According to statistics in the time of crisis 80% business projects fail. The reasons can be various and rather often they are not rationally explainable. Reflecting on this problem we shouldn’t forget that emotions reside in human beings and businessmen are not an exception. This article, which starts the series of articles about emotions in business, concerns the most unusual fear that essentially influences the achievement – the fear of success.
The life is a series of crises. After human is born the first crisis happens when he is 3 years old. Then comes the 7-year-old crisis, then the teenage one. The 21-22 year old crisis can smoothly move in the 25 year old crisis (it is rarely talked about it but believe me it exists and can proceed rather tough). You are lucky if it didn’t happen because the next one is very close. At 28-30. Look, in the worst case the most sweet and crowded decade of your life is endless crises. Then there follows the midlife crisis. It is a hard core! Another one at around 40-42. The next one comes a few years before 50. Then you will feel a bit better. In the end you will get used to it. The crises will be going on but your life experience and acquired wisdom will let to stand them easier. In other words, it is “the fifth stage – acceptance”.
And of course, if you are lucky to find love and create a family, the numerous relationship crises are always waiting for you.
That’s how we live – maneuvering between the stresses, more or less successfully coming out of the crisis. To make fun of it – one can say it is comfortable and soft on the bottom. And I am allowed to do nothing; I am allowed not to act at all because I have a wonderful excuse – a crisis.
But it turns out that the success itself scares us. It sounds surprising however it is true. Success is the way you are going bravely through any misadventures and this way is only yours, nobody else went it before. You are a pioneer, traveler and a winner. There is nobody to rely on. There is nobody to complain to. The responsibility is only yours but success is only yours too. Is the game worth the candles? Yes, it is. Success is as much desirable as frightening. Therefore the really successful people are in the minority. Not everybody is ready to work hard for success, to discover new ways, to look into the fear’s eyes.
We now turn to the linguistics. `Success` in the Ozhegov’s defining dictionary means:
1. Good luck in reaching a goal;
2. Public recognition;
3. Good results in work and study.
Rather clear. Everybody wants to have good luck and results. As for the public recognition it is necessary because without it you cannot understand how much you really achieve in your field. Nobody wants to be among the 80 of 100 that fail. Nevertheless these 80% exist. Why does it happen and how to live with it?
Valeria Kozlova, the founder of Corporate EQ Group identifies the fear of success as the strongest fear. Yes, exactly the fear of success, not the fear of failure, as one might think. This fear is dangerous because it is not recognized and masked as something else. One says to himself: “I am afraid of failure”, “A lot of money will spoil me”, “There are so few really happy families” etc. But actually it is still the same fear of success though it may sound absurdly.
“I am sad to realize that we were taught rather to fail than to manage. We had no chance to know how to be successful. Why did the Soviet State need successful people? The mechanism was designed in the way to produce screws instead of successful people” – says Valeria.
The financial behavior follows the pattern, which seems to have handed down. You must analyze how it was in the previous generations of the family. (By the way, it is good to analyze the pattern of personal relationship, too). Having realized the problem you should stop the “family tradition” and solve it. Just knowing that “the Fear of Success” exists, you already take a step to get rid of it. You can’t do anything with this fear but work on it, endlessly work on it.
As long as you are afraid of success, you choose the patterns that lead you in the opposite direction, i.e. to the failure. It strikes dumb. You went to a profitable deal, you got the contract, but in the end decided not to sign. Or, for example, you changed your mind about expanding production when the space had been found. Someone ran away from the wedding with a man (woman) of the dream. And someone was the first but dropped out off the race a few meters before the finish. Surprisingly, today this fear is everywhere. Encouraging is that the possibility to overcome it is real.
The hardest thing is to overcome unconscious fear. As for the fear of success, it is dangerous because it is masked, as we said above. It is hidden behind the desire of success. It is mistaken to think that if you want to be successful you have no fear, in other words, that desire excludes fear. It became a discovery and a surprise for me. So I do like to work with the people who come to me to overcome this fear.
I like the results of my work, though its process can be not easy. When one sinks, he prevents life-savers. My “drowning men” prevent me too, and thus try to drag me to the bottom. But it doesn’t work with me. I know how to overcome the fear of success. I know how to help people to feel unconditionally happy and successful like they feel in the childhood. The goal of my work is to hear from them the sincere words, without any “buts”: Yes, I am happy, I am successful.
It`s enough to know that this fear exists so that it could not bother us at making important business decisions. Drive your business!