My Fear of Success

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Yesterday I tweeted a quote from that great philosopher Yoda

“Named must your fear be before banish it you can” (Yoda, Star Wars….you read that correctly by the way lol)

It appeared at the start of a chapter of a book I was reading (The 4-hour work week by Timothy Ferris) and just about summed up my current situation and feelings about it.

I started the Swan Doctor in January 2016 with great gusto and passion. On February 13th 2016, my partner Alan proposed to me and of course I said “yes.” I was overjoyed and became over-obsessed with wedding planning. Alan often jokes that he should have borne in mind who he was proposing to as the wedding planning spreadsheets were implemented within one week and the venue and trimmings booked by Saint Patrick’s Day (March 17th 2016).

Certainly I’ve also been incredibly busy at work and finding the time and energy to also blog and build my new venture was proving difficult. But really….I think I have been making excuses.

Some may say I started to procrastinate, but the definition of procrastination is ‘to keep delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring.’ (Cambridge English Dictionary). The Swan Doctor is anything but unpleasant and boring to me.

I started this blog because I wanted to share my life journey and experiences, whether they be good or bad, challenging or easy dealt with, and discuss/share the tools and resources out there that have helped me along the way. As I have often alluded to, it hasn’t been an easy journey at times, but I am not alone. Every single one of us, regardless of background, will face this same bumpy road with much joy and sometimes sorrow along the way. Ultimately, we get one shot at this and I for one, don’t want to reach the end of my life with nothing but regrets and ‘I should haves….’

I’ve mentioned the Jack Canfield Success Principles book elsewhere. One of the tasks the book gives you to complete is to identify your life purpose. I did this exercise whilst working through the book in March 2015 and ended up with the following:

My Life Purpose

My Life Purpose

My purpose in life is to use my knowledge, experiences and positive outlook to guide, teach, advise, inspire and empower others to achieve their goals in a loving and compassionate way.”

[Click here if you’d like to read this book and learn how to take the steps towards a more focused, successful and fulfilled future].

I’ve pinned a photo of this written exercise to the top of my twitter page so as to remind me on a daily basis of my life purpose.   But somehow still I stopped the Swan Doctor for a while. I’ve thought long and hard. I love the idea of the Swan Doctor and the impact I could have. Sharing life’s highs, lows and challenges together with strategies to deal with them is important to me. Ultimately I blame ‘fear.’ I started to fear telling my story and sharing my thoughts. Most strangely of all, I feared success at this more than the fear of failing. Where would it lead to and how much of ‘me’ would then have to be shared with the world? What would others think of me?

It seems to actually be quite a common phenomenon. Fear…..fear of failure and particularly fear of success! In fact if you google ‘fear of success’ many quotes and articles result. So this is a very real phenomenon which does indeed get mixed into the same pot as procrastination. A quote from Denis Waitley (American speaker) explains this as “procrastination being the fear of success …..people procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy”. Jack Canfield also appeared again on my google search of this with the quote ‘Everything you want is on the other side of fear.’

I don’t want to get caught up in the phenomenon of New Year’s resolutions and goal setting as I personally believe we are all under too much pressure at this time of year to be seen to be doing this. What we start in the New Year should resonate and be built upon throughout the year and January 1st shouldn’t have any more associated pressure to succeed than any other day of the year.

Having said that, I need to overcome my fears by taking action, one baby step at a time if necessary. After all I’m always telling my daughter to ‘face the fear and do it anyway!’ She needs to see me stepping out of my comfort zone and practising what I preach.

I have a plan and the will to overcome my fears now. Bear with me – it is now time (there is never the right time, is there?) to just put this out there and see what happens. I love the upbeat quote from the wonderful Marianne Williamson and will end on this positive note:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are more powerful beyond measure. It is light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? (Marianne Williamson, American spiritual teacher, author and lecturer).

Ruth