Do You Fear Success?

Recently I read an interesting blog post by David Neagle on our topic of this month: fear. He addressed the “fear of success”. The perspective he took on that fear is that we’re not actually afraid of success, in fact we succeed in lots of things each day, the fear is really about being afraid to let go of our current successes to be more successful in other (bigger/better) things. Those are some really good insights into why we aren’t always as successful as we could be.

So what is holding you back? Is it what the legal system or the industry that you’re in says you can or can’t do? I recently worked with a winery that fought for 6 years to get some laws changed so they could have more freedom in creating wines at their winery. They succeeded and there are countless other examples of companies and people who have bucked the system that people said there was no way around. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to open up a social media site and not see some example of great overcoming and over-comers in life or business.

Are you scared of what could happen if you do succeed? Of the changes that would happen, the additional responsibilities you would hold, the impact you could have on the world, the publicity and scrutiny you would face? If so, maybe your vision and passion aren’t big enough. Maybe you don’t truly want that level of success.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think everyone should want to be, needs to be or should be super-rich and successful. Some people are happy with their level of success. However, there are also many people who aren’t happy with their level of success, and they’re usually the people who are too scared to take a step forward, are worried that they’ll fail, are trying too hard to get their ducks in a row, are too concerned with what others are doing or trying too hard to follow the rules. Fear and success aren’t good partners in these examples.

If you’ve been struggling with the fear of moving to the next level of success (and you do want or need to), make a list of things both big and little that you could or should do to make it happen; you can even break the big ones down into smaller steps. Then pick one thing each day to work on. Maybe it will be something you need to do for a week or two to change the habit you were in and develop a new one. But by picking one thing each day that you can do to help you get to the next level of success, you’ll work on conquering the fear without totally overwhelming yourself which will make you much more likely to succeed.

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