Am I afraid of failure or success?
Sometimes I am not sure myself. Probably both.
There is definitely fear of failure. Ridicule. Not being good enough.
But there’s also the fear of succeeding. What comes after success? People might have expectations of me… What if I succeed once and then never again? What if I can’t live up to the success?
Better to never try in the first place.
Set the bar low and you never disappoint…
I was like that in high school, an intelligent student who never wanted to give it my all. I was more afraid to succeed than I was afraid to fail. After all, is success really real if there is someone else better? Smarter?
The way I viewed it was this:
If I give 100% and someone else still ends up ahead of me, I have failed. If I give 90% and someone is ahead of me, it’s “only because I didn’t give it my all.”
A fail-safe insurance policy to cushion my fragile ego. In my mind, success had always been about comparison. Therefore, success was impossible.
Maybe that is why I hesitated to try.
No matter how smart one is, there’s always someone smarter. FAIL
No matter how beautiful one is, there’s always someone more beautiful. FAIL
No matter how nice one is, there’s always someone nicer. FAIL
The list went on and on.
Wow, what a depressing and unproductive way to live life, am I right?
And completely unnecessary!!
“Comparison is the death of all joy”
Realizing that fact, I am beginning to grow up bit by bit. (It has only taken me 28 years, I am a bit of a late-bloomer, but as they say, better late than never.)
Success is not about being the best. Success is not about comparison. Success is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.”
So, if my aim and purpose is to try live my life as fully as I can, to love and give and create freely, then no matter what the world tells me, I am a success if I do those things.
Success is in our heart, in being true to what our spirit calls us to do.
Putting our heart into something is a reward in and of itself. Success is something attainable for all of us. It might need to be re-imagined at times. We might consider our definition of success. Perhaps success is simply growth, simply progress.
Perhaps success is effort and willingness.
Failure lies in stagnancy. It carries a familiar comfort but offers no growth.
We fail when we don’t try, not when we do.
The moment we try, we succeed. For, success is an inside job. There is nothing outside of us that can make us successful. We might be deemed a “successful” business person or a “successful” writer, but what does that mean? Because we are deemed a success by the world does not make us feel it inside. Sometimes we strive the most to be outwardly successful because we feel like a failure at heart. There is a struggle to compensate for the inferiority felt within.
But success is not something that can be measured by prowess or possessions or fame.
Success is the willingness to do the best we can and realize that as long as we do that, we have succeeded and will continue to do so.