“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison
This post is going to be a little personal. But I want to be authentic because it’s my belief that others may be struggling with this same issue – fear of success.
I have read Thomas Edison’s quote it seems a million times. It was my quote of choice on days in which laziness and binge watching Netflix seemed more appealing than working. It helped me remember that I didn’t want to be one of those people who missed out on an opportunity because I perceived I was being lazy.
But then opportunities came my way and I would strategize ways in which one of my clients could benefit from it. Then I would dive into creating the framework needed for them to be successful. It was during one of those strategy sessions that a friend asked me:
“Why haven’t you pursued this for yourself?”
She went on to say, “you clearly know how to do it since people pay you for it, so what is stopping you from taking action?”
I had to do some soul searching because I didn’t like my easy answer – I don’t want to. What I have since realized is that opportunity is missed by most people because it generated fear of not being good enough. New opportunities are (yes they are because I am still struggling with this) scary and all I could see were the challenges and my own inadequacies. Fear stopped me from acknowledging the benefits it would bring to my life and it paralyzed me.
The paralysis was making me miserable even though the opportunities were telling me that other people believed I could handle the unknowns which would come up. I needed to accept that other people knew my worth but I wasn’t internalizing my value.
Today, I am moving past my fear and I have found a few creative ways to force me out of my own head and into action. I look for new ways to challenge & improve myself.
Participation in things which push me out of my comfort zone. Nanowrimo, 10K, Hiking, etc. These things require repetitive activity that keeps me focused towards an outcome. Each step I take or type is one more than I did before. It reminds me I have grit and fortitude. When the finish line is crossed, there is a huge boost in my confidence. In that moment it’s as if I can do anything and everything.
There isn’t any fear.
There isn’t any doubt.
There is only proof of the ability to succeed.
Finishing the challenge reinforces my confidence and helps me push past the fear. This burst of achievement stays with me for a few months.
So that’s my story and sharing it has helped me cross one additional self imposed obstacle in my mind.
Til next time,
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it generated fear of not being good enough.” – Tiffany Tom-Johnson