Monday, June 18, 2018

The Fear Of Success Is A Real Thing

A few months ago, Lisa and I watched season 1 of Queer Eye on Netflix. I'll admit, a few episodes had me diving into our box of Kleenex in the living room. Lisa remembers watching the original Queer Eye For The Straight Guy that aired back in 2003. I don't. I had heard of it, but never took the time to watch it.

When Netflix aired Queer Eye, we were both intrigued. It took us almost 2 weeks to watch the first season as we don't sit in front of the TV too often.

When we noticed season 2 was available, we were on it.

Season 2 had a few almost-tear-jerk moments, but not nearly as much as the first season. I grabbed a Kleenex for 'God Bless Gay' and 'A Decent Proposal.'

The episode out of both seasons that inspired me the most happened during season 2. Episode 4.

'The Handyman Can.'

The focus of this particular episode is Jason. He's a handyman. A lover of vintage and antiques. He's talented. Has a big heart. Has a large tribe of people who love him dearly.

Jason lives in a tiny carriage house behind a gigantic house that could very easily be deemed as a mansion. His large living quarters were decent and filled with treasures. Jason just lacked organization and converting his living space into something permanent. Jason's living space depicted someone who wasn't going to live there for a long period of time. But, that had a lot to do with his plans to move far away over the next few weeks.

Out of all the people in both episodes, he had the most outgoing attitude. Ambitious. Creative. Motivated. Determined. Jason's only problem was that he felt stuck. He mentioned several times during the episode that making a move to Reno, Nevada to be closer to Burning Man would fix that.

Meanwhile, his best friend, Beth, and his many, many close friends who considered him family disagreed. 

The Queer Eye cast worked their magic and transformed Jason's living space into something special. They also turned a couple of his creations into sellable art.

Towards the end of the episode, they watched Jason get ready and prepare for his going away party. Then, ended the episode with his decision to stay where he was at.

The moral of the story, and what I got out of it was this...

Jason was afraid of failure.

At the same time, he was more afraid of success.

That's when the steady stream of waterworks formed on my face.

I even had waterwork stains on my shirt.

That episode hit home. For me.

When my work at home career began in my late 20's, I became a success in a relatively short period of time.

Over the years, when I worked for a major media company and some prestigious entrepreneurs, my status continued to climb.

During that time, I worked over 100 hours a week. That included when we moved into our home in 2012. For the first few months, no one knew I existed. Lisa met our neighbor friends weeks before I did.

I spent most of my days and evenings at my desk. People knew my name. My email was saturated with entrepreneurs who wanted my services whether it was content management, social media, publishing my works on their site/s, or ghostwriting.

Scattered throughout all of that were freelance jobs and requests for academic and independent living tutoring. I managed a college internship writing program. I worked side by side, virtually, with some rather incredible writers and entrepreneurs.

Over the past couple of years, I've shed my skin. Gravitated towards building my own business, publishing a couple of books and doing my own thing. I have a few clients, but not nearly as many as I had a few years ago. I've also retired from tutoring and being generous with discounted rates for services.

The door to Independent Living tutoring is not quite closed yet. I'm still tempted to offer military school style Independent Living tutoring because the youth of today needs a few doses of reality. 

During the process of building my own business, publishing blogs, freelancing, creating DIY Dog Mom Projects, working on my 2 books, creating homemade dog treat recipes, etc., I have realized that Jason and I have something in common.

The fear of success.

Yeah, it sounds weird. But, it's a real thing. The fear of success can be quite debilitating. And, surprisingly, unintentional.

When you start becoming successful, that means you're putting yourself out there more and more for all to see. You're establishing an audience. A fan club of sorts.

But, in the meantime, you're also accumulating those who aren't exactly fans. They're the ones who will pick apart everything you create, write, and publish. They won't hesitate to blast you with their negative opinions. They'll psychoanalyze everything you write and publish. Some will even attempt to sabotage you.

Success is a culmination of all of that and then some.

That's a scary place to be especially when you're the one standing on stage.

In the past, I've worked for successful entrepreneurs. I did the work from behind the curtains. They're the ones who had to deal with their supporting audience and the critics. They were standing on stage. In the front line. Not me.

But now, I am.

It's scary. Like a bad case of stage fright.

At this point, I'm more afraid of success than failure.

I need to change that.

I need to jump over those hurdles and put myself out there more. Everyday. Multiple times every single day.

I need to post blog columns on my social media streams without fearing that this person or that person is going to take offense or take things personally.

"No, Susan, I'm not writing about you, but if the shoe fits, wear it."

Not everyone is going to be a fan of my work regardless of the type of work I put out there.

Not everyone is going to have positive feedback.

My writing isn't for everyone. Not everyone will get it.

My finished projects are not for everyone.

I'm not here to please the masses.

That's not my job.

My job is to put myself out there. Writing. Art. DIY Dog Mom Projects. Replies. Being part of conversations. Keeping it real. Writing in my voice.

My job is to become successful.

It's no longer about making someone else a success while they bask in the spotlight.

It's about me. Lisa. Our family.

I've got this...

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