I have a confession to make: I’ve been afraid of success. The truth is, I didn’t even realize it until recently. Like most folks, deep down I was afraid of failure (especially after losing my election for state representative by just 6 votes in 2014) but a fear of success? Nah, not me. But it’s true. Growing up with an identical twin sister (who is a badass in her own right) I subconsciously learned that it was okay for me to shine, but just not too bright.
My fear of outshining my twin grew into a fear of outshining others including my family and friends. Shining too bright meant outgrowing friendships, relationships, and the fear of changing into someone else. As I’ve begun to overcome my own fear of success here are a few ways to know if you’ve been unconsciously struggling with it too:
5) You procrastinate: You put off meaningful work, projects, or ideas (which is also about a fear of failing) because you fear that you might actually be out here winning. Winning or success means that things will change and that YOU might change (which is uncomfortable).
4) You don’t take risks: It’s easier for you to be comfortable than afraid and therefore, you stick with what you know (which also why you are feeling safe, stuck, and broke).
3) You believe “mo money mo problems”: Growing up in poverty, I used to look forward to being successful so that someday I could do more to help my family. But the more successful I got, the more I felt like they began to expect me to help them, which deep down caused me to resent them and even the success.
2) You fear being truly seen: This has been the hardest one for me to overcome. Deep down many of us are afraid that if the world saw us for who we really are (flaws and all) that others will judge or ridicule us. Even worse, we will be deemed unlovable. The fear that our deepest darkest secrets or the things that we’re most ashamed of will be revealed if we shine too bright is what keeps many of us playing small.
1) You care too much about what other people think: I’ve recently started writing my first book and it scares the shit out of me. Every time I get inspired to write I hear this negative voice that says, ‘Who do you think you are?’ ‘Everything that has ever needed to be said has been written already’ and the one that cuts the deepest is, ‘Nobody is going to read your lil’ book’ (she’s a real bitch right?!). To be honest, it’s the negative self-talk that has kept me from writing it but I’ve decided to finally write the book that I want to read and that doesn’t exist in the world.
I know it’s trite, but today I woke up and reminded myself of the Marianne Williamson quote:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
P.S. If you are ready to finally live in your light and to play bigger in your life, on June 11th at 8pm EST I’m hosting “6 Ways to Live In Your Light”, a FREE 60-minute masterclass where you’ll get the clarity to discover:
– What truly lights you up so you can do the work you love to do every single day (and get paid what you’re ACTUALLY worth)
– How to break the destructive patterns and limiting beliefs that are keeping you safe stuck and broke
– How to show up in your life and career as not just your best self, but as your most authentic self, so you can attract everything that’s waiting for you