What Are You Afraid Of?

We talk a lot as a society about “fear of failure”. We fear losing our health, losing our homes, death, and all kinds of other things. Fear of failure is accepted, although it isn’t something most people want to admit to.

What we often don’t discuss is our fear of success. I’ve often heard people say to me, “More people should be hearing your music”. And while I’ve taken steps toward that, I seem to move in fits and starts. I’ll play a concerto with a community orchestra, and two years will go by before I audition for a national award. I’ll reach the semifinals of a competition in Prague, then not even look into other competitions to try for five years.

In another realm, I’ll use Reiki on myself or my dogs, write in a blog about it, but if the prospect of having paying clients comes up, either in my own mind or in discussions with other people, I drag my feet. Design a flyer? I can do that tomorrow.

We talk a lot about freeing ourselves from the limitations we put on our own capacity, whether it’s to learn, to create art, or to earn money. Faced with the idea that we can acheve unfathomable success, we run the other way or stop running altogether. We’re comfortable where we are, even if, in our hearts, it’s not really where we want to be.

For me, success brings responsibility. I don’t want to succeed at something and then just spend the rest of my life coasting. Success also brings greater visibility, and I often say something like, “I’m perfectly content where I am; I don’t need recognition to feel validated as a human being”.

On one level, this is true. I know exactly who I am, and while not every part of me is pretty, I’m at peace with all those parts. I might try to improve some of them, but I try not to disown them.

But if I’m here to learn from other people as well as teach them, and if I believe that the universe puts us exactly where we’re supposed to be, then I also think that, by working toward success, I can teach more people, and learn from them, too.

Today is a Sunday, so I can’t do anything about advertising for more piano students or looking into a recital trip to California. But tomorrow, I have no excuse for not taking responsibility for my own success.

I want to always be able to say, “I’m glad I did” as opposed to “I wish I had”. Recognizing that a lot of my procrastination comes from fear of success is my first step forward. One step at a time, I will try to build on the lessons of yesterday in the living of today and the dreaming of tomorrow.

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Explore posts in the same categories: metaphysics, music, Reiki, spirituality

4 Comments on “What Are You Afraid Of?”

  1. askaspirit Says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments!

    “but if the prospect of having paying clients comes up, either in my own mind or in discussions with other people, I drag my feet”

    Oh man, can I relate to THAT one! It’s like as soon as someone actually expresses an interest in hiring me as a coach, or wants me to do a “real” reading for them, the self-doubt kicks in and my self-confidence goes right out the window!

    Great blog!

  2. halfnotes Says:

    Askaspirit,

    Thanks for visiting; not that I’m glad you have self-doubt, but it’s encouraging to realize we’re not the only one who does! Of course, we all know this in our minds; our hearts are just a little slow to get it sometimes.

    As for blog: I’ll definitely be checking yours out regularly. It’s been a kind of slow process finding other people writing similar stuff. There are certainly plenty of blogs out there, but the really worthwhile ones are not as numerous.

  3. askaspirit Says:

    I’m really glad I found yours and greenlavender’s! I’m on BlogMad and while I’ve seen more blogs than I can count, you’re right – it’s a slow process finding other kindred spirits!

  4. halfnotes Says:

    Askaspirit,

    I’ll say! A lot of the stuff tagged as “spirituality” is a bit too narrow for my taste. I don’t have a problem with people having strong opinions; I do have trouble when they are so closed off to even hearing someone who has a bit of a different view than they do that they put up a huge barrage of noise to block out any differing ideas.


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