Fear of Failure is something that most, if not all of us, can understand. At some point in our lives, we’ve been afraid to do something because we convinced ourselves that there was no way we could succeed. But there’s one fear that’s worse than the Fear of Failure and that would be the Fear of Success.
You may be asking yourself if I mean something else such as Fear of Selling or Fear of stealing, but I can assure you that the worst fear in business and in life is the Fear of Success. You see, when you do something and it failed, you have earned the right to say, “I did that and it failed. I’m not doing that again.” But what if you do something and it succeeds?
In business, you’re only as memorable as your last success and that’s where the fear comes in. For some, they worry that they may be one-trick ponies with no other good ideas to bring to the marketplace. That may be true. Then again, you may only believe it’s true because you’ve never had to step past that first great idea. It’s just as likely (and in my opinion, more likely) that you have lots of great ideas inside that head of yours. You just have to start sifting through everything as if you were panning for gold. It’s a fact that lightning can, and does, strike the same spot twice. It’s the same with great ideas.
After then-27-year-old Sabeer Bhatia sold Hotmail (a year after it was launched) to Microsoft, he and partner Jack Smith were multi-millionaires. With his half of 400 million USD in the bank, there really wasn’t any need for Sabeer to ever come up with another idea for as long as he lived. But he did. He decided to launch arzoo.com — an eCommerce firm. Guess what happened? When the IT bubble burst in 2001, arzoo.com fell victim to the times.
Sabeer could have thrown up his hands and said, “Well, I tried and I failed. Now I’ll just go off and enjoy the rest of my millions.”
A decision to step back into tech has led him to targeting 10 million prepaid SIM cards for American travelers over the next few years with the mobile application known as Jaxtr.
My point in sharing this story with you is to reassure you that where there’s one good idea, there are always others lurking somewhere beneath the surface, waiting to be dug up, dusted off, assessed and hoping to be made real. Being successful only means that you have to keep acknowledging that you are responsible for having laid the groundwork leading to success and if you’ve done it once, you can do it again.
There’s no reason to hang on to that Fear of Success. And if you sometimes need a little help to get through the difficult times, fall back on your personal library of past successes, from the time you first learned to walk up to the present. Write them down on a piece of paper if you have to so you can start seeing a pattern of ongoing success in your life. Then get out there and create more success for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.