Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fear of Success

The other side of the fear of failure is the fear of success. I battle this fear, too. I often find myself taking jobs that do not pay me what I'm worth and then I stagnate in these jobs.

I am often to afraid to go after the jobs that I know I can do and that would pay me well. My thought process goes something like this:

"Just call them up. What's the worst that can happen?"
"Well, what if I'm not good enough?"
"You know you're good enough, stop it."
"Well, what if the job takes too much time?"
"So, what? You work for a living, it's supposed to take time."
"Well, I just don't think I'm ready. I'll take this other job that pays a lot less, for now."

This whole conversation is held within my own head. And I walk away.  I tell myself I will give myself another month, six months, year to get ready. But that time comes and goes and I'm still taking jobs beneath my abilities. And I get frustrated with my lack of advancement.

I'm not afraid of being rejected. Writers get rejected all of the time. I am afraid of what success means. Would it take more time from my family? Can I manage the additional stress? Am I worth it?

The funny thing is, I know that none of my fears are founded. Just because a project pays more money doesn't mean it will take more time. It will just expand my horizons. The lower paying projects usually end up taking more time than the higher paying projects simply because I have to do more lower paying projects to make the same amount of money.

This week I have made a goal to apply for at least one higher paying project. If I don't get it, oh well. I'm no worse off. But, being afraid to even try will hurt me more than being rejected.

Are you afraid of success? How do you overcome it?

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