We all want success in many of its different forms. Success as a parent, success in our families, our businesses, our health and mostly in happiness. Never quite sure which way round the last one is, do we become happy because we are successful or are we successful because we are happy? Anyway ask anyone you meet today if they want success in their endeavours and the answer will most likely be yes even if their challenge is depression. I would certainly conclude that success is what I strive for.
However over the past few weeks I have been dealing with my fear of success. It seems to have risen from deep in my unconscious mind and now stands threateningly at the edge of my awareness, of my consciousness. It is palpable and seems cloaked in dread. It is time to engage with it and transcend this block.
I recognise many people would consider me somewhat successful with a family that are doing well and two sound businesses and I would agree with them. However, when I look at my past, I see any number of examples when I have avoided or sabotaged my success. Maybe the most illuminating story was during my yachting career when I was engaged to sail a 6-metre yacht in the World Championship in Torquay, England. We had a good boat and an experienced crew but we were up against some world-class sailors plus a couple of Olympians. I was the tactician, I called the shots. After all but the last race we comfortably led the table and only needed to place in the first six boats to win the championship. We were leading the final race by some considerable distance and on the last leg I called a tack, still not sure why, and we sailed into a hole (sailors’ term for no wind) and the whole fleet sailed past us!
As I review my life from the perspective of my fear of success, I see many other stories not least being part of an organisation for close to 25 years that taught success, yet so few of the members achieved success. It was a great place to hide and while I built a successful business for myself it was not something that permeated the wider organisation. Having retired I see other similar organisations which have embraced success on many levels and grown and prospered and are now having a really significant effect on a significant number of people.
This fear of success has many dimensions and I feel will take a lot of courage and application to overcome it. However, I am aware that I have taken the first major step, and that is to become aware of it. Now I can move forward although it still does not feel good.
We wish you all luck and good fortune with your endeavours and we will keep you posted on our progress.With love,