Fear of Success

There’s a lot of responsibility that comes along with being successful. You work your ass off for years, reach a certain level of success and are expected to keep going and get even better. The standard is set so high that I felt like I would let everyone else down. I knew I could do it, I had the potential, but everyone else’s expectations scared me away.

When I was younger, I played the violin for 14 years—that’s more than half of my life. I progressed at a standard rate, not too fast, not too slow, but right in the middle. I loved playing but I was never the best, and I didn’t want to be. Being first chair scared the crap out of me. You literally led the entire orchestra. Talk about pressure. Could you imagine what would happen if I messed up? The entire orchestra would’ve been thrown off. This was my mindset all of the time. So, I practiced just enough to sit in the second row, but never enough for first.

As I got older, I noticed this pattern kept appearing. I knew I wanted to reach a certain level, but fear of success kept holding me back. I would come across an “amazing” opportunity and chicken out last minute. I had so many people who wanted to help me get to where I wanted to go, but I never took advantage of them. I was cozied up with comfort and familiarity for way too long.

I was afraid of success because I knew in order to attain the level of success I wanted and knew I was capable of, I needed to give up a lot of things in my life that I wasn’t ready to give up. Toxic friendships, old relationships, bad habits. I was young, I wasn’t ready to grow yet.

Not by choice, I began ridding my life of these things one by one. I was trying my hardest to hold on by a string because I thought it felt easy and comfortable. It wasn’t until the universe got involved and created situations that I was forced to walk away from, that I actually walked away. People and certain attachments to my past fell away one by one (there were clearly a lot since this process took years). But as these people fell away, I realized my fear of success slipped away as well. I felt present, ready and welcoming of success. I was ready to do whatever it takes to accomplish my dreams.

What is holding you back from reaching your full potential? Leave your answers in the comments or send me a direct message at lauren@girlontopoftheworld.com

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