time, in any place. Or what’s worse, your love could be returned, and you could lose it by unfortunate circumstance. Loving boldly doesn’t protect you from the chaos of the world.

The dark side of succeeding, thriving, and loving

Even if you succeed, thrive, and love boldly — you’ll never be immune to getting hurt. Being let down. Being betrayed or abandoned. Being subject to the chaos that is living. Losing something worth more than gold.

It’s because of how badly you can get hurt, how much steeper you can fall — that deters you, that scares you out of your wits. That keeps you from succeeding, thriving, and loving boldly.

And that’s not your fault. (Though it is your response ability.)

However, this isn’t the real reason you’re too afraid to try.

You were misled

You’re were told, taught — conditioned — to avoid feeling hurt, or bad, or otherwise negative.

Because they were afraid, because they were wounded and taught what they knew.

You’re weren’t given the freedom to learn from your mistakes, to grow from your pains, to continue despite the fears. Instead, you were to get over it, avoid taking it personally, move on.

You have the opportunity now. It starts with your determination to accept pain as a part of life. If we never felt pain, we wouldn’t be able to stay alive.

Your own worst enemy

The problem is not that success, or thriving, or loving boldly is scary. Well, they most definitely are, and may never cease to be.

The real problem is in your learned association between “I’m in pain” and “I’m bad.”

Yes, succeeding and thriving can lead to hurt, and no, loving is never all roses either. But that doesn’t make them bad. It’s because of how delicate they are, that they are even worth pursuing.

The solution

You’re too afraid to succeed, thrive and love boldly because you’re afraid that you’ll get hurt, which will make you somehow bad.

We’re all afraid. And you most likely will hurt.

But don’t let that stop you. The alternative is even more painful in the end.

The solution is to find a way to accept the hurts as part of life.

As that which makes success, thriving, and bold love worth anything.

The solution is that you re-learn how to accept what you’re feeling, instead of just labeling it “bad.”

If you can feel hurt, it means you’re vulnerable. And if you’re vulnerable, it means you’re strong.

Want to learn more about how work with your emotions? Sign up for the free e-class, Your Life is Your Construct.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Aileen | Kaizen Vision November 7, 2011 at 10:33 pm

“re-learn how to accept what you’re feeling, instead of just labeling it “bad.”

Really loved reading this Melissa!

Count Sneaky November 12, 2011 at 11:04 am

I think we must mention that there are some who are afraid of success itself. They fear what success entails even when it is within their grasp. To these people it means everyone wants a piece of them; their time will not be their own; their obligations will weigh them down; they will be stuck in a groove; a groove that will not allow them to experiment or grow beyond success. Admittedly, there can’t be many people attracted to a private life, rather than “success” which in this day means being constantly in the public eye, on TV, on bookshelves, and on everyone’s invitation lists, but then, they may be able to teach us something as well. My best

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