It’s that time of year. Time to start acting on our New Year’s Resolution. These resolutions often include major life changes. The most popular resolutions include the following:
- loosing weight
- getting organized
- spending less, saving mor
- enjoying life to the fullest
- staying fit and healthy
- learning something exciting
- quiting smoking
- helping others reach their dreams
- falling in love, and
- spending more time with family.
In Adult Literacy Education, fear of success is often discussed. But what does that really mean? What are people really afraid of? And how can that fear impact our education, job achievement, and even health?
Fear is an emotion that occurs when a person perceives a threat. Maybe the threat is to their safety, their health, their job, or their education. And sometimes, fear is caused by new and unknown experiences. The outcome of fear is that a person automatically pulls away from whatever is causing the fear. It’s a survival mechanism. But what if never facing that fear causes a person to stagnate in their career, their health, and their education? We are immersed in a performance and results driven society that requires continued growth.
Before we can fully understand the impact of fear of failure and success, we need to determine what we are striving to reach. Are we reaching for better health, improved job skills, stronger personal or professional relationships? Each of our experiences, successful or not, bring us to the place we are right now. It is not the individual successes or failures, but rather the collective experience that points to who we are as individuals. Is it really about misplaced value in being defined as successful as opposed to experiencing the process of growth and change.
I work with diverse groups of people on a daily basis by providing instruction and guidance on a variety of topics ranging from implementing online learning, using social media, building marketing strategies, and sharing information on health and fitness. Each week I encounter people who are afraid to learn something new. They may not recognize their hesitance as a typical survival response, but it is. I know why. I completely understand. I have fallen victim to this feeling myself on several different occasions.