Is Being Scared of Success Stopping You from Selling More Books

You’re Scared of Success

Mary wanted to become a writer after her twins had left for college and start to publish the stories she had been writing in the few hours she could grab each week. She wasn’t worried about making her daily word count as she had been doing that while her kids were still at home. She wasn’t worried about learning how to format her books and the process to actually self-publish her books on the various bookstores. She wasn’t even worried about talking about her books on social media. Here’s what worried her:

“Authors need to spend a lot of time growing their business but who will take care of my dogs if I go back to work full-time? They’re used to me walking them twice a day and I won’t have time for that with everything I have to do.”

This talented, vibrant woman was willing to put her dogs before her own desire to become a writer. Something else had to be going on!

A little digging showed that the dogs were just a convenient excuse. What she was really worried about was upsetting the carefully crafted balance she and her husband had struck in their married life. He was the breadwinner; she was the homemaker. If she did something different, she wasn’t sure how he would respond. What if he left her? What if the friendships she’d cemented over PTA bake sales and field trips and Little League games couldn’t weather the change from stay-at-home mom to business woman? What if she lost everything she’d built her life upon?

Mary was afraid of success. Actually, it wasn’t fear of the goal itself, but of the by-products of achieving her goal. The domino effect of making one change in her life – becoming a published author – might be more than she could handle. 

If you find yourself not doubting your abilities but FEELING ANXIOUS ABOUT PURSUING YOUR GOAL because you’re not sure what will happen if you do, you may be like Mary. And it is a legitimate concern. Change often begets more change – more than we bargain for. But there are ways to prepare for it.

Talk to the people closest to you. Share your fears about the changes in your relationship that might happen as a result of pursuing your goal. You may be surprised to find that they don’t care one whit whether you’re dressed in blue jeans or a three-piece suit; they just want to know they’ll see you at Bunco once a month.

Be honest about your concerns. Don’t misplace your anxiety about your marriage onto something else.

Realize that change usually happens in increments. Yes, becoming a self-published author will be immediate, but the subsequent adjustments in relationships will be more gradual. You will have time to talk about them and discuss them.

Work with a coach or other expert. Coaches are trained in managing change and will be able to help you predict some of the other secondary adjustments that may result.

Yes, things will change. But not all change is bad; in fact, you may find that your life in every area ends up better than you had ever hoped it would be. And that your partner loves this latest iteration of you.

Realize that change usually happens in increments. Yes, becoming a self-published author will be immediate, but the subsequent adjustments in relationships will be more gradual. But not all change is bad.

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