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TaggTeamWithToni: How do I get over my fear of success?

Thu, Jul 28, 2022

Through tarot readings, Bakang uses meditation and mindfulness to provide guidance on matters ranging from love and career to their life paths

Q: How do I get over my fear of success? I am afraid of reaching my potential, and as a result I don’t apply myself, even when I know I should. 

Sometimes certain emotions and experiences are tedious and taxing and we truly want to be done with them, but all our efforts seem to fall short of what’s necessary to break the cycle. Here’s the thing, in some ways, life is a lot like school – the key to graduating (to the next experience) is to gain understanding and be able to pass our individual tests. You don’t graduate by ‘getting over’ school, you gain understanding, prove it, then you gain your qualification and leave.

Impatience with yourself only hurts you more, especially in a world where people tend to already punish others for not being perfect and not getting things right the first time. When we fail to see how we perpetually pour salt into our own wounds, we tend to end up blaming ourselves for not healing fast enough. Ultimately, one ends up resentful of their efforts and reasoning skills and as we know, nobody does their best for someone they resent.

Success means different things to different people.  While one person may think attaining it will be the key to their communal (and self) acceptance, another might view it as a thing that will make them a target or pull them further away from their community and who they know themselves to be.

You can begin the work of unpacking this in the following steps:

  1. Define what your idea of success is and if possible, ascertain what it would look like.
  2. Then, because we don’t exist in a vacuum, truthfully dissect what those life changing accomplishments would mean for your life and the people in it.
  3. Be honest with yourself about how you truly think you will feel when your life is unrecognisable to how you know it to be today.

For most people the last step is the worst, and where they falter, because it requires emotional heavy lifting. With this last step, you have to face some heavy self-reflection:

  • “Will self-actualising force me to sever certain ties I’m simply not willing to cut off?”
  • “Do I, on some level, think I’m unworthy of what I see other people enjoying?”
  • “To what extent has my self-perception been affected by the opinions of others? And am I willing to seek a way of life that doesn’t centre those people, even in the face of fear?”

Seeking success isn’t about external markers of accomplishment, it’s more so about how well one is willing to nurture themselves and their interests. When you attend to all your needs to the best of your abilities and you do the rigorous work of being receptive to the changes your mind, body and spirit call for, things tend to have a way of reflecting externally the work that you’re doing internally.

Beyoncé is a great example of someone who is constantly aware of her personal transformations.  With each body of work she produces, she undergoes a metamorphosis not only creatively, but spiritually and emotionally as well. These moments and methods have been shared with us over the years in the form of several documentaries.

yup gifs | WiffleGif

To have gone from a little girl in Texas to one of the biggest stars in the world has required her to aggressively honour her personal ambitions and the rhythm of her life, and in so doing, she’s become a symbol of the power of honouring oneself and their path.

As the world changes, so does your place in it. You can’t help that. What you can help is how you respond to that change. Leaps of faith aren’t made on certainty and if you keep waiting on it to be the catalyst, you’ll be waiting forever.

Ask yourself how far you’re willing to go for yourself. Be like Beyoncé, be curious about what you can do and push through fear to see who you can become when you make the single, solid decision to be brave about your path and your potential. You miss the magic of life when you deny yourself the chance to venture into the unknown.

  • If you would like Toni aka Bakang to answer your personal questions – whether they are about the meaning of life, love problems or colleagues with weird vibes – DM us on Twitter. We'll keep you anonymous 😉