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Fight or Flight: 3 Ways to Overcome the Fear of Success

It’s common to be afraid of failure, sickness, or death; but have you ever felt scared of success? When things fall into place, and you get exactly what you prayed for, it seems silly to be anything other than thankful, right?

Though my book, Mustard Seed Mentality, stresses the value of a faith-based mindset, there are times when I struggle with having faith. If something negative happens, all of my focus immediately goes to improving my current situation. However, when things are going well, I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. Have you heard the saying, “You’re either going through a storm, coming out of a storm, or getting ready to go into a storm?” That phrase has caused me much anxiety over the years because I find myself always anticipating a storm!

When I quit my job to open a small business with my husband in 2019, initially all I felt was fear. My mind constantly raced about whether or not our business would thrive. Once things really took off, I often found myself being concerned about whether or not we would be able to keep up the momentum. As The Prescription Shoppe continues to grow and more opportunities come our way, I get nervous and wonder, “How far are we going to take this God?” Although I prayed for success, seeing all of our hard work pay off can, at times, bring about even more anxiety. I begin to doubt myself and suffer from Imposter Syndrome. Can you relate? What is it about getting the job we prayed for or meeting the man we asked God to send that causes our anxiety to go through the roof? Isn’t it funny to see the devil try to use our blessings against us? Satan wants to see us self-destruct. His main goal is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). When God blesses us, our fear can cause us to take flight and run instead of fight for what we know God has for us.

So, how do we fight? Here are 3 ways to overcome your fear of success, and totally embrace your blessings!

Get Honest with God

Confession: I never intended to become an entrepreneur or author, yet here I am. When I reflect on how I got here, I think of all of the fear I’ve had to overcome. The story of Moses comes to mind (Exodus 3: 1-22). Moses felt that God had called him to complete a bigger task than he was capable of accomplishing. Even before God gave Moses instructions, the weight of knowing that God thought Moses was worthy enough to be in His presence was intimidating. I know this feeling well. When I sense that God is calling me to pursue a dream that seems too big for me, my first reaction is to question God. Some people will tell you to never question God. However, I believe that in the same way my children question me at times, it is okay for me to question my heavenly Father. God wants us to be honest with him about everything! After all, there is nothing we can tell Him that He does not already know. We can’t shock Him with our admissions. Having real conversations with God is so necessary. When we drop the pleasantries and truly just talk to the Lord, the result is priceless. By allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with God, we are admitting that we are not in control and that we need Him. I encourage you to seek God, be honest with Him about your fears, and pray for exactly what you feel you need.

Focus on the Bigger Picture

Esther is another figure from the Bible who overcame fear. She was a woman of great courage (Esther 4:13-14). In spite of the fear Esther faced, she chose to focus on the bigger picture. Esther knew that her bravery wasn’t just about her, and her actions showed that she understood the assignment! When my husband and I became entrepreneurs, I had to look at the bigger picture also. Was my assignment scary? Yes! Did I feel I had all of the answers and knew exactly what would happen? No. What I chose to focus on was the impact I would have on my family and my community. Removing the safety net and quitting my job was hard. God doesn’t promise that our assignments will always be easy. However, He does promise that he will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Leaving a legacy for my children and showing other little boys and girls of color that they too can aspire to have their own small business, fuels my fire and gives me the determination that I need to push past my fear. I realize that I am not only dreaming for me, but for every other woman of color who has been made to feel less than, or had her intelligence questioned—every woman whose assertiveness has been labeled as “feisty” or “angry.” What legacy will you build? Focusing on the bigger picture will allow you to have a clear sense of purpose.

Be Obedient

Being obedient can be hard, especially when there is fear involved. But even if you are scared, be obedient anyway! When I think about what my life would look like had I not been obedient, I know that I would not be living up to my true potential. That’s the thing about fear: it allows the unknown to get the best of us. I had no idea where my journey would lead when I quit my job and that fear almost paralyzed me. If I hadn’t listened to the Holy Spirit, chances are you wouldn’t even be reading this blog post right now, much less Mustard Seed Mentality. One of the most powerful displays of obedience in the Bible is when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:39). He said, “Let this cup pass from me!” How raw. Jesus knew he would be mocked, beaten, and die a painful death. He, too, was scared of the assignment that God had given him. That should give you comfort. Even Jesus felt intimidated, at times, and overwhelmed. However, Jesus was honest with God, He focused on the bigger picture, and He chose to be obedient in spite of fear. I got my formula from Jesus, y’all! He stayed the course and did what He needed to do, and because of Him we have eternal life. What a powerful legacy!

God gives us assignments that we never would have chosen for ourselves. But when we obey in faith, God uses our obedience to bless others. Even if you don’t think you are a person of great faith, you actually are! When you think about it, you exercise your faith every single day. When you sit in a chair, you have faith that it will hold your weight. When you leave your house in the morning, you have faith that you will return in the evening. You exercise your faith in different ways throughout your day. Now, you just need to apply that same faith in other areas of your life.

So, when the blessings start rolling in and you begin to doubt yourself or God, focus instead on God’s Word. Let His voice give you peace in your most anxious times. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." When fear of success starts to get the best of you, don’t run! Fight for your promises!

I want to hear from you! Which do you struggle with most: getting honest with God, focusing on the bigger picture, or being obedient and why?

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Being honest with God at times about my fears has been hard for me. I was always taught as a child to not question God. I have learned in my transparency with God that it allows Him to be God. It allows Him to love on me and give me what I need to move forward without that fear! Fear can be crippling, but staying in His word and being obedient keeps my fears in check!

Dr. Jade L. Ranger
Dr. Jade L. Ranger
Jan 26, 2022
Replying to

Amen girl 🙏🏽

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