A couple of years ago, I read a blog post from someone who seemed interested in writing. I don't remember the entire post, but what stood out to me was that they held back on something they were interested in because of their deep fear of success. At least, I think it was a deep fear. Not that it matters for the sake of this post.
It got me thinking: what does fear of success look like? And as I thought about it over the following years, I came to the conclusion that I have no idea.
In various areas of my life, I do face a lot of fears. Most of them are minor and barely affect me, but they do remind me of the fact that life isn't easy. As far as my writing is concerned, I do fear failure. It's something that I think about from time to time, and with the lack of forward-progress in my career thus far, it sometimes feels like a looming presence over my life. But I don't give up because that would be REAL failure.
As I work through the final edits to this current project, knowing for a FACT that it's the BEST book I've EVER written (because I've learned SO much over the years!), I start thinking about the possibility of moving to the next step in my writing career. My fear in that area is a simple fear of the unknown. I don't know what the next step will look like. I don't know how I'll have to go about producing more work, what my job situation will look like, or even who may be representing me as I move toward publication.
I don't even know IF I'll get this book published.
But am I afraid of success? I still don't know what that looks like.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't about belittling someone else's genuine struggle. I don't think less of anyone for mental and/or emotional roadblocks that might standing in their way. In fact, the whole point of this post is that I really don't UNDERSTAND what that fear looks like, and I'm trying to "think out loud" in the hope that I might be able to comprehend a different mindset.
At the end of the day, though, success is why I work as hard as I do. And it's why I'm trying to work even harder every day. Yes, fear of the unknown makes me want to crawl into a hole and hide, but it also makes me want to move forward and take those unknown circumstances by the collar and "work out a solution" to any "problems" that they might bring my way.