Are You Afraid Of What Success May Cost You?

I’m not a huge fan of change. And, I’ve never been particularly fond of risk. But for some reason I seem to live life on the edge these days. After years of being afraid to fail, I decided that it was time to position myself for success. Shortly there after, the old fears came back with a vengeance. I was inundated with thoughts that I couldn't handle the scrutiny of others, and the more success I achieved the more creative control I would lose. But worst of all was that I would become someone I didn't want to be, and lose friends in the process. 

Because, then what?

What if I spent all this time working towards a dream that left me empty and unfulfilled? What if success came, but all that effort was wasted on something that didn’t make me happy? What if I wasn’t what people (especially those I care about) expected me to be? 

The thought of letting people down was excruciating. 

I was no longer worried I would be a failure, I was worried that I just may be achieve success, and hate it.

Being successful comes with way more risk than failure. It's a complex thing, and one of the biggest reasons we allow self sabotage to derail us from our purpose. 

Even though we pour heart and soul into our dreams, the possibility that it won’t live up to our expectation leads us to downplay our level of ability. It can be an ugly reality, and I’ve been there. For years I was worried of failing; not living up to the expectations of others. But all of the sudden I found myself being afraid of success, and not living up to the expectations I had for myself. Somehow that felt worse and more debilitating.

I knew I couldn’t live like that anymore; I had a choice to make. Either face up to my fear of not being good enough, or be doomed to mediocrity. 

The problem was that I didn't know how to move past my own limitations. The mindset that had kept me bound up for years was now staring me straight in the face, and I was forced to confront my self sabotaging behaviors.

Maybe you can relate?

You are desperate to live out your purpose, and it may seem to everyone else that you know is more capable, and is on track to become a great success. And, yet you fear what it will cost you. 

But let’s turn this around, because the truth is that you were meant to live your life full of purpose and destiny. Don’t let the fear of success hold you back from who God created you to be. 

1) Become comfortable with your choices. Life is all about making choices. And, we have to live with each and every consequence. But nothing is ever set in stone. Things can and will change. Learning to become comfortable making those hard decisions will be the first step to overcoming fear of success.

2) Reconnect to your ‘why’. Your why is your plumb line to everything you do in life. And standing by your values will always land you on the right side of success. Because your success will look like you want it to look, and not like the world says it needs to look.

3) Learn to go easy on yourself. Negative self talk will destroy your confidence in a hot minute. Learn to advocate for yourself, to let yourself off the hook when necessary and to love yourself.

You have something the world needs. And it’s time that moved past your fear of what it may cost you to be successful and be who you were created to be. 

Why It's Better To Be Faithful Than Successful

The WOW factor gets me every time. I love it when things are done really well, leaving no detail unchecked. And, I am admittedly a big picture person. Which at times can get me into trouble because I seem to overlook the small details. Details that should not really be left unattended. But in the grand scheme of things, I think "what the heck, who really gives a rip?"

Shockingly, people actually do care about the small things! Who knew? In fact just the other day I sat across the table from a brilliant leader in my church who is all about the details, and proves herself invaluable because of her attention to the smallest decision. It’s pretty incredible that she notices every tiny little thing. Where as I look at things from a completely different perspective. Both equally important, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that when we pay attention to the small decisions our greatest victories are won.

Everyone wants to get ahead these days, clamoring to find their place at the top of the heap. Looking for a quick way to be recognized or noticed. And, it does not take long before we are caught up in the whirlwind of misplaced fame, especially when it looks shiny and exciting. But in our conversation, do we ever really talk about the nitty gritty, the faithfulness it takes to be refined through the process.

Success is a tricky thing. Not every wildly successful person possesses the characteristics of a great influencer.  As well, not every person who is successful makes an impact or changes the world. It could be because they were not faithful in the small things. In the race to get to the top, they skipped very important lessons that only faithfulness can teach. 

When we give ourselves time and space to grow and learn, we understand the need to serve the vision of others. That is where our true character is developed. If the 10,000 hour rule is correct (which I believe it is) then in order to really be good at anything we need time to be practicing our skill over and over. Getting better with time, and moving past our desire to not only be the best at what we do but to make a great impact. 

Mother Theresa states it so succinctly, ‘be faithful in the little things, for in them our strength lies, because He is so great we are so small.  Not only is our character developed, but our intention is revealed. When we don’t want to put the time and effort into completing the small tasks, to serving a greater vision than our own intention becomes larger than life and keeps us from being trusted by others to do greater things. 

Being faithful to complete even the smallest task reveals shows our grit and determination. When it could be so easy to throw in the towel and walk away from something we feel is beneath our ability, it will be sheer determination that keeps us motivated to continue. It will also be what compels us to keep working hard every day to be faithful to even the smallest decisions in our lives.

Some may rise to the top quickly. Their skill may elevate them before their character can sustain them. Learn to be faithful in the small things. Your impact will be greater and your character stronger. 

Together we are better! 


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