But what about the equally paralyzing fear of success? The compressing fear that you might just succeed. For many, that anxiety far outweighs any fear of failing.
Let’s define, at least in simple dictionary terms, failure and success. In this context, “failure” is an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success. “Success” being the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals. (Thanks to Dictionary.com)
So, is failure the opposite of success? And why would any of us have a fear of succeeding? Being discovered a fraud? Inadequacy? Low self-esteem? Insecurity? What is it that keeps so many of us huddled in darkness rather than risk being considered successful? (Ah, a clue! The “R” word… risk.) It’s akin to a lauded artist whose paintings you don’t understand and believe a monkey could produce. While you are “just not seeing the big deal,” people are paying hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars for those works. Certainly the artist was able to overcome any internal fears of failure or success. That artist also recognized an important factor in overcoming those fears; that you can’t please all the people all the time. May as well start with being who you are and please yourself. Like an intricate jigsaw puzzle, the other pieces will eventually fall into place.
Scary? Sure. Your comfort zone lives in a diminutive room without windows. Climb out. Redefine what constitutes success. Frankly, you are a success simply by being, so you may as well be who you are. Let the chips fall where they may. I guarantee no one will be looking at you as critically or as harshly as you’re looking at yourself. At the end of the day – your opinion of you is what matters. You are not branded with someone else’s iron. You are successful just because you are you.
As children, most of us heard enough “stop” “quit” “no” “don’t” “shouldn’t” “be quiet” “shush” “can’t do that” and “do it this way” to last infinite lifetimes. Well, now is a great time to tell yourself that you can and you will and will do so in your own unique way.
Here’s your push into the deep end of the pool: Take physical and mental control of your life or someone else will.
It’s all part of the adventure,