Fear of Success #2 Disorientation

Remember in the last post when I talked about how the fear of success includes the fact that you don’t have a support system or mentor? When you’ve separated yourself out as a success or in the pursuit of success, it’s not just scary. It’s also disorientating. If you’ve gone to Disneyland, or a large park or fair you know that the crowd tends to wander around in the same pattern, which is either marked by clear signs or a result of one person wandering in confusion and everyone behind him following along.

If you manage to wander over to an out of the way attraction to form a line (or queue for you non Americans), you’ve felt that momentary panic of not being with the crowd. You start to question your decision, and in your darker moments think of all the things that can go wrong now that you’ve cut yourself loose.

Now what are you going to do?

  • You can stay where you are, and have faith that you made the right decision and that things will work out okay. Whether or not you follow a religious tradition, having faith simply means that you believe something without having concrete proof right in front of you.
  • Our culture thrives on finding proof. To get a loan you have to show good credit history. Trigonometry classes have proofs, to get alcohol or vote you have to show ID, if you go to a job interview, someone will ask for a resume showing how you can do the job. Very few places will accept things just on faith or a hunch?
  • Remember how I mentioned that the amygdala defaults to fear? It does it in a nanosecond, and it’s subconscious so before you can even think, it’s already wrapped itself in fear. And if you only have faith to go on in coaxing the amygdala out of fear, it won’t take a lack of evidence, either.
  • If you don’t do that deep soul searching I mentioned in the last post, then you don’t know enough about yourself to know that a non rational feeling, like love or a gut instinct is something that you can rely upon.

The path towards becoming an success is getting your unconscious on board with what you want to get done. And given the fact that the amygdala has a bully pulpit on the unconscious part of your brain, it means that it will do its darned best to block that any other unconscious thought. And if that thought can’t be backed up with some kind of proof, that amygdala will get its hackles up and try to squash it.

How can you stop the amygdala from squashing your faith?

The easiest way is to work on your unconscious. Make friends with it, and try to consciously coax it into thinking thoughts other than fear.

This is also a time when spontaneity comes in handy. If you’ve ever taken improvisational comedy classes, you know that they emphasize not dwelling on thinking, just doing. You have to accept things the way they are, without judgement. That short circuits the amygdala’s squashing powers and frees you up to moving forward and trusting what you have faith in.



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