Friday, February 18, 2011

Squash your Phobia of Success

Success is a funny thing; if I asked you “do you want to be successful?” you would probably answer “yes”. Who wouldn’t want to be successful? But allow me to come at this question in a different way. Instead of asking you the question “do you want to be successful?” What if I just presented you with an opportunity to be successful and all you needed to do was work hard to make the opportunity a success. Would you?
It’s a viable opportunity; it seems like a slam dunk.  I work hard and I am rewarded. But is it really that simple? My answer would be yes… it can be. The reason I say “…it can be” is because; first there are always unknown variables in any situation that can influence and change the outcome. But secondly and more to my speaking point, there are some of us out there that are for lack of a better term afraid or have a phobia of success.
It may not manifest itself as a fear of success. It may manifest itself as the fear of failure or something similar. To me, the fear of success and the fear of failure are one in the same. If you fear success you never really try hard enough to be successful. If you fear failure you make excuses not to invest more because you think you will fail, or sometimes you don’t invest at all.
So you tell yourself “I’ll play it safe, I don’t want to be rash or risky because this venture may backfire or fail”. Yes, you could “play it safe” and not run the risk of failing. You could tell yourself hundreds of reasons why you shouldn’t do something. But at the end of this internal debate I ask you; what have you gained or learned about yourself that is worthwhile? Some would say I have gained the understanding that I am a cautious person and I have learned that I am a person who likes to weight his or her options. I would say yes that’s true, but that answer to me, well constructed as it may be is not exciting, fulfilling or worthwhile. By giving that answer did you grow as a person? Did you experience something new? Probably not, if you play it safe all the time it may be true that you never fail but you also never really succeed.
So I ask you to take a chance, invest yourself in something you want, love or desire to do and take it all the way. See what happens, you may just surprise yourself. I offer one caveat though; that not every venture will be a success. You will fail at times but, it’s how you deal with and learn from these experiences that will ultimately make the difference. Seize your opportunity, squash your phobia of success and you will gain something (knowledge, experience, personal growth, etc.) worthwhile whether you succeed or not. I would like to end this post with this little nugget from John Wooden; “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts.”

Squash your Phobia of Success

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