You know that quote about being secretly afraid of the potential of your greatness? I used to think it was presumptuous and arrogant but, folks. I think deep down it's true. We are afraid to succeed, and it manifests in strange ways.
There are two types of fear; that something will happen, or that it will not. Fear can be a complex emotion with layers and nuance too varied to be summarized into a four letter word. I have (and continue to) have my fair share of interacting with fear. The one thing I know for sure is that I always live another day, to tell a tale of the fear, long after the palpability subsides. It tells me fear is transient, but oh so potent in the moment. We cannot however, downplay its effect in the moment.
Here is the famous quote that spurred this post:
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.We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
Quote by Marianne Williamson
Gosh, I read this quote with a renewed perspective. A few things come to mind; one, it never discounts our other fear of not being enough. It didn’t say we aren’t afraid that we are inadequate. Of course, we are afraid we are inadequate, we constantly compare ourselves to ideals (real and imaginary), and that tells me that us humans will never be enough for ourselves. Our very existence is almost hinged on the never-ending race of chasing towards an ideal that is an always moving goal post.
Second thing I noticed? It highlights that there is a deeper fear. I personally believe that the fear of being enough is often conflated with the first fear of not being enough. We never get to notice this “secondary”, but ultimately deeper fear that we are enough. We don’t notice this because many of us do not rise above the initial fear that we are not enough. Because once we rise above that, even if it is for a moment we realize, "okay, maybe i could do this" we very soon see clearly that there is an additional even more potent fear, that we are enough. "oh shit, i could do this!"
Heck, you are enough. Yes, you can achieve that very thing that seems so out of reach. Once you have this realization, even in the minutest sense, an additional wave hits.
OMG! What if I achieve it? How will it change me? People around me? Will i be able to sustain it? What if it's harder to sustain it? What will it mean? Who will I be? What will my life be like? What if I don’t like it? What if I feel empty and it doesn’t give me the satisfaction, the one I half feel right now with one leg in and out of the possibility of it being a reality?
Know what this screams? CHANGE :)
We HATE change. We think we want it, but our very nature abhors it. Why? Because it moves from the realm of the known to the unknown, from what we can control (even though we can’t really control anything haha), to what we cannot control. When we are in situations we cannot control, we feel powerless and vulnerable, and we hate feeling powerless and vulnerable because it makes us feel anxious and scared.
Our subconscious is crafty at “protecting” us from what it fears. In most cases that’s great! (self preservation and all that), but in others it is a terrible terrible idea. We need to be hyper aware of the ways we respond to the fear that we are enough without knowing it. Just because we are afraid, of what? That we are enough? Crazy!
Your subconscious attempts to self sabotage is evidence that on some level you know you are likely to succeed. Remember that.
Read Next Post: Get Out of Your Own Way
P.s this is technically, a note to self :)