Are You Afraid of Success?

You shake your head and wonder if I’ve gone off the last rocker. No way. A friend and I talked about how people are affected by this word. This got me thinking and remembering how we all go to great lengths to put roadblocks in our paths. When success stares back and you can feel the pressure of success, a few things can happen.

Sabotage – Have you ever heard of or seen people make mistakes on purpose? It happens. Why? People do not want to be known as the nerd, the smart one, the know it all, the one person that succeeded and you can name more and more. Everyone wants to be part of the group, a regular, a friend; not the geeks or brains of the group. This carries into all lives and positions.

I’ve know people, both men and women, trying to wipe the weight off their bodies. Then the pounds drop, the clothes hang on the bodies and they get scared. They do not know the person they see in the mirror, and this scares them. Instead of celebrating their new healthy lifestyles, sometimes the weight starts to add up and they begin to feel comfortable. They damage their own lives rather than face a new life.

A new employee excels at the position. The employee enjoys company of the workers, peers, and gets along with everyone. Within six months, the employee is promoted to a supervisory position. Her co-workers look at this promotion as a separation and their relationship changes. The employee does not want to be separated from the co-workers and instead of confronting them, decides to ‘screw up’ and get back the old job.

What about writers? The same sabotage happens. Writers are a group where everyone celebrates a new author, a new published book, a book signing, a contract and support all writers. You are a new writer and a new member of a writers’ group, critique group or so new no one knows your name. You attend meetings, conferences and each book signing you can. You watch and see what happens, how successful writers handle themselves and know you can do the same. THEN. . .

As a new writer you send out query letters, research the agents, publishers and e-book opportunities. This is over whelming. So the next query letter you make a few typos. They ask for 30 pages and you send out three chapters, which are 45 pages. You begin to sabotage yourself because of fear. How would I handle success? Who could I trust? Would my other writer friends shun me?

Now, you see the common denominator in all of the sabotage. FEAR. All of us are afraid of the unknown and why not? We have not traveled the road of success from the scrawny path to a huge road. It is a scary and  lonely avenue; but this does not have to happen. You worked hard with your craft. You pushed yourself forward and now you have a chance to be the success you always wanted. You can be and turn around and offer your hand to another individual. You can lead the way for others to follow in your footsteps. You can be the light for your fellow workers, dieters, writers, or whatever other position is out there.

Your success can turn into a footstep to others to climb the ladder, one step at a time. Every step up your ladder, you reach back and grab another’s hand. This is the sure fire award of success – pull others with you and share in the joy of the journey.