I met my friend at Starbuck’s. I started rattling my thoughts off. They didn’t even seem that coherent. I was talking very fast, not unlike me, but as I was talking I was also searching. Searching for it to make sense. Prior to meeting up with her I had spent the past few hours really thinking about success. How it looks different for everyone and because of that, it can be hard to measure. Rapid fire thoughts leaving my mind and hurling their way at Lucia. Lucia is special. Best Friend Claire once told me that Lucia was easily her favorite person that she’s met as an adult. I get that. Lucia is genuine. I don’t have to ever wonder her intentions or question her character. She’s a good person and when you’re with her you instantly feel better. She’s also annoyingly bubbly… but it’s not that her bubbly-ness annoys you, but more so you get annoyed with yourself because, shouldn’t we all be that happy? I like her.
Have you ever talked to someone and knew they weren’t listening to you? You are straight pouring your heart out, this is important shit, and the person who is supposed to be listening is instead scrolling through instagrams or flipping through channels? Basically doing everything but listening? Truthfully I am guilty of this myself, It’s a goal to try to be more present, it’s also a process. Anyways, when you are talking to Lucia, it’s the exact opposite experience. She’s all in. You are talking and expressing yourself and you KNOW she’s listening. You can see the wheels turning. I started to slow down. Jumbled thoughts suddenly made sense, “I’m scared of success,” I said. I meant it too. I HAVE had success over the last 15 years in my media journey but I am positive that I have barely scratched the surface. I’m scared of my own success, I’ve somehow been content helping make other people money. Working along side them as they build their dream, all the while putting my own dreams on hold.
I explained the fear, the frustration. Imagine knowing your biggest fear is not living up to your fullest potential and yet fearing your own success. How Sway?
She waited for me to stop and then a minute of silence. She spoke, and shit got real. “You fear success because it’s always come with hurt, it’s been painful.” Instantly so many juxtapositions. A huge career opportunity was quickly followed by a cheating husband. I was recognized at work for my talent and swiftly after was forced off of a morning show. My success has been isolating. People aren’t always proud of you when you come from the same place but you’ve moved on and they’ve never left. Those same people are also never ones to keep quiet about how much you “sold out, or forgot where you came from.” My success has come with a lot of trauma, so of course, I’m scared of my success.
I rested my head in my hands, “I need to call my therapist,” I said. We both laughed but she was right. She knew it and I did too. She didn’t need to convince me or even explain further, she was right.
If you let it win, fear is crippling. For years I had been crippled by my fear. Full of ideas, passion and connections and sacred to leap. Knowing what I was capable of but scared to even try.
I was scared of my own success. I’m not anymore. If my success angers someone or causes someone to cheat on me…those aren’t my people. My people will celebrate my success with me, your people will too. Maybe that’s what the fear really is about… success will show you quickly who your people really are…that’s scary.