By Sharon Carey
There have been many articles and books written on overcoming The Fear of Success Syndrome which seems to be an oxymoron. Here’s an example of the symptoms.
Mary was on her way to becoming a very successful consultant. She had over 20 years of experience in her field and some people even considered her an expert. Mary decided to start her own consulting business. She did her research and found her niche.
Next, it was time to let the world know she was alive. She began by letting her friends and family know of her intentions. She offered free consultation just to prove to herself that she was indeed on the right track. She began providing community service and working with various charitable organizations.
The one thing Mary did not have was paying clients. After pondering over the matter, Mary enlisted the aid of a business consultant. The consultant agreed that Mary had a good business model and gave her specific steps in order to achieve an active paying practice. Mary thanked her consultant, went home and did nothing.
“I’m not ready.”
“I don’t have all my systems in place.”
“What’s going to happen if people don’t like me? I’ll be so embarrassed.”
“I’m not sure who to start with.”
“How much should I charge?”
The excuses went on and on until one year later Mary was still doing community service, involved in charitable events and helping her friends and family for free.
What happened? Mary was afraid to take the next steps. Mary had the dreaded – Fear of Success Syndrome.
Fear of Success Syndrome materializes wearing many faces. It can be the meeting you canceled; the time you didn’t return a phone call to a hot lead. Or, perhaps, it’s that wonderful word called “perfection” when every little detail has to be completed before you launch. It could be procrastinating until the last minute to prepare for a pitch or launch of a new product.
Whatever it is, STOP IT! What’s the worst that could happen? If you’re successful, will your universe cease to exist as you know it? Yes, it will but isn’t that what you want?
Just imagine overcoming the fear of success and achieving your goals. You’re now on top of your game. You’re not only successful but sought after. You’re recognized as a leader in your field. How bad can that be? You can pay your bills, take a vacation, you can work at your own pace. My goodness, you can even hire people to help you continue your success. So fear of success, why?
Consider the following steps to help you overcome the dreaded Fear of Success Syndrome.
1. Face your fears. Ask yourself why am I sabotaging my efforts? Do I fear the success or the responsibility of success? They are two entirely different things. Which do you have?
2. Once you’ve identified your fears Take Steps to Alleviate the Problem. There is no point in identifying your fears if you refuse to do something about them. If necessary, delegate projects out of your scope of knowledge or that give you trepidation. Not sure how to do something, find someone who can help you with the task and get it done.
3. Don’t procrastinate. Using the excuse of being a perfectionist is just that, an excuse and every excuse is a choice to fail. Perfection can be an illusion, a beast that absorbs a lot of time and energy. Then guess what? The minute you think you’re ready to launch that product or provide that service to your clients, presto the beast rears its ugly head and something else will not be good enough and the cycle of “perfection” (procrastination) will start again.
4. Get an accountability buddy. We all have friends that will let us know when we’re being ridiculous. You need that’s the buddy to keep you on track. Ask them to help you stay the course. Let them know what needs to be done and let them “nudge” you until the task is completed. Appreciate the fact that it’s their duty to annoy you until you get it done.
5. Make a list. For each product or service you want to offer make a list of necessary things the order of importance and give a copy to your accountability buddy. Depending on the timeline meet with your buddy weekly and check off what has been completed. As each step is completed your anxiety level will come down.
6. Give yourself a deadline. No, you don’t have an eternity to get things done! Time is of the essence. The Fear of Success Syndrome will make you take forever to accomplish the minimum requirements. Having a timeline will keep you on track and give you a measure of, dare I say, SUCCESS and accomplishment for finishing on time.
7. Reward yourself. Schedule milestones in your timeline and reward yourself for hitting the target on schedule.
Little triumphs and celebrations build your confidence. And, guess what? Planning a launch party and sending out the invitations will encourage you to stay on track.
So there you have it, just a few steps to help you along your road to success. What are you waiting for, perfection?
Overcoming the Fear of Success Syndrome is doable! Therefore, follow the steps above and get it done. Do it now! And, if you need help, I’m just a phone call away at 203 545 6647. Much success to you! Let me know how it’s going. – Sharon
Sharon Carey is an experienced Career Services Consultant. Sharon has provided career counseling and mentoring to a diverse adult population, created and taught career development programs, and cultivated business partnership opportunities. She has assisted hundreds of individuals with career goals and aiding them to become successfully employed. Sharon is actively involved with school aged children to educate tomorrow’s leaders about the importance of safe, productive social media and career planning.