Why would anyone do that?
Survival. We're afraid the pain from (potential) rejection will consume us. We're afraid we may not be able to breathe again if, say, the object of our affection (whether a person, job or purchase) does not meet our expectations. If this sounds like insecurity, it's because it is insecurity. Others reject us (even after accepting us!) because they are insecure, anticipating failure, and by extension, pain--that, in turn, makes us insecure. Sometimes, we're the ones who make a preemptive strike, ghosting a person (or situation) we care about because we're afraid...not always of failure either. Sometimes, we're equally afraid of success.
Yes, fear of success is a real thing. To better understand that, try answering the following questions:
What if you never allowed fear to get in your way?
What would happen if you pursued every dream, every goal, every ambition you ever had?
How much more do you think you would accomplish if you simply went for what you wanted instead of holding back--both personally and professionally?
If you answered the above questions honestly, you can now better understand what fear is costing you. Go ahead--put a dollar value on every hour you've spent avoiding pain. Multiply those hours by that dollar value. What does that add up to each week? Each month? What about each year???
Conservatively, if we said three hours a day (times seven days a week multiplied by 52 weeks), we'd be talking about close to 1,100 hours. Today, high school grads can earn upwards of $27/hour doing remote contact tracing. So, if we assume all those reading this have at least graduated from high school, we can also assume that the minimum dollar equivalent to the minimum hours we spend avoiding pain (through social media, television, movies, gaming, YouTube, etc.) is well over $29,000 a year, which equates to over $2,400 a month, or about $600 a week.
Think you spend less than three hours a day avoiding pain? Okay, even if we were to halve the above figures, it's still the equivalent of $15,000 a year. You can buy a car with that. You can put a down payment on your first home. You can pay off student loans. You can help an underprivileged child complete an Associates degree at a community college and still gift them the remaining $3,000 to help them get a head start in their lives.
Now, imagine what your life would be like if you took the time, energy, effort, and yes, even resources avoiding pain and put ALL of it into going after what you wanted instead...you'd be successful in any area of life where you wanted a win. You'd have to be. Because, you'd go all-in. Going all-in increases your odds of success exponentially. So, when we fail to maintain a relationship or love connection because we're afraid "things won't work out," we're lying to ourselves...and, everyone else.
The Truth Hurts...But We Don't Have To:
Finding out the root of your fear(s) can (and will!) help you to be more effective in ALL areas of your life. Coping strategies, like increased mindfulness through meditation, are tools we can learn to use properly in order to remove would-be obstacles. You just have to be brave enough to first admit to yourself that you need help. Then, have the courage to ask for it....
The older I get, the less I allow fear to get the better of me. It still happens once in a while. But if I had one wish, it would be to get back what equates to decades worth of (apparent) timidity. I never saw myself as timid. But in truth, I let go of more than I can eloquently articulate here because I was too afraid to fight for it. Things that may not have even required much fighting, if any at all. But I imagined excesses of time, effort and all for an eventual negative result just so I could say, "It's not worth it." And, of course, turn my back and walk away, guilt-free. There's no guilt in knowing our limits, but we need to be able to discern the difference between having limits and creating them. That's part of understanding "scarcity mindset." Yes, we who are asked to fight early in life can get tired. That's true, too. But when I take a closer look, I can see my justifications as exactly that--excuses for keeping myself small. Small, and yes, afraid--that's what scarcity mindset is in a nutshell.
Being self-responsible is hard. It's so much more than paying your bills, eating well, and maintaining health, employment and social connections. Taking responsibility for ourselves also means being mindful of how and why we make the choices we make and take the actions we take. Or don't take, as the case may be....
Expressing our feelings is about taking responsibility--for ourselves and others.
Saying, "I love you," has consequences. Stating clear intentions is like that. We learn to avoid clarity, especially in a world that includes social media, to also avoid holding ourselves responsible for what we want. It's easier to blame others for not meeting our needs. We can't be judged for being in the wrong place at the wrong time...unless you put yourself there. Victimhood is actually encouraged by society. Discernment helps with not falling prey to such logical fallacy--or, what may best be described as a rhetorical slight of hand.
We may indeed be victimized by both individuals and society at various points in our lives, but that by no means is indicative of a need to compromise our integrity as well.
Just because someone has victimized you does not mean you have to remain a victim.
Sexism is real. Racism is real. Hate is real. We can't control how others think, feel or behave. However, we can control how we think, what we feel and any subsequent behaviours thereof. When we forget that, we're self-sabotaging. Self-sabotage means giving up control to fear--usually via a past trauma, like abuse.
Time is the one commodity we can't trade. As linear creatures, we can only ever move in one direction. But that doesn't mean our minds have to stay stuck in the past (as our bodies inevitably move forward). We can release the old in order to create something new. Letting go doesn't mean things have to end--it just means you're willing to allow things to evolve. Change. Grow. And, growth takes time...time, and a great deal of patience.
I can lead you down the rational path toward the well of reason...but it is you (and only you) who can choose to end your thirst for "better" or "more." You have all the tools you need to create the life you want--you just have to have the character, the integrity, and of course, the will to act on both.
No, it's not easy. Yes, it takes tremendous effort. But you are worth it. Your happiness, and the freedom that comes with it, is worthwhile, too.
The Take Away:
In life, there are no real deadlines. You're never too old, or, too young. And, it's never too late. Focus on forward momentum--one day at a time, one step at a time, you'll start to see progress.
If you'd like me to help you remove obstacles from your life, please sign up for a session today:
Hypnotherapy Techniques: Heal the Mind, Heal the Body
I believe in you! But you must believe in yourself in order to make positive, permanent change. Take a chance and be fully present--tell the person you love that you love them. Text the guy or girl you pushed away before the holidays. If you know there is a person on this planet who helps you feel more balanced, happy and healthy, express yourself! It's a brand new year. You have every reason to make the changes you've been putting off. Your path is clear--nothing can hold you down or back anymore. Nothing but you.
Cheers to a happier, healthier and wealthier 2021! Good luck....