A few days ago, I was reminded that many people are actually more afraid of success than they are of failure. These people often have a victim-mindset, which makes that they’re used to feelings of failure. Their familiarity with failure has formed habits and patterns which actually make their ‘failing life’ (as they see it) comfortable. Taking steps to get out of the dark and walk into the light then seems difficult and terrifying.
To be completely transparent: I was that person. In my late teens and early twenties, I felt like life what throwing sh*t at me all the time. So I decided to accept the darkness and be a victim. But in the long run, that didn’t make me happy and I decided to change.
Are you scared of the light too? Let’s find out.
You choose darkness because it’s easy
When you’re scared of the light, you have probably been living in darkness as long as you can remember. Many people who have a victim-mindset, have learned that the world is out to haunt and hurt them at a very young age. If this is you, you have learned that life happens to you, not for you (or independent of any value judgements about what you deserve).
Because so many sh*t has happened to you, you have learned that you probably deserve to be unhappy, and that you don’t deserve to be successful or fulfilled. You have secretly admitted to going wherever the dark events of life take you, and being the victim has become part of your identity.
But there’s one thing you refuse to see. You’re so stuck in your victim-role play, that you don’t see how other people have been through what you’ve experienced, and got out of it. You don’t see how one or many events that happened to you, are not about who you are, but who or what they are.
And that’s because being passive is easier than being active. Blaming other people or events for what your life has become, is easier than overcoming these people and events. Being pushed around by whatever life throws at you is hard and painful, but since you have become accustomed to it, it’s easier than taking the reins and designing your own future.
Because as long as you’re not acting on it, you can always blame someone or someone else for your failure.
You fear success because it takes effort and responsibility
This takes us to the next reason. If you’re scared of success, you’re probably scared of putting in the effort and taking the responsibility for you life – including the mistakes. If all your life, you’ve been the victim and not the author, you never had to take responsibility for the things that happened to you, or for the person you’ve become.
If there’s parts about your life or personality you don’t like, you can always point the finger. You can always say ‘Well I know I’m not smart, but I didn’t have a good education.’ Or ‘I’m really scared of commitment, but that’s because of my ex-boyfriend’ or ‘I’m really scared to drive, but my grandfather had an accident last year.”
See where I’m going with this? Being a victim always gives you an excuse for not taking responsibility for who you are, and saves you from putting in effort to become better.
You fear your dream life will also be disappointing
But even if you’ve overcome your fear of putting in effort and taking responsibility, there’s still a reason for sticking to the darkness. That’s because when you’re in a victim-mindset, you’re always ready to be disappointed. You’re not even doubting to be disappointed anymore, you know you will be. You’re basically already waiting for something to fail.
So even if you would take responsibility for who you are and start putting in effort into your future, there’s still a change that the outcome will not be what you expected. There’s a tiny chance that your dream life is not so great after all, and just dealing with that disappointment is already enough to not change anything at all.
Maybe deep down, you feel like you don’t deserve your dream life. Or maybe you’re still doubting your own potential. Whatever it is, it keeps you in the past and merely dreaming about the future. But with this mindset, you will keep failing because success isn’t even in the cards for you (by your own choosing).
So, if you (secretly) recognise yourself even partly in the person described above, you’re probably (somewhat) scared of the light. And I’m not judging. But if you want to change this, the first step is to start working on your self worth. If you deep down really believe you don’t deserve to be happy, this is where you should start. Read these blogs on why you’re worthy, how to find your worth and dealing with hardship as a kind of self care to see if it helps you.
Next you want to ask yourself why you’re holding on to this victim-mindset. How does it serve you? But really? I don’t want you to answer ‘it doesn’t serve me’ (because I know that 😉 ) here, but I want you to dive into the psychology of why you hold on to it. What does it bring you that you apparently still need in your life? Is it the fear of having to put in effort, taking responsibility, or disappointment? Or is it something else?
Then, you want to formulate something you also want really badly, something your victim-mindset keeps you from doing, on the opposite. What attracts you to the light? Why would you even consider stepping out of the darkness? Maybe you want to finally start that business, have a deep, healthy relationship or stop suffering in the more general sense.
Now, let’s literally build your successful future, so stepping into the light becomes more practical and comprehensible for you. There are many tools that can help you with this, but this blog and worksheet are a good place to start. You can read more about how I got out of the darkness in this blog, and this one can give you more perspective on the areas of life you might want to invest or become more succesful in, now that you’re in the light.
Thank you so much for reading this blog, and if I can help you deal with all this light-ness coming your way from now on, let me know! 😉