Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Day 8: Fear of Success--Stopping Patterns of Self-Sabotage

"Oh, Lord, Please leave me--I am too much
of a sinner to be around you." 
Luke 5:8
Day 8:  Fear of Success
I don't like to fail.  I have a fear of failure, but I never realized that I also have a fear of success too! 
I doubt if I'm worthy enough.  I struggle with being judged.  I fear that if good things happen to me then something bad will happen in return, and sometimes, I even self-sabotage without even realizing it.  It's weird how that happens.  I'm not sure why.
Throughout my life, I have seen this pattern of feeling unworthy and not being able to receive God's goodness.  I've also noticed a pattern of self-sabotage, and reflecting back, I can see how the fear of success has disguised itself throughout my life and has taken away opportunities or destroyed potentially special moments.   
In small ways, the fear of success has ruined many special moments as a child, with my husband, and with my own family now because I am grumpy, in a bad mood, or start an argument.   
In physical ways, the fear of success has shown up in the form of headaches, eye infections, laryngitis, fevers, aches, colds, feeling tired, or just an overall feeling of sadness or depression.  I especially feel these physical attacks when something fun is coming; when I have an important meeting or special event; or, of course, right before I'm going to speak. 
I even remember these attacks going back to grade school when the night before every gymnastics meet, I would come down with the flu.  It would happen every, single time!  My body would ache.  I would get chills and a high fever.  I would be down for the count, and I absolutely did not want to go!  I'm not sure exactly why, but my parents would always make me go.  Miraculously, I would feel better and have more energy once I got there.  The fever would be gone, and I would actually compete really well. 
In bigger ways, the fear of success showed up when I passed up the opportunity to train for the 1988 Olympics in gymnastics when my coach suggested that I start preparing for it (not that I would have been in the Olympics, but I was too fearful for that to even be an option.)  In college, I just plain didn't go to a special try-out to be a National Dance Association instructor.  I've also overslept for new job opportunities as well as important tests.
Self-Sabotage?  Yes.  Fearing that something bad will happen after something good?  Yes.  Avoiding being judged?  Yes.  Not feeling worthy?  Yes.  Is this normal?  Yes.
In Luke 5: verses 4-11 Peter experienced the same fears when he and his friends had been fishing all night and came back with empty nets.  Jesus asked them to drop their nets again, and when they did, their nets were so full of fish that they could barely move it and the boats were over-flowing.  Peter said, "Oh Lord, please leave me.  I am too much of a sinner to be around you." 
Jesus reassured him and said, " Don't be afraid; from now on you will fish for people."  They left everything and followed Him.

I think it's completely normal to feel unworthy, but Jesus wants to tell me not to be afraid and to follow Him.  It's not about me.  It's not about what I can do.  It's only about what He will do.  It's only about what He will do through me.  I can't let fear stop me from doing big things for Him!  I can't let fear stop me from doing what He's calling me to do.  I can't let fear stop me from using the gifts that He has given me to love others and change the world.
Are you ready to let go of your fear of success?  Are you ready to step out in faith and follow God obediently?  Are you ready to receive God's goodness?  I am!
Father, today, I give my fear of success to you.  Help me to feel worthy in Your eyes.  Help me to know that you have plans for my life, and that you love me even though I've made mistakes.  Help me to recognize when I am sabotaging myself and denying the goodness that you are bringing my way.  Help me to receive your love and accept the gifts that You have given me.  Help me to be ok with doing something well.  Allow me to use those gifts to their fullest to love others and bring You glory.  Take away my worries of being judged or of something bad happening and teach me your wonderful ways.  I want to leave all my fears behind and allow you to work through me powerfully.  Father, shine Your light into my fear of success and help me to walk forward in obedience, confidence and abundant faith as Your precious daughter.  In Jesus' name. Amen.

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