Fear of failure. We’ve all been there and done that. It’s as common as the cold. We love our comfort zones just so. Why venture out into the dark unknown when you feel safe as you are?
But this fear’s lesser-known sibling is the fear of success. Is it possible that it’s actually success you’re afraid of? You may well be shaking a firm “no, not me”, maybe even thinking it sounds crazy to fear success BUT, if you’re feeling ‘stuck’ in any way, there’s likely to be a few weeds in your thinking that need uprooting.
Bring to mind a goal you’ve had for some time but have made little or no headway in achieving. Ask yourself: “why haven’t I made progress?” Move beyond the excuses and justifications. Keep asking ‘why’ with childlike curiosity and see what comes up. What does your picture of success look like? What DON’T you want that this success will bring?
I’ll share an example: my own fear of success.
I was a non-believer. Of course I wanted success. I am a hard worker and my blood, sweat and tears have all been directed in the firm direction of success. But I was stuck. My nemesis, procrastination, had taken a grip. I asked myself the same questions: why hadn’t I made progress? What was in my picture of success that I DIDN’T want?
The answer surprised me! I truly value freedom and authenticity … and, somewhere in the back of my mind, these two values would be threatened by success. If I achieved my vision for my business, professionally and financially, I pictured having to work long hours and having little time for the people I love. Earning money might change people’s perception of me to the proverbial ‘poser’. Neither are great motivators!
In getting clear on what I don’t want, it also shone a light on what I did. Freedom to flex my time around work and family is priority. Being successful AND being authentic and generous was my ideal.
What I needed were examples, role models to follow – and I urge you to do the same. Who did I know (in person or famous) who had achieved success which brought them greater freedom, financial wealth AND a reputation for being genuine and giving? By finding examples of people I could model my version of success on, the symptoms (procrastination) of my stuck-ness begin to shift.
Now, it’s your turn.
What is it that’s stopping you making progress towards the success you desire? Who could be your role model for your new version of success?
I’d love to hear your comments.