Don’t let fear of success stop you

Fear of Success

Sometimes it isn’t failure that we fear most but rather success.

Does it scare you to think about getting out there in a big way? If you picture yourself splashed across the news and various media platforms, does it create anxiety? Make you feel really vulnerable?

If so, you are not alone. Many of us dream of making it ‘big’ but in our hearts it scares the crap out of us. But if we let our fear of success stop us, we lose that which we are most meant to share with the world.

I’m going to share a very personal story with you. A story that has been in me for a while but due to my own shame and embarrassment I just couldn’t share. Stop reading now if you don’t want to know.

A few years ago, I was working on a very large project that if successful it would have launched me onto the world scene in a very big way. If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you’ll know that I don’t shy away from risk and I am usually the one to jump with both feet into things I am passionate about. But sometimes it totally backfires and I fail. I’m human after all.

Well, for various reasons this project never got off the ground and totally failed. In fact, I lost a lot of money and time, but most of all I lost my trust in people and myself. You see, I trusted the wrong people. I like to believe in the basic decency of everyone I meet until proven otherwise. I KNOW there are so many amazing and inspiring people out there.

But in this case, my trust was broken time after time and even though my intuition was screaming at me, I chose to ignore it. So when the shit hit the fan and it all fell apart, I was the face in the media rather than the people who had broken all our trust. They of course had disappeared leaving me to deal with the mess. It was my worst fears realized.

I got hate emails. I got Facebook hateful posts and messages. I was bullied and threatened. I was in the news. I had hateful reporters stalking me. It was like everyone wanted to gleefully see me fail. I was pretty much shunned in my community because of something I didn’t even do because people never knew the real story. I seriously thought I would have to move. And then, it got worse.

Most people don’t know this, but one day I was at the bank and I was physically assaulted by two women I knew. I could tell you all the gory details on that but it isn’t really relevant to this post.

What is relevant, is that the entire incident affected me deeply. I was in shock in more ways than one and I seriously considered stopping coaching and speaking. It was just too hard being in the spotlight. I couldn’t handle all the mean people. All my fears of success had just surfaced in a BIG way. I felt way too exposed and I just wanted to run and hide.

So I did stop. For many months. I needed to regroup and heal and ultimately decide what I truly wanted and whether I would let these people steal my dreams from me. It was hard, really hard.

But ultimately, I came to discover that it wasn’t all about me. I decided that I would be doing a disservice to myself and all the people I do help by not sharing my God given talents. I would not throw my gifts back in the face of the Universe simply because a few people didn’t like me. There are people out there who do need and want my help and what I have to offer. I couldn’t let them down.

Long story short, I used this experience to completely reinvent myself and my business and you can see the proof of it right here. As Taylor Swift sings, “haters are going to hate”, and there is nothing we can do about it. Instead, I try to surround myself with positive and loving people and I listen to my intuition WAY more.

Not everyone likes me or what I do. Not everyone will like you or what you do. That is a fact.

Some of us are meant to be in the spotlight and some of us are not. But even if you are not in the spotlight, I’m sure you experienced some hateful comments and criticism at times in your life.

The reality is that the more you are in the public eye, the more you put yourself out there, the more you will get both positive AND negative feedback.

I’m not saying to only take positive feedback and ignore the rest. I fully believe in constructive feedback that comes from a heartfelt place of wanting improvement. But we all know there is a big difference between constructive feedback and bullying.

In truth, only about 1% of people are hateful. However, they are the ones commenting and bullying so it seems like a bigger number. And for some reason, we let that 1% kill our confidence and self-esteem.

I choose to focus on the other 99%. In fact, I now believe that the more negative I receive, the more positive work I am doing and the closer I am to bigger success. When you see me on the front cover of the Enquirer magazine with my alien love child, you’ll know I’ve made it big. I plan to frame that. 🙂

I refuse to let what other people think of me, slow me down.

I refuse to give my power away to hateful strangers who don’t even know me.

And I refuse to let the 1% of haters stop me from doing good for the 99% of the rest of the world or living and enjoying my life as best I can.

It is totally normal to feel vulnerable and anxious when you are putting yourself out there in a big way. Believe me, I know. But sometimes you just have to pull up your pants and go for it anyway.

It is your divine purpose to share your gifts with the world regardless of the 1% of haters out there who are sent to test your resolve. The rest of the world is waiting for you to shine. If you have a big message to share with the world, then you need to find a way to do it, fears and all.

P.S. I’m still dealing with the aftermath of this situation and ‘stuff’ still comes up for me at times, but I like to think I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I am truly capable of in the process.

Have you ever been bullied or had an experienced that made you want to run and hide? If so, how did you get over it? Please share in the comments below.

About the Author

Heather WIlsonHeather E. Wilson is the founder and CEO of The Canadian Coach, a directory and membership platform designed to unite, support and promote Canadian coaches.She's a successful business coach, speaker, author (Your Life According to You!), warrior, change-maker, risk-taker, and adventurer all rolled into one dynamic package.