When I was twenty-two years old, I wrote my very first romance novel. It’s all I dreamed of being. A writer. Ten years later, I wrote another book. Then another. And then a few more. Each one filled with unique characters. Each one sitting in a file on my laptop collecting cyber-dust.
You might think it’s because I’m afraid of failing. But you would be wrong. The truth is — I’m afraid to succeed. It’s the one thing holding me back from publishing my books online. It starts out with agitation. I find the tiniest things wrong with my work, setting me back. I become picky. I get upset easily. Then I procrastinate. It could be weeks or even months before I look at my books again. The fear of succeeding so overwhelming — it actually causes me anxiety just thinking about it.
Fear of Success Is Harder to Deal With Than Fear of Failure
Self-sabotage is the number one reason people fail. It’s easy to fail. Okay, maybe not for some. But honestly growing up we are constantly told as kids when we do something wrong. So failing just becomes a normal part of achievement. Fear is the enemy. That’s why today, I decided to ‘out’ myself and share my fears with you.
Putting Yourself on Display Even Successfully Can Render You Paralyzed with Fear.
Putting myself out there means opening myself up to being scrutinized and criticized on something I am truly passionate about and love to do. It’s like someone putting down my kids. My temper rises and my ‘mama bear’ instinct to kick-ass shows up. It exposes me to new demands, and I often wonder. What if I can’t meet the challenges? So I just don’t take the risk.
Fear of Change and Being Someone Else Can Be Scary
When I think of authors like Stephanie Myers and J.K. Rowling. Two women who fell into success overnight basically through their sheer amazing storytelling.I look at them today and I’m grateful it’s not me. Not that I am saying I’m as good of a writer as they are. But when we think of successful people, writers, actors, politicians, anyone famous. It’s frightening to think of losing yourself and becoming someone else within the process of finding success. But change means growing. Change means expanding. It’s about embracing all the good things you know about yourself and adding to them. Not taking them away. Right?
I guess I’m afraid that if I become successful in my writing, it will mean more demands will be put on me. But then hubby says that’s not true. The only demands to be put on me are those I put on myself. I still have choices to make, and I have to be comfortable making those choices. More choices can lead to a richer life.
So How Can You Stop Yourself From Being Afraid of Success?
- Boost your confidence by reminding yourself daily you are worth it.
- Join a network in the field you hold interest or passion in for support.
- Remind yourself what success can bring you – more choices = more opportunities in your life to grow and expand who you are.
- Remind yourself you are doing this for you and nobody else. Other people’s opinions matter but they shouldn’t change your want to meet your goals.
- Trust yourself more with what you know about yourself in being honest with yourself.
- Think of criticism and opinions like building blocks to the structure you’ve already built. They can only make it stronger if you allow them to be part of the foundation.
Do you have a fear of succeeding at something? What tips do you offer to those who do?