Why is Success So Scary?

By Andrew Jennings, CCO

scary_success“Success isn’t scary!” I hear you cry, and for some it isn’t. However, think about this for a moment:  what is preventing you from taking the next big step, either at work or in your personal life?

When we ask this question of business leaders, they can quickly reel off a list of things that might go wrong such as, “the market might not be ready for our next big idea” or “we don’t have sufficient resources to make it happen.” But when we dig deeper, there is often an underlying fear of success with a new strategy. “If this new product launch is a success, we won’t be able to manage the growth” and “we might grow so fast that we lose our culture.”

A good friend of ours was in the fortunate position of working in a company that was experiencing huge growth. At one of their executive meetings, an aggressive number was put on their growth for the next 12 months that rightly scared a few executives. “It can’t be done,” was the initial response. Instead of accepting that, they dug deeper, asked lots of questions, challenged assumptions and then created the plan to meet the objective.  In case you are wondering, yes, they did meet their aggressive 12 month objective, and they continue to grow to this day!

There is often an underlying fear of success with a new strategy; don't let it cloud creativity.Click To Tweet

Ultimately, fear will cloud your creative thought process, so whenever you find yourself in a place where you feel reluctant to move forward, take a moment, recognize what it is that you are fearful of, then bring your team together and create a plan. Plan for all the things that will go well, plan to address all your shortcomings, then assess the risks associated with the plan you’ve created, and plan around those as well. It takes some time, and definitely some strategic thinking and creative problem solving, but ultimately you will be rewarded with a highly motivated team, a robust plan for success and a feeling of peace and confidence that will ensure your success.

It’s not success that is scary — it’s venturing into the unknown. The more you feel you are prepared for whatever life throws at you, the more Fearless you become.