Black Women Are Afraid of Success

How to overcome fear and start living fearless in your business

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”¬†Lena Horne


Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

Something similar can be true about feeling fearful. 

It’s not the fear that breaks you down, it’s your reaction to your fear.

Successful black women entrepreneurs aren’t fearless.

It is normal to be afraid.

Heroes are afraid, just like victims are.

But what a victim does when they’re afraid and what a hero does when she’s afraid is what defines who they are.

The victim may curl up into a ball and believe that all is lost, whereas the hero may see an opportunity to act, or to show compassion, or to fight back, or any number of scenarios.

I used to be afraid of the phone ringing

I was raised in a home where my mother was afraid of Child Protective Services taking us away.

We were home educated and she did not use a curriculum and it made her afraid.

We were given explicit instructions not to answer the door or the phone or else we, “would be taken away.”

My mother’s paralyzing fear became her children’s paralyzing fears.

I grew up afraid of the telephone ringing, believing it was someone calling to take me away.

When someone came to the door, my siblings and I would hide in fear until the knocking stopped.

Becoming an entrepreneur and needing to make phone calls to make my business run, I faced an incredible challenge.

If I don’t answer the phone or make phone calls, I won’t be able to support my family.

I had to learn how to turn my fear into motivation to act.

Change doesn’t feel comfortable.

It is often preceded by fear and uncertainty at what is to come. At how the change will make life different.

Look at fear as an indicator of positive change

When you begin to look at the phone and feel the fear of rejection, of uncertainty, of inadequacy – that is your cue to make the phone calls at all costs.

Your life changing in a positive direction depends on your ability to make all of the calls on your list.

Acknowledge your feelings of fear by recognizing that they are the indicators of change and to do what you set out to do at all costs in order to welcome that change to you.

Pick up the phone. Dial the numbers. Speak to the person on the other end, and accomplish your goal.

When I began to do this, I saw my life change. I traded in my fear for positive change and before I knew it, I became successful out of persistence.

I was still afraid, but the fear meant something different to me than what it used to mean.

Fear no longer means, “I can’t,” it means, “keeping going!”

What fears do you have about your business or its daily operations that need converting? What can you use your fear to remind you of?