Are you afraid of success?

Much has been written about fear of failure and I found it refreshing to come across an article in this issue’s Collective magazine flipping this on it’s head and exploring a fear of success.


For those who have not heard of the Renegade’s Collective I would highly recommend picking up an issue. I describe it as the ‘vanity fair of business’ for game changers, thought leaders, rule breakers and style makers. Its founder and Editor-In-Chief Lisa Messenger is certainly an inspiring entrepreneur who recently released a book Daring and Disruptive. My mentor bought me this for Christmas and it really leaves you with a can do attitude!

On the blog subject of fear of success, I don’t know about you but when everything is aligning and going really well I have had thoughts of this can’t last… when will something go wrong? Rather than thinking like this now I believe in enjoying all these great moments and thinking the best with everything. Why not? We only live once and can have it all in the long term.

I find when one area of your life is going really well it can have a positive knock on effect to other areas, embrace it! You deserve all the success.

It’s been great to spend this weekend with one of my great UK friends Dave in Sydney who’s enroute to New Zealand. He has been very successful in his career as a copywriter to date and is now experimenting with starting a business, writing a blog and doing some freelance work along the way. He has embraced getting head hunted and is going from strength to strength not fearing his growing success. Does this come easier to men than women?

The Collective article touches how fear of success can especially affect women with many suffering from an underinflated ego. It compares the cliche of not finding love until you feel you’re worthy to the same with our professional careers. Helene Lerner, author of In Her Power: Reclaiming Your Authentic Self says “Women do not think big enough.” “We are all tremendously talented. Imagine what could happen if we really had a big enough vision for ourselves…..Being visible and letting people know the real you can feel awkward….But we must not shy away from the uneasiness, because it means we are growing.” Let’s think bigger girls and flip this.

So am I saying we all need to grow our egos? No not at all, I think a degree of modesty is very positive and humbling. The thing is as the article explores extreme modesty can stop us reaching our potential. Procrastination being a symptom of this.

A live example? Writer Amy Molloy highlights how Dustin Hoffman has been writing all along his career but hasn’t taken writing credits. This included films Kramer vs. Kramer, Tootsie and Rain Man. So why? in an interview last year he shared “I would say there was an element of self-sabotage in me soon after I learned how to walk, which has never really left me.” He now reflects on this as stupid.

A couple of quotes I wanted to share from the article that helps further explore this topic:

“Each of us has an innermost thermostat setting that determines how much love, success and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy.” Gay Hendricks

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure….We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?….Your playing small does not serve the world…And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same” Marianne Williamson

Are you holding yourself back without realising it? If the answer’s yes, well done, becoming self aware of this is the first step to overcome it. Tips to then help combat this:

*Flip your mindset and think what’s the best thing that can happen versus the worst?
*Surround yourself with successful can do people
*Do that thing you’ve been putting off in relation to your career
*Iterate don’t perfect, a great piece of advice I always remember
*Just do it! Our slogan for 2015 at IECL is be, bold, be brave, do it!

I’ll finish as Amy did in her Collective article, change your inner sabotage into a cheerleader.

Good luck with it! Would love to hear any thoughts on this topic.


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