There is No Such Thing as Fear of Success
Early this morning, I woke up and thought of how frightening it would be to pay all my bills, to buy a spectacular beach home in the Malibu Colony and purchase a brand-new Azimut 77S foot yacht with a crew of two. My mind wandered towards getting up and visiting Amazon book reviews where the latest feedback on my new book includes, “It sets a new bar in the creation of iconic business books” and “David Harder does it again” (Wait, I actually did get that one). I smiled as I thought of current political tensions because today we would fly in our private jet to Milan and be whisked to our beautiful villa on the shores of Lake Como. Perhaps we would make a quick stop at La Scala for a breathtaking opera and engage in a little shopping in the Fashion District.
Who, on earth, is frightened of that scenario?
There is no such thing as fear of success. I know this because I’ve observed thousands of our participants make a commitment to succeed in their definition of happiness and success. Bringing that vision to life requires encountering the real fear around becoming truly successful. Because the process always includes drawing enough healthy attention to ourselves and asking for enough help.
Even though reputed to be long dead, the Industrial Revolution didn’t pressure people to learn much about drawing attention to themselves. If someone did too much of that or asked for too much help, the human resource death angel quickly paid a visit. But, in today’s world, the cycles of employment and transactions, in general, show up with ever-increasing speed. Instead of bearing the pain of marketing ourselves, why not learn how to market ourselves effectively all-of-the-time?
Drawing attention to oneself and giving high-quality attention to others is a vital element towards becoming engaged and being able to change. As I wrote The Workplace Engagement Solution, it became clear that disengagement is the exact opposite of attracting or giving attention. It is frightening to me that at the very time of rising Artificial Intelligence and Robotics that it is so hard to get a cashier to look up. But, many of our parents drummed into us the notion that drawing attention to ourselves would result in getting hurt.
During our program, we show people the real reasons that people get frightened and stop or actively undermine the lives they really want to have. Drawing attention to ourselves is often greeted with an internal pushback of, “They’ll hurt me.” In the jungle of life that is an apt idea! However, so many of us allow that fear to stop us from learning one of most essential skills. It is equally important that as we learn to attract attention we also develop the capacity to deal with the consequences of attention. Learning how to ask for help is a beginning but finding the right people to help us determines the difference between becoming another starving actor or someone who steps to the podium to thank everyone that helped her get the Academy Award.
How many of us are looking up and smiling?
How many of us are actively drawing high-quality attention to our lives?
How many of us are actively nourishing others with meaningful attention?
Our first program established a standard that anything we do at Inspired Work must be life-changing. In our sales and social networking programs, we are focused on instilling a life-changing outlook based on connecting with people. We don’t tell people how to generate tens of thousands of new junk-mail communications but how to actually create relationships that matter.
No one can tell this isn’t learnable! I took my first sales job in my 20’s because it was the only job I could find that offered any hope to change my life. I came from an abusive childhood and I stuttered. I was afraid of my own shadow. Learning how to connect with people was excruciating. But, through persistence and learning, I became someone else. There isn’t anything special about this story because I know the capacity to change is within all of us. So, at the very least, let us tell the truth. We are not saddled with “fear of success,” we are afraid of selling our values to others, of looking people in the eye, of being scrutinized and judged, of being rejected, and of looking at someone who turns out to be scary.
Isn’t that a bit more direct?
Now, I must move on because I am busy making enough money to buy a yacht.
(C) Copyright, 2017, David Harder – (All Rights Reserved)
Buy a copy of David’s new book The Workplace Engagement Solution here.