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Fear of Success
When I first heard that there are some people who actually fear “success,” in whatever their definition happens to be — such as in a career, a relationship, and for many, fear of weightloss — I was stunned! It was confusing to my pre-teenaged self to relate to; however, I did intellectually understand it after reading and hearing more about it. I think it was one of those old Oprah shows, haha. Anyway, as I got older I heard about it more and more, but still couldn’t relate to it…
There is a woman who worked with my father and was his friend for several years. She was obese and a classic case of this fear. She was beyond intelligent — my father considered her genius. I so admired her intellect…it was her self-sabotage in different areas of her life I couldn’t comprehend… But, eventually, I did learn and come to understand her better.
So, I’ve come to realize there has been at least one time I feared of success. It was as a child. It had to do with not wanting to stand out so much in school (I’ll save you the ramble). It lasted for no longer than a couple weeks, I confess, but still…Anyway, I defy any cut throat banking fatcat to survive the unforgiving grammar school playground, complete with “mean girls,” status, and “cool kids”!
Anyway, as small as that experience may seem it was significant; and it allows me to have some empathy and a bit more understanding when I read or hear about it. I quickly realized it was foolish to do this, and thank God I have parents who always encouraged me to give 100% effort to whatever I was doing.
So many people go through an unfortunate side effect of losing weight — being successful. Tragic. Others treat them poorly, whether it’s jealousy; resentment; seeing that person as a threat; or even seeing it as a “loss” of that person or who they think that person “used to be”… as if their self had changed…
As well, many who lose the weight, are, themselves, uncomfortable for various reasons, whether induced by external forces, or from within themselves – self-induced — “Maybe I don’t deserve to be thin? What do I do now that I’m healthy? What do I do now that I’m thin? People are looking at me now, what does this mean? Others are attracted to me suddenly…is this good or bad? Are people sincere? Do I feel exposed? I have nothing to hide me any longer. Now I have to be __ and I’m scared. Can I do it? Can my inside live up to my outside?”
I wonder how many people sabotage their “diets” or goals and, perhaps don’t know it’s fear-based. Or maybe they do know, and it’s a way to — protect themselves?
Maybe they like not reaching certain goals… because it’s easier, because it’s comforting/able, because it’s what they’re used to. What will they do when they no longer have weight to lean on?
What positive things can we do to deal with it? Maybe sharing will help others going through this. I could wax on — Y’All know I could 😀 — but I’d like to hear from others. Becoming healthy — not just thin, of course — should be a good, positive thing! We all know about fear of failure…what about success?