Fear of success Recently it has come to my attention that I’m not afraid of failure. This is a common fear and one that I would have readily admitted to experiencing for most of my life. Above all else I didn’t want to prove the voices in my head right. They said things like, “You’ll never amount to anything.” “You’ll be lucky if you aren’t addicted to drugs by the time you graduate high school.” Etc., etc., etc. Instead I’ve become aware of a more bizarre fear, at least in my opinion. I have discovered that I am afraid of success. I’m afraid that if I’m really successful, I won’t be who I am anymore. I am afraid I will spend money in stupid ways, that I will forget my plans to help others when I am more successful. I am afraid I won’t have friends because I will become snotty and mean. I am afraid if I don’t HAVE to trust God, I will drift and wander. This sounds so bizarre when I write it out. I have struggled most of my life to succeed; if I don’t struggle, then who will I be? A few years ago while working with my coach, Kim Hodous, I was introduced to the concept of GRAND goals. She writes about them in her book, Show UP, Be Bold and Play Big . These aren’t SMART goals, they are GRAND goals. Guaranteed Recorded Authentic Noble Daring The idea is that you set goals in 9 different areas of your life.
- Family and friends
- Business and career
- Wealth and finances
- Health and body
- Play and fun
- Love and romance
- Personal fulfilment
- Artistic and creative
For me this has created a situation on a regular basis that allows me to feel successful. Instead of working for days, weeks, months or even a year or more to feel I’ve accomplished a goal, I can feel success daily. One of my family & friends goals is to have more girlfriend time. That means literally anytime I get to hang out with a friend, I have accomplished my goal. A health and body goal is to eat less sugar. One night I went to a business after hours and instead of eating a brownie, I only had fruit. I cheered for myself all the way home. After selecting at least 3 goals in the different areas, then you are to select 3 overall GRAND goals to focus on. I think this is supposed to be an annual process. This weekend I realized that in May, 2012 my three overall GRAND goals were:
- Re-do floors in main floor of our house (finished January 2014)
- Take a week-long vacation with our family each year (May, 2012; July, 2013 and December, 2013)
- Re-finish the pool – paint will be delivered in a few days
Besides feeling success on a regular basis, it sets up a scenario to give you something to strive toward. Following Kim’s advice, I try to re-write my goals every 7 days. This also leads to feeling successful because I can see what I’m accomplishing. I may miss a week here and there, but it’s something I aspire to do. How does all this relate to being afraid of success? I’m not entirely sure. I feel like I’m on a cliff preparing to go hand gliding and I feel like I need to spend more time, getting ready to get ready. What is the lie that I’m believing?? Obviously I’ve identified some of them above. I think I have to continue to identify and eliminate the lies I believe so that I can live in truth. Part of my issue with writing this book is that I didn’t really want to do it until I felt I had arrived. Until I felt I had most of the answers. Until I felt I was successful. I don’t say this so that someone will tell me I am successful, you know as well as I do, it doesn’t matter what others say, it matters what goes on in our head when no one else is around. The questions I still wrestle with are deep and I don’t know when I’ll have the answer to them. Why now? Why must I write?? I have no idea and that is not a very comfortable place to be. What I have learned is that generosity and gratitude are choices I must make every day regardless of circumstances. I have learned that there are many ways to measure success and I have a terrible tendency to change the measuring stick so that I’m never there. I’ve also learned that the relationships I have now are because of investments I’ve made and those will continue to pay dividends for years to come. I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve certainly learned some lessons. Hopefully you’ll share your lessons so we can learn together.