“Overcoming Fear: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” – Marianne Williamson
Overcoming fear? Deepest fear? That we are powerful beyond measure? These strange yet courageous words from author Marianne Williamson would stop anyone in their tracks. The fear of failure is well-documented and familiar. Darkness we know to be afraid of. Success shouldn’t be scary on top of that. Or is it?
From the basketball court to the board room, people have the opportunity to achieve success every day. That may seem like a rather obvious comment, but the fact is, it’s happening right now as we speak. Some people are far more successful than others, whether it’s solely based on their accomplishments, or built on solid character as well. Have you ever stopped to wonder why some are more successful than others? Why is it so hard to “break through” to the next level?
When it comes to that question, the well-worn answers start to roll off others’ tongues: “Just try a little harder, stay up later, it’s all in who you know…” While there is merit to that advice, sometimes the greatest push can come from a simple mental shift. It can come from asking yourself “Am I really afraid of what would happen if I were successful? Am I scared of trying because I’m scared it will work?”
“We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?” – Williamson
Success Through Fear
To be successful, while exhilarating, comes with added responsibilities, and a drive to keep learning, keep innovating, and keep succeeding. To be successful means your victories (and thus your failures) are that much more public. Yes, the stakes are higher. Yes, it would be easier to stay where you are. But it won’t necessarily be the better choice. We have to face our darkest fears.
“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” – Williamson
To be successful draws an even bigger target on your back for the haters and naysayers to aim at. Somehow in our minds, it makes sense to minimize our own possibility and chances for success so others can what? Not have their feelings hurt? Maybe we need to ditch that strategy for a new one. You can’t control what other people think, and while that too may sound familiar, do you actually live like you understand it as much as you profess?
“As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Williamson
Whether you are building a small business, coaching a team, writing a book, scoring a soundtrack, going to nursing school, or baking pastries, there are many little steps along the way that matter a great deal. But as you bravely take those steps, overcoming fears, as you bravely embrace the possibility of success, people will watch. And while there will be haters like those mentioned a moment ago, there will be plenty of people who will be inspired by your own messy and courageous march toward success. Maybe your brave steps are just the motivation they need to take their first steps toward success in their own lives.
Final Thought – The Fact Remains
But neither of you will know unless you try.