I really can’t believe this is the last Saturday of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, which means that this is, potentially, the last of the “Permission” series I’ve been doing. I’ve saved one of the most interesting forms of permission for last.
A lot of people roll their eyes at the idea of anyone needing permission to succeed, but the fact is that fear of success is right up there next to fear of failure on the list of top fears. And it can be just as crippling. Some people see only positive sides to success, but not everyone does.
Fear of failure leaves you unable to move because you’re too scared that you’ll be embarrassed, ashamed, or any variety of other negative emotions if things don’t go well. Fear of success, on the other hand, looks like any of these:
If I do well with this project:
- they’ll expect me to do another one
- they’ll think I can do more than I know I’m capable of
- people will start paying attention to me, and I’m not sure I can handle that
- I’ll never have an escape route back to where I am now if I decide that this path isn’t for me
- they’ll all laugh at me if I change my mind and decide to do something else
- I’ll be responsible for what happens next
That’s more than enough to stop most people in their tracks. Here’s the thing: success is just…success. It doesn’t have to trap you into anything unless you decide it does. Look at Thomas Edison, for instance. He invented 1000 ways not to make a light bulb, and when he finally got one that worked, he moved on to other projects. He may have been most famous for the light bulb, but he didn’t let it define everything he did. He made kitchen appliances, baby furniture, gramophones, electric toasters, and a host of other things we take for granted now. We don’t even associate most of those with his name, but that’s okay.
Today, I’m giving you permission to succeed, and to do it on your terms.