Afraid of Your Full Potential?

Q: ...My lack of preparation and my procrastination at times is making me think that, possibly, I fear my own power... Why would I be afraid of the full potential of my own power?

A: We've all rubbed up against this one in someway at some point... though it seems to make no sense while we're in it... confusion associated with fear of power, which is actually fear of the unknown...

Evolutionary wise, as human beings, we come to perceive safety and security as consistency... keeping things the same.

As soft fleshy mammals, that are not as strong or fast as... let's say... a lion, we have not been on top of the food chain for very long. We did not survive thanks to our strength or powerful claws... we survived thanks to our brains and their ability to perceive, avoid, and overcome danger... our brains don't fully get that we are not living in the bush anymore... to our survival brains there is no difference in the danger the businessman on Wall Street and the prehistoric bushman on the plains of Africa faced... so let's go back in time and consider what kept prehistoric man alive and the cautious behavior we've inherited.

There are two cavemen: Ed & Sam... The adventurous thrill-seeking change-loving "Crazy Eddy" does not stick around the cave where it is warm and lion free... He likes taking risks and at a time when a hangnail can kill you... that's not so good. Ed thinks he is the king of the jungle and can master anything... he's fearless so we wonders around far beyond their lands, taunting the wildlife, trusting everything works out... and soon ends up a lion's main course.

Then there's "Safety First Sam" who is way boring according to today's standards... he does not step off the path, does not travel alone, does not go anywhere or do anything that has not been done before... plus he's very superstitious and gets very nervous with anything new because he thinks it will kill him... like it did Crazy Eddy.

Although not high on the fun meter, Sam got to procreate and pass on his genes and traits to us... as well as inspired a community of Safety First Sams and Crazy Eddy Bashers so that no other tribe member would follow in Crazy Eddy's footsteps.

So you see all our brains, families, communities, and governments are running the Safety First Sam model, which really means: change = death.

But now, we're at the top of the food chain... and our biology has not caught up to our environment... our operating software has not been upgraded so we're still caveman with lots of stuff.

So it's not that we're afraid of our own power or potential, we're still just afraid of the unknown... which use to kill us and is now our opportunity for expansion and fulfillment.
We inherently want to keep things the same so we procrastinate and prevent ourselves from moving beyond our comfort zone... most will rather do the same hurtful behavior like eat poorly, not open their mail, not know their bank balance, stay with abusive partners, or not leave a bad job... instead of doing something different and positive, disturbing the status quo, and making them change... even when the status quo sucks.

This fear of the unknown is related to fear of power, success, and failure...

Fear of power is due to the societal fear of change which breeds mediocrity and the social pressures to keep things the same... so power which is the ability to enact change... is taught to be feared and ignored... though everyone wants it, it is thought to come with the price of isolation from the group... hence it shows up as procrastination and stagnation.

Fear of success is can be due to being overwhelmed... overwhelmed with more... more options... more responsibility... and the fear that the success may go away so it's better to not go there and spare the disappointment... and rejection from the group.

Fear of failure is also about managing disappointment because trying and failing feels worse than not trying at all... not being prepared gives us an understandable scapegoat so it feels better and others can sympathize.
Procrastination, avoidance of power, glory, and potential also divert fault... and displace responsibility... giving us an external focal point so we have an excuse for all the times we hurt our selves, we hurt others, and expressed our dark side... it is too painful to admit we have control over our lives and everything in it... all of it... the good, the bad, and the ugly.

To transcend the fear of our full potential, we must first realize that power and being an individual do not contradict or detract from connecting with our fellow man... in fact, power and being an individual is what connects us to each other... it's one of the many things we have in common... the universal constant is unique expansion and creation.

The choice is not to either be powerful and alone or connected and mediocre... the real choice is to create, express yourself, and revel in your individuality... your glory... your power.
So be patient and gentle with yourself... your humanness... and specially your caveman-ness. It's not about suppressing these things... it's about accepting them (all of them... Dark Sides Rule!)... harmonizing with them... and, ideally, using them... and using them well... deliberately, purposefully, and ultimately--joyfully!

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Thank You,
Sifu Marcus Lovemore


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