Why are we so afraid of our own potential?

I ask myself this question a lot, and it is quite odd, don’t you think? The idea that we are more afraid of success, than we are of failing, is ultimately what will lead us to fail if we never find a way to redirect this fear into action. So, more times than not, we choose to settle. Most of us will live out our lives comfortably, and for what? When it comes down to it, are you willing to give up on your dreams for fear that your potential success will cause others to feel insecure about their own situation?

Here is the thing I have learned: Insecure people are going to be insecure regardless of your success. If this is one of the reasons you are not working towards something important in your life, then please do yourself a favor and STOP! You cannot control the actions, or thoughts of other people. You can however, live your life in a way that causes people to stop and take notice. We ALL have our insecurities. I believe that is just a part of being a human. It is a matter of how we train our thoughts to fight through those insecurities that will make or break us, so stopping your life because of someone else’s thoughts about themselves, is no way to live YOUR life. Set yourself free from the idea that you will cause insecurities within other people. You should strive to be an example for them, and allow them to see that they can achieve anything as well, if they are willing to train their thoughts for the better, just like you have.

Over the course of the last year I have tried to live by this mantra: Wake up every morning and choose to be the person that you want to meet. Whether that mean professionally, personally, romantically, etc. I am a firm believer that we receive what we put out into this world, and if you can wake up each morning and do your best to become a little bit better, well then, that day mattered, and ultimately, it is driving you one step closer to that ‘success’ you are holding yourself back from.

One of the things I am the guiltiest of is putting off the things that I know I should be doing. I heard this question once, and it really stuck with me: “Are you inventing tasks to put off the important?” YES! Always! So how do I change that? Well, for starters, you need to identify what it is you are truly avoiding. What is that first thing that came to mind when I used the term avoiding? THAT needs to become your first priority, and you need to stop putting other tasks before it.

When it comes down to changing your life, and taking the initial steps to get going, you must remember this: The hardest part is starting. Regardless of how things turn out, failing is just as much of a gift as success is. What you learn in the process of following your dreams, and exploring your full potential, is setting you up for something so much greater that would have never happened, had you never made the choice to share your light with the world.

Marianna Williamson said it best,

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

That is the point isn’t it? Following our light, and hopefully sharing that light with those who need the guidance? I think there is something important to be said about those who live their life without the fear of what others will think of them. We can all learn from these kinds of people, and we all know someone who walks through this life to the beat of their own drum. You may not know them personally, but they are someone you look up to, and aspire to be like. They are the people who show us the way when we are incapable of finding it on our own. My point is that YOU can be one of these people if you start to get rid of the idea that you can’t. I bet if you ask any successful person what has helped them get where they are today, they would tell you that it begins with the thoughts that you tell yourself. From the moment you woke up, to the moment you went to bed, did you spend more time telling yourself that you can’t do something? Or did you put a little more time into what it is that you are trying to achieve?

Success does not happen over night, but if worked at daily, and you keep chasing those dreams, one day you will wake up, and you will be proud of yourself for doing all that you could to make them a reality. Stop holding yourself back from your own potential. It is inside of you. You just have to ignore that insecurity telling you that you won’t achieve anything.

Believe in yourself, follow that light, and allow others to learn from you. You shouldn’t be competing with anyone but yourself. We all have an opportunity to do something great, and that begins with you, and the belief that you CAN do what you set your mind to!


Megan Lawrence