Is Success More Scary Than Failure?
by Robert and Lynda Jay | on May 16, 2012
Like most people you will probably admit to being a little afraid of failing at something. Maybe your family or friends have high expectations of you, and because of that, you may feel a lot of pressure to do well. Families often have no idea that their offspring feel pressured to achieve, especially if one or both parents have been amazingly successful.
In the entertainment industry it happens more frequently than we realize. Sons or daughters of famous actors or performers can certainly feel the pressure and, as a result, can often seek solace in drugs and/or alcohol, which of course never works. It also happens in sports when a parent has become a sports superstar and the offspring think that they don’t possess the same talent and therefore cannot succeed.
On a smaller scale, Lynda and I are trained musicians and teachers. Now although our own offspring have always loved music, our son decided that a sports-oriented career would suit him better and our daughter is a singer/songwriter and plays guitar and flute – two instruments that Lynda and I do not play. On a certain level, you could say that they both avoided the usual parent/offspring pressure by doing different things from us.
Then there are people who constantly put pressure on themselves to succeed. These are the classic over-achievers for whom anything less than perfection is considered failure. There is no second best for these folks. You have to feel some sympathy for them as they just have to succeed or they feel totally inadequate and unfulfilled. Very few people can withstand that kind of pressure without eventually crashing and burning -failure is truly a scary scenario indeed for them.
So there are many reasons, some fully justified, for having a fear of failure, but is success scary for you? Initially this seems somewhat irrelevant as after all, who wouldn’t want to be successful and enjoy all the benefits of that success? Surprisingly, statistics show that in fact many people ARE afraid to be successful and actually set themselves up for failure. For whatever reason, some people believe that they cannot handle too much success and the responsibility that accompanies it. Many of these people have crashed and burned many times and are afraid to ‘get back on the horse’ so to speak, being more comfortable ib their failure ‘cocoon’ by not continuing to try and basically, simply giving up.
This is all food for thought. Maybe failure and success BOTH can be equally scary…..or maybe, just maybe, we have to conquer fear itself. Check out this helpful video about getting the better of your fears.
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