JONAH COMPLEX


WE FEAR BEING GREAT MORE THAN WE DESIRE IT


The Jonah complex is the fear of success or the fear of being one's best which prevents unleashing one's own potential. The name of this concept comes from the Biblical prophet Jonah. He was called by God to go to Nineveh and save the city from destruction but instead, he fled.


As Abraham Maslow, the person credited for the term writes: "So often we run away from the responsibilities dictated (or rather suggested) by nature, by fate, even sometimes by accident, just as Jonah tried—in vain—to run away from his fate." A normal question is: Why do we do it? Aren't we supposed to challenge ourselves and attempt to exceed our expectations? It seems that a common reaction is regression, not progression.


When there is a challenge of some sort - a career change, moving to a new location, embarking on a long journey. The common response is fleeing. We fear the responsibility. We fear that the new life will be too much for us to handle. That's why we self-sabotage.


PSYCHOLOGY

NL #18