Are you afraid of success?
That sounds really silly, right?! Whose afraid of success? Isn't success (personally, professionally) what we are striving for?
That's what I thought too, until I read (for the second time) one of my favorite books, "Make It Happen" by Lara Casey.
Last week during our quarterly review I read a passage about the fear of success. I won't quote the entire section here, but here is an excerpt from the book. For those in attendance last week who received the book, or if you have the book already at home, this appears on pages 20-21.
When we look a level deeper, our greatest fear may actually be the very thing we are chasing: success. Why? If we finally realize our potential, we might be thrust into a life of responsibility that we can't handle.
-I am afraid of trying because I might actually succeed.
-I am afraid of success because I might have to step out of my comfort zone.
-I am afraid of success because it might not be what I expect, and then I'll have to start over.
-I'm afraid of success because I believe I'll have to keep doing whatever I did to become successful nonstop forever, and I'll be trapped!
-I am afraid my success will be selfish.
We fear success because it may invite a bigger opportunity for failure, it might take us away from our loved ones, or it might put us under the microscope of others.
So we decide that success is for everyone else, not us. We don't take risks because we think we are small. We don't do anything great because we think we weren't made that way. (end excerpt)
Wow, right? Do you recognize any of that? I know I do. Especially the part about stepping out of my comfort zone and being selfish.
Now, do you fear success? Part of me definitely does, always has. I was having this conversation with two friends last week about what changed for me, why am I more able to handle that particular fear now, to charge forward (mostly) confidently. For me, it is the people in my life, my business partners, my mentors, my team. In the first "phase" of my career I got a wonderful start on a rainmaker team. The splits were low, but everything was provided and I learned so much. More than I know I could have on my own. As years went by though, and past clients started calling me back directly, and my sphere of influence started contacting me, and I started receiving referrals, it became pretty clear that it was time to go off on my own, but I was afraid. I was comfortable, yet uncomfortable at the same time. I was settled, yet unsettled at the same time. Then, I met Vicky Zakkak Noufal, Carmelle DeAntona Shea, Jodi Hooper Spelbring, Stacy Farrey Mallonee and Jackie Fields-Gleadall.
We had known each other and had been working together already for quite a while, but as our relationships deepened, I saw how much they believed in me, believed in themselves, and that gave me confidence. It still gives me confidence. It allows me to see the fear, recognize it, and push forward confidently anyway. They (among many others) lifted me (still lift me) up.
Do you fear success? My best advice to you is to align yourself with those who will lift you up. Spend time with those who will help you to push forward, who see you as the special, capable woman that you are. I promise you, it will change your life, it did mine.