Let me first say that I am recanting a belief that I’ve had for many years, and that is the idea of the “fear of success”; helping women through the “fear of success”. You’ve perhaps heard of that right? If you’ve done any personal development work that phrase pops up over and over again doesn’t it?
And yikes! I’m changing my mind, thinking differently…huge fear of success red flag!
I’m saying right here and now in my own corner of the world that I do not believe that there is ANY such thing as a FEAR OF SUCCESS.
I simply don’t believe it and if I haven’t completely turned you off and you’re still here, I’ll explain what I mean.
You know, I used to be a believer in the whole idea that people <women> have a fear of success and coached individuals in unblocking that belief about themselves…and it worked.
But here’s the big enchilada…if we are clear on what our vision of success really is…then there isn’t anything to fear! Success should be sah-weet right? A piece of cake…having your cake AND eating it too…why the hell not?
Why in the world wouldn’t anyone fear success?
The definition of success is (according to our buddy Webster): a) a degree or measure of succeeding b) a favorable or desired outcome. ok, nice…
And then Webster totally irritated me with this definition: also the attainment of wealth, favor or eminence. That last part is totally society driven.
What society perceives as success blows.big.chunks. We are so conditioned to believe that success= money, fame, eminence (wth is that? when I hear eminence I think of the Pope!)
Success is a favorable or desired outcome. If you have achieved that desired outcome or a favorable one, then…you have success. So if we truly desire a particular outcome, then why would we fear it???
So I don’t believe that we fear success…what we fear are the “what ifs” that surround success
- What if I fail?
- What if people judge me?
- What if I don’t deserve it?
- What if I have more responsibility?
- What if people don’t like me?
- What if I can’t handle the challenges?
- What if I’m afraid to change?
Those are the real deal breakers when it comes to success. You have, in your life, experienced lots of successes (and lots of lessons learned). When we look at success, we should really make the word plural: successes. Because that’s what a well lived life is: a series of successes; big and small.
I suggest turning “what ifs” into “so whats”…so what if you “fail” (btw, I hate the word fail…there is no failure, simply lessons learned along your journey).
It’s so very important to figure what success means to you.
Success is personal and it’s your journey.
In My Recipe for Life coaching, we spend a lot of time supporting you in figuring out your success recipe and teach you that success is fluid, it’s daily, and it’s yours!
What are your thoughts about being “afraid of success”? How do you move past that mindset? Let’s dish!
John Morgan says
I was afraid of success for a long time. Most people don’t know that. But I grew up with a dad who ran a successful business (and still does) but who was never home. And by never, I mean I saw him about 45 min a week. Maybe.
I was afraid if I became successful I would be like him and have no time for my family. My big WHY in life is to be the dad I wanted.
But I realized I was in an industry I wasn’t passionate about, building a business I wasn’t crazy about. The dream I was chasing was a good one, but it wasn’t mine. Over the next few years I built a very successful business in that industry, but went against the industry norm and I delegated everything. I never met with clients face-to-face and I built a successful team around me.
I sold that business to follow my passion and my dream. That dream was to help people, talk about what I talk about all the time anyways, make a ton of money, do it from home or anywhere I want, and only work with people who are cool.
I’m proud to say I’ve done that, but in that journey the fear of success never came in. Not once. Chasing this dream was fun, easier, and not scary.
Until this blog post I wasn’t aware that I didn’t have the fear of success this time around. That’s very interesting.
Today, I’m partnering with someone who I have fun working with, will be able to really WOW my clients, and work less. Taking on a business partner, launching new programs, changing the direction I was headed, etc. Not one thing has been scary. It’s been fun, exciting, and awesome.
Thanks for the great blog post!
Thank you John for sharing such a heartfelt post. You are amazing and I’m so proud to know you and be a part of your circle.
I think that most of us carry around the expectations of what everyone else wants us to do. I know my parents were so very proud to say that there their daughter was a “special education teacher”; and when I told them I was going to pursue coaching and empowering women I think there was underlying disappointment.
Like you, never once have I been scared of success…I embrace it because it means that I am fulfilling my life’s purpose.
I love your story, I think so many people can relate to it and I hope more peeps will stop by and share:-)
P.S. I freakin LOVE your website http://www.brandbreakout.com
building YOUR brand and embracing your message and vision is what it’s all about my friend!!