Success is not for the faint of heart!

What do you think of when you think of success?  Early in my marriage, I defined success as living in a two-story house and not having to budget for groceries.  It might seem shallow…maybe I should have based my definition of success on a strong, committed relationship, being a good friend to others, being an A+ employee, being a servant to my community.  All those things mattered to me, but when I thought about what it looked like to be successful, I was thinking about material things.  Looking back, I think it’s because those other things were already in place; I was fortunate to be in a strong marriage, with great friends, a good job, and I was serving in my community.  Those were implied!

So for today’s exercise, I’m going to let you define success however you want to think about it.  That’s the beautiful thing about success, it can look different for all of us.  We don’t have to want what someone else wants, we don’t have to set the same goals, we don’t have to achieve the same dreams to be successful. We can be successful differently!

Here’s where our paths cross though…the fear of success.  It’s just as real as the fear of failure.  Maybe even more prevalent amongst the ladies in the room.  I hear it all the time.  “I want to start a business but if it gets too big, I won’t be able to handle it.”  Don’t get ahead of yourself, Boo. Let’s cross that bridge when we get there.  You haven’t even opened up shop yet and you are worried about what you are going to do if it “gets too big”?!

“I want to apply for that promotion, but it requires weekends and I could never work weekends.” Never say never, and are you sure it requires weekends?  Have you talked with the boss about an alternative schedule? If you’re the perfect person for the job, you don’t know what accommodations they might be willing to make.

Ladies, we have to stop talking ourselves out of success before we even walk through the first door. Let’s take the first step and see where that leads.  Then let’s take the next right step and see how things go.

Fear of success isn’t actual fear of success; it’s the fear of succeeding and not being able to hold onto it.  It’s the fear of what success might cost you. Heaven forbid if you succeed at your goal and somehow can’t maintain it, then it was all for nothing!  This is a lie we tell ourselves.  It wasn’t all for nothing.  You proved that you can do it, and if you can do it once, you can do it again.  And, if you set the goal and achieved it, you must have learned something along the way.  Please tell me you learned something?  It’s in the trying, failing and trying again that we build the path to success.  It’s rarely ever a straight shot.  So if you have some success and then find yourself with a few misses, that is not an indicator of failure, it’s an opportunity to learn and reset.

I don’t know what you are wanting to be successful at today.  It could be reading the Bible chronologically, improving your diet, committing to exercise, starting a business or starting a family…whatever it is, you can be successful at it.  It might not go exactly as planned, but don’t quit.  When it feels like you are having success, celebrate the wins.  When it feels like things are not going as planned, take time to evaluate, learn, and grow from there. But don’t talk yourself out of your success before you even get started.  Will it be harder than you think? Most worthwhile causes are. But if it’s worthwhile, it will be worth it…it has to be, it’s in the name!

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