When She is Afraid of Success

I’ve always been successful from the everyday standards of the word. In all my employments I was promoted within the first year, sometimes multiple times. I’ve always been offered a job from the companies I really wanted to work for. How is that possible if I’m afraid of success? Let’s explore…

Those are all jobs that I worked for someone else. I had a clear title, with specific roles and responsibilities. The goals were clear and I had tools provided to aid me along the way. I had managers above me and beside me to assist me when the load was too large, or I wanted a second opinion on how to proceed. I didn’t have aspirations of greatness, I just wanted to do a good job. Be a leader to those who were employed on my team. Make enough money for my husband and I to live in comfort. For many of my employed years I was a make-up artist for my favorite make up brand. It was work, for sure, but it was it was my dream. Fast forward, and my dreams changed. I became a mother. The internet happened in a big way. Now I have an opportunity do everything I love. Create the perfect career just for me, and get to stay home with my kids as I do it. It’s all up to me though. I have no co-workers, no managers, no one before me that has paved the way. I must build it from scratch, myself. Most people are afraid of failure. Not me… I’m afraid I will succeed.

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How is that possible? If you really look at it, isn’t it the same thing as being afraid to fail. Nope. It’s pretty different. Those who are afraid to fail, don’t try. They make excuses, or are too embarrassed to even entertain the possibility of doing what they really want to do. Someone who is afraid of success though, according to MindTools.com, looks more like this

  • You feel guilty about any success you have, no matter how small, because your friends, family, or co-workers haven’t had the same success.

I’m in a community of stay-at-home moms. Many turn to part time work, or direct sales to get additional income. What if I start making real money? Will they still want to get together? Will they read my blog? Will they support me? How can I inspire others if I don’t inspire them?

  • You don’t tell others about your accomplishments.

Deep down I know each partnership I get is a thing worth celebration. Even every new follower on Instagram is a big deal. But to those on the outside, it doesn’t look like an accomplishment at all. So no, I don’t talk about all the amazing resources I’ve found. The fact that I’m reaching my goals, or that I will collect a paycheck this month for the first time.

  • You avoid or procrastinate on big projects, especially projects that could lead to recognition.

I know I have to plan out in advance. All businesses do. I have ideas for the upcoming holidays, but I wait till the week before to put them into words and pictures, and by then life interferes and that opportunity has passed.

  • You frequently compromise your own goals or agenda to avoid conflict in a group, or even conflict within your family.

I ask people to take pictures of me and the girls when we are out all the time. But I don’t make it a priority. 90% of the time I’ve asked but left without them.

  • You self-sabotage your work or dreams by convincing yourself that you’re not good enough to achieve them.

As I network on Social Media, trying to grow my own following and community, I find myself getting frustrated that THIS person I came across is succeeding. I believe my voice and content is as good as hers, if not better. The real reason I’m mad, or let’s call it what it really is, jealous, is because I know… I know I could be succeeding too, but I don’t let myself.

  • You feel, subconsciously, that you don’t deserve to enjoy success in your life.

This is a constant struggle for me. My husband has done very well for himself. He is above average in the success stories genre. I already feel that we have too much sometimes. I believe in positive energy and putting good thoughts out there into the universe, so I don’t think about it often, but I fear that for everything we have we will be punished. That my children’s health will fail, or my husband’s. That this happy place wont be reality for long. What if I become successful too? Will that up our anti in shit hitting the fan?

  •  You believe that if you do achieve success, you won’t be able to sustain it. Eventually you’ll fail, and end up back in a worse place than where you started. So you think, “why bother?”

When I say why bother – it’s due to my lack of belief that the particular project isn’t going to hit the numbers I’d love, so I will only give it the 90% effort vs. the 100%. I am more afraid that I will find so much joy in what I want to do and it will be ripped away. Or that it will effect the relationships I have with family, and friends.

So there you have it! I’m afraid of success. I needed to put this out into the world so I can hold myself accountable. I know am worthy of happiness in my heart now my head has to follow. There is enough happy out there for everyone. I truly believe that. I can’t control if others believe in their own happiness, but one of the reasons I blog the stories I do, is in hopes of inspiring people to live happy. How will I move forward?

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Today I will get organized. I have yet to set goals in my last three years of blogging and that is going to change. I will meet my goals. I will celebrate and set new ones. I will connect with other moms and inspire them. I will not just succeed, I will conquer. Let’s take a look at those bullet points again.

  • You feel guilty about any success you have, no matter how small, because your friends, family, or co-workers haven’t had the same success.

I will inspire them. That’s the goal right? I will take my success, my knowledge and research to help them be successful too.

  • You don’t tell others about your accomplishments.

I won’t start bragging, but I will start including those close to me in my achievements. I will share them directly to my circle so they know what an opportunity it really is for me.

  • You avoid or procrastinate on big projects, especially projects that could lead to recognition.

Plan, plan, plan. I will work overtime now to schedule my work in advance. I will have a story line, a vision board, and a jam packed calendar. I will make prioritized lists, so I’m not just floating through the day and doing whatever I can in the spare moments. With my list those spare moments will have real purpose

  • You frequently compromise your own goals or agenda to avoid conflict in a group, or even conflict within your family.

I will make my goals known and a priority. Before I can join the fun, there is work to be done! Those who love me will support me with a smile.

  • You self-sabotage your work or dreams by convincing yourself that you’re not good enough to achieve them.

I have affirmations I’ve written for myself so every time I get jealous, or intimidated I will remind myself the good to come.

  • You feel, subconsciously, that you don’t deserve to enjoy success in your life.

There will always be a sliver of doubt, that is normal. I will continue my happy thoughts about my family and believe I can be happy and successful. I will find others who have been successful and remain happy in their success to aspire to.

  • You believe that if you do achieve success, you won’t be able to sustain it. Eventually you’ll fail, and end up back in a worse place than where you started. So you think, “why bother”

If I continue my visions of success and happiness, this can’t materialize. I have to dig deep and truly believe, and march forward with everything I’ve got. It will only become what I envision it to be, therefor I will envision only great things.

I hope this in some way inspired you. Maybe you too are afraid, or have different things holding you back. Either way, take a long look in the mirror and figure out the whys. If the answer is an outside influence or something you can not control, ask why again. Again and again, why? why? why? Until you can take responsibility for the lack of happiness or success in your life. Then go and do something about it. There is enough happiness and success out there for all of us…. get out of your own way!

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These inspirational T-shirts are available from Matter Apparel. They have a wonderful collection of children’s and adult’s sizes, colors, and affirmations available.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Erin Al-Awar

    This is really interesting. Going from Corporate America to running my own real estate business, I totally get the whole fear of success thing. For me the thing I am the most fearful of is…what if I become super successful, how can I balance it all? Or sustain that level of success? I am a major perfectionist so once I get to a certain level of success I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself to maintain it. It’s something I am working on…to realize there will be ups and downs and that’s ok!

    1. Chelsea

      Yes! Exactly!!! And being a perfectionist, once you reach a level- you will need to entrust others to help you, this is so hard for me. You will have to make sacrifices because there is only so much time in a day…

  2. Chelsea

    Yes! Exactly!!! And being a perfectionist, once you reach a level- you will need to entrust others to help you, this is so hard for me. You will have to make sacrifices because there is only so much time in a day…

  3. Paige Rodriguez

    Chelsea! You ARE such an inspiration, mama– you are doing it and now that you’ve claimed it, I know great things are coming. This resonated with me so much. I feel so much fear holding me back as well and can relate to those humbling feelings of comparing myself to others, which only leads to self-sabotaging thoughts and unsupportive thoughts of others. That’s not who I am at my core and know it’s simply my own insecurities and thought processes that hold me back…. the blogging world can stir up so many feelings of inadequacy if we let it. I get overwhelmed and fall off WAY too much and am working hard to stop that nonsense. But know that you do have something of your own to offer that is unique and truly great. Like you said, there is enough happy for everyone and your blogging success and happiness is waiting for you, mama!! xoxoxo

    1. Chelsea

      Thank you so much! For a while I thought I was crazy. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. I try to live with positivity and build people up, but those insecurities are buried and rear their head at the most vulnerable times. I’ve wanted to stop so many times, but I enjoy it so much. That’s why I decided to face my fears head on! At least I will be able to say, I gave it my EVERYTHING.

  4. Elizabeth

    I can identify with a lot of what you say here. Success takes courage too. There is something about entrepreneurship that brings on a fear of success because it’s all up to you. Great post!

  5. Tina

    “Will that up our anti in shit hitting the fan?” felt kind of familiar. We usually have things turn out that way, so it’s gotten to the point that I find myself waiting for it to fall apart if it actually goes well. I don’t feel like I have a fear of success, but I could definitely identify with some of your feelings. Specifically, seeing some other bloggers who have made it, and after looking at their blog I just don’t get it! It’s hard not to take it personally.

  6. Dani Kemeny

    Thanks for this reflection! It’s true for all sorts of successes Whether its st work or with ones family or at any level… it’s hard to work towards success and then rejoice in it because we have so many different priorities and also because there are things that are more socially acceptable than others, in my experience being successful at work for instance is more socially acceptable than being successful at stay st home parenting… do many stereotypes and mis-information …

  7. Nicolle

    Chelsea I could not love this more! I have always been a very goal oriented and very driven person. Yet sometimes struggle with embracing my accomplishments and sharing them with others who may not have had the same success. This post is so inspiring!

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      Chelsea

      Thank you. It’s important to surround ourselves with people who are on the path to success so we can celebrate the small wins. You don’t have to leave the people struggling behind, but limit your interaction so they don’t drain your energy or stifle your fire.

  8. Karen

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I can completely relate to this post. I have always been afraid of failing and of success. My partner is so supportive it scares me at the same time. To live up to his expectations. I realized I need to set my own boundaries. Thank you for opening up and owning this!

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      Chelsea

      I’m so glad it resonated with you. It’s so important to remind ourselves we are worth it and get out of our own way. Everyone can have success if they work for it and believe in themselves! YOU GOT THIS!

  9. Joylee Armeje

    I love this post! I think every success boils down to setting up the right outlook and attitude towards the goals that we set. I believe in the power of optimism. 🙂 Thanks for sharing these great thoughts, and the cute shirts!

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      Author
      Chelsea

      Yes! It’s funny how I’ve always been a positive vibes person, yet I still couldn’t just leap! You have to align your thoughts with your actions and believe 100%!

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