afraid to succeed?
posted: December 11, 2009
Embrace the good stuff in your life and celebrate with others. You know you want to!
One of the quotes from our manifesto is “Do one thing a day that scares you” – and I totally do. I am the first to jump off a cliff into open water, I will show up into a foreign city with no plans, and I actually embrace failure like it’s a trophy. My friends know I have this weird rule where I am willing to try anything three times. So I never thought I was afraid of anything. But through digging deeper and figuring out what type of listener I truly am, I discovered I am afraid to succeed.
Hmpf! Afraid to succeed? I had never heard of this before. I would constantly hear the cliché I’m afraid to fail – but that phrase has never left my mouth.
I have viewed every failure in my life as a learning opportunity. Every time I didn’t get the marks, I didn’t get the job, I didn’t get the guy, I didn’t get something, I knew that there was a plan for me and I just worked harder and made my goals bigger, better, more bad asser. I would then achieve better marks, nail a cooler job, and – um, still working on the guy area! Some goals I achieved and others I reworked, but I never took the time to stop and pat myself on the back or take in the acknowledgement from others for things that have gone well. I simply pushed it the back burner and said “Next!”
I recently had the chance to spend some time with an amazing group of managers from lululemon for a breakout session with Andrea Bennett (lululemon’s Canadian training manager) and Susanne Conrad. When you look Susanne up on lululemon’s company directory her title couldn’t be more fitting: Director of Possibility. She is full of sass, has the spirit of an uninhibited five-year-old, the vocabulary of your best girlfriend after a night on the town, and someone you could have tea with and not realize the cup had been empty for hours.
Susanne led the group on a path of discovery and development, and what happened during this time has completely shifted my mindset about success. I realized I had been telling myself it wasn’t okay to totally own the great stuff in my life, truly take in compliments, or party it up when everything’s awesome! I thought that no one wanted to be around someone who is full of themselves… right?! But the truth is, no one wants to be around a person who can’t stop and acknowledge their own hard work.
This experience was literally the best slap in the face I have received: a wide open five-fingered whack right to the internal thought process that gave me permission to stop and tell myself: “Self, you kicked ass!! You did good.”