I'm Afraid To Succeed

Have you ever been so close to obtaining something you’ve worked tirelessly for? So close you can almost feel it in your grasp, but something inside you causes you to retreat and give up on the pursuit. During the early stages of my professional development, I found myself doing this more times than I could count, especially when it came to my BIG dreams and goals. The dreams that could be classified as nightmares because actually having them come to pass scared the h*** out of me.

Eventually, I learned how to dismantle this self-sabotaging habit and confront the source of the issue. I came to the realization that I was afraid to succeed. Not because success is scary, but because success can be uncomfortable. Success often comes with increased responsibilities, accountability, and visibility. If I'm honest, sometimes, even today, I don't want any of that. Transparently, I was most comfortable with a pursuit that resulted in me primarily exercising previously mastered skills and traits without the need to learn anything new. This deceptive illusion of growth produced the bad habit of chasing opportunities that provided exposure without growth.

At times, our own survival mechanisms and thought processes can be the biggest obstacle to pursuing our goals. Personally, I come up with new ideas on a daily basis. Nonetheless, many of them never see the light of day because after conceptualizing an idea, my brain instinctively acts to point out all of the flaws and reasons why the idea wont work. It's laughable how hard my own brain actively works against the manifestation of my own goals. To be fair, this is a natural response.. Why? Because my brain--like yours, is wired to protect me from the unknown and the uncontrollable. This is a constant point of friction for me because since my youth, I have recognized that God placed me on a path that not only requires faith, but also unshakable audacity. This means that in order to succeed, I must embrace the fear and uncertainty that I am wired to avoid.

Embracing this reality will not come through some form of aggressive intentionality, where in order to get the motivation to do the work you have to first listen to your favorite self-help guru/motivational speaker. This type of motivational trickery is not only exhausting, but it is also fleeting. What will you do when their words don’t impact you the same? What will you do when the fatigue sets in and you begin to succumb to the alluring call of retreat? I would suggest you find something that is anchored deep, so deep that even the most convincing call to give up won’t overtake your resolve to persevere. This is what New York Times Best-Selling Author, Simon Sineck, describes in his groundbreaking book “Start With Why.”

Without a WHY or a true north, forcing yourself to do something just because you believe "you're supposed to do it" will never breed sustainable effort. Your WHY will become the fuel that keeps your engine humming towards your goal, ensuring you have enough juice to overcome the setbacks and fatigue that will accompany your journey to success.

On my journey I've learned that my purpose for the pursuit is just as, if not more, important than the pursuit itself. For me, success is not about possessions or wealth, even though those things are a welcomed commodity. My desire to succeed, in everything I do, is founded in something much more everlasting. Without it, I am destined to repeat the patterns of the past, working to no end, because I am afraid of the reward. Success requires vulnerability.

Keep going.


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