Jonah Complex

“For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14

Abraham Maslow coined the term “Jonah Complex” to describe a fear of our own greatness. It refers to the biblical story of Jonah who runs from the purpose that God has laid out for him and ends up in the belly of a whale, contemplating his fate and asking for assistance.

Maslow was interested in how we motivate ourselves and what drives us to create. Our creative power can lead us to feel, in turn god-like and unworthy of our own potential. We are then paralysed and unable to take action to achieve our goals.

How many times have you felt as if you were in the belly of the whale? Do you fear your own potential? What can we do to stop ourselves sabotaging our transcendent purpose? After all, is it not us who chooses whether we succeed or fail?

Many of us are called and feel the pull towards a life that requires us to move out of our comfort zone and radically change ourselves. This can be overwhelming until we learn to balance our god-like arrogance with humility and sustained action.

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90. The Farther Reaches of Human Nature – Abraham H. Maslow (Psychology)

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