Fear of success is real. It is a kind of fear that is irrational and easy to dismiss. It almost sounds like a clever play of words, not a real thing. A nifty construct of an academic scholar, who is using it to justify his research. Many of us claim they don’t have fear of success. Some might be right. But I am feeling it right now. While I am scheduled to receive a book award next week, I still feel like it is not fully deserved. Like they made a mistake, or something went wrong. And I realized something about this fear. Success is change. Fear of success is just a flavor of the fear of change.
I enjoyed writing The Excellence Habit and promoting it. I love the fact that in less than 6 months more than 23,000 people have downloaded it, or bought the paperback. And I absolutely am thrilled that I have more than 40 5-star reviews. THANK YOU to all readers, followers and especially those 5-star reviewers – you are the best. Some readers would even send me a personal message telling me how much they enjoyed the book and that it changed their lives. This moves me. It feels fantastic. And scary.
I can’t explain it. Most likely I have automatic negative thoughts that are so well practiced that I don’t notice them anymore. A negative thinking habit. The opposite of the excellence habit. Some kind of inner darkness that creeps and promotes this fear. Is it perhaps change-fatigue? It could be. Writing the book was a long process. Nothing much changed while I was writing. I didn’t meet with a lot of people during that time. Most of the progress was between me and the white pages that needed my words. Now things are changing and sometimes way too fast. I just gave my first radio interview and I am scheduled for the book award next week.
So I have to remind myself – negative thinking is the disease. I need to change. I need to enjoy and reach out for more success, even if for the sake of paying the bills. In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert – the universe has hidden gems inside us and I perhaps have uncovered one of mine. This is my time and this is what I want. My book, my writing is meant to serve others, not me. It is meant to uplift and illuminate the path of others. And by doing that work, my inner darkness gets illuminated too. And hopefully as this happens, I’ll find more hidden gems and share them. I pray I get a chance to keep finding these gems. All the way – until everything is illuminated. And hopefully by then I would have built my own excellence habit and conquered my fear of success.