Shivi Verma learns to transcend her fear of success in order to embrace life fully
Even though studious I was never a topper in class. My parents and teachers often felt that I could do better if I tried harder, but it never happened, because I never studied with that intent. I happily believed that someone else deserved that position and remained content with standing second or third in class.
As time went by my grades and rank fell further. Along with this came a host of debilitating diseases and I was convinced, that success was as distant for me as the north star in the sky - I could covet it, but never get it. And even though I kept struggling to pass with good marks or make a good career, internally I was certain that success was something which I could only gape at. Gloom, depression and pain became so integral to my life that I couldn't visualise a life without them. But as is the Universe's wont, it doesn't let you stagnate. As I continued to slip into a downward spiral, I developed such self-loathing that I was forced to search for some semblance of self-respect and self-worth. This ultimately heralded my journey into spirituality and I began seeing light, love and possibilities.
Locked doors began to open and I started taking small, hesitant steps towards self-confidence and selfassurance. And this is when I began meeting myself. I realised that life was not unfair. It was my inner talk that sabotaged my chances of success. If a boss praised me, I internally argued that she was just being kind; If an opportunity knocked at my door, I mentally decided that someone else was better suited for it; if a man showed interest, I convinced myself that it was nothing special. And as I began becoming aware, I was forced to acknowledge a certain shadow area in my mind. And it was, that I feared the responsibility that came with success and hence subconsciously scuttled it. As I ate humble pie, I had to admit that I could no longer evade responsibility if I wanted to be successful. Thus aware, I began changing my inner talk. And the results began to show. I gingerly climbed one step after another and strengthened myself in my job and spiritual pursuits. Issues started getting resolved and a certain toxic relationship ended abruptly. This was followed by an unprecedented spiritual flowering and I was catapulted to a zone of immense, joy and power. Since it was a novel experience for me, the dizzying heights of felicity and freedom terrified me, making me giddy. My mind screamed again, “It's not real, it's not meant for you, you don't deserve it.” And afraid like a deer caught in a headlight, I scurried back to the toxic relationship, to the familiarity of pain and struggle. They seemed like old friends and provided safety from unfamiliar heights of glory and power.
Once inside, I realised that I was no longer the same person. Success had changed me, and I ached to fly like a bird in the sky. I pondered. Behind me was the familiar but prolonged life of misery and melancholy, and ahead of me was the unfamiliar but promising territory of, achievement, creativity and joy. I had to take a call. And I chose to cast away my fear of the unfamiliar, my fear of success. I no longer fitted into the old mould of a wretched Shivi. I braced myself to face new challenges, responsibilities, and new possibilities. I promised myself that I won't run away, fear growth, or shun heights. As I walked out of the toxic relationship once more, promising never to look back, the brand new opportunity of being Editor Life Positive fell into my lap. This time I picked it up, flapped my wings and flew to meet new horizons.
Deputy Editor with Life Positive, Shivi Verma is
a devotee who found all her answers in loving
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