Black Women – The Ultimate Procrastinator

3 Ways Fear of Success Doesn’t Look Like Other Types of Fear 

“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” Oprah Winfrey

Beauty_black_girlEveryone who has sought success has had defining moments.

There are defining moments that tell you when you’re afraid of success and when you’re really ready for success in your life.

The focus of this post is “how to overcome fear of success” because we all become afraid of how bright our light will shine.

Usually our fear comes from the ideas of success reflected by the people we are surrounded by.

  • Have you ever had someone ask you why you’re working so hard on your business or your dream?
  • Has anyone asked you if you ever get tired or working on your business?
  • Have you ever been asked if you will ever stop being persistent/ ambitious/ excited about your dream?

Those people mean well, but they see what you’re doing and they become afraid of their own dreams.

If you’re achieving and reaching high above where you are, then it gives others who complain and make excuses no leeway.

Sometimes we become afraid of change. This fear creeps up just as we are becoming sure of the direction we want to take.

Is there a way to know if an entrepreneur business is what you really want?

There are 3 telling signs of the fear of success. I will help you recognize what they are and give you ways to combat them.

There are 3 ways that the fear of success doesn’t look like other types of fear.

1. When success gets close… you get distracted.

I began seeking how to overcome fear of success when I realized I was spending vital time that I could have been working on my business talking on the phone or cleaning business-333934_640my house.

I was looking for activities that would effectively help me to avoid working my business by giving me an easy way not to focus on it. This usually happened when I felt like I was getting close to a breakthrough.

You see something working. You start building a network. You see money coming through. Dots begin connecting. And then you become overwhelmed and afraid. Something in you tells you to stop, or to delay, or not to act on your followup… and you listen.

I had started to believe that all of my efforts should turn into failure instead of expecting success because failure seemed to happen so often.

2. When things begin to shift, everyone around you knows it.

I began learning how to overcome fear of success by understanding that failure is not the same as quitting. I can learn from my failures and still become successful, but if I quit, I will never know what success is like.

3 Ways Failure is Better Than Quitting

  1. You can start again if you fail. Have you heard the saying, “Back to the drawing board?” When you fail, use it as an opportunity to study your failure and then start again. Quitting means that you will no longer start over.
  2. Every failure is a lesson. When you make mistakes, you can learn from them to avoid the same mistakes in the future. Quitting means that you’ve decided not to grow and learn from your mistakes anymore.
  3. Failure makes success better. To achieve success after a failure is the best feeling in the world. The ability to recover from failure and make your dreams come true is the ultimate test of having learned from the mistakes you made. If you quit, you will never know what it is like to see your plan through to the end.

The only lesson you learn from quitting is that you are a quitter.

3 Character Traits My Persistence Has Given Me

  1. My ability to keep going allows others to find a way to keep going. One of my close friends recently said that my ability to keep going when things are tough was motivating and encouraging for him. He has his own entrepreneur business in tutoring and education and has had some major setbacks.
  2. The action I take encourages her to leave the drawing board and take effective action on projects she has always wanted to start. Another dear friend of mine told me that I take action on my ideas. She spends a lot of time creating and organizing her plans which sometimes are challenging to put into action.
  3. I left my job to focus on my business full-time. Yet another friend told me that she was going to step out of faith and start a business baking because she was motivated and encouraged by my leaving my job to focus on my business full-time.

People do not become inspired by you because they see you as a failure. They become inspired by you because your persistence, what you do after you fail, reminds them of success.

3. Fear is caused by a lack of confidence.

Fear of success often happens when you don’t feel prepared.

The best way to prepare yourself for success is by determining where your weaknesses are and increasing your confidence by either becoming stronger where you are weak or finding someone who is strong in the area of your weakness.

I grew up believing that I was bad at math because my mother always told me that I was. 

My mother wasn’t the most patient person in the world and when I needed help with math she tended to yell at me over seeking a way where we could both listen and find common ground so that she could help me.

Telling me I wasn’t good at math allowed her an out so that she wouldn’t have to help me study – because in her mind, no matter what she did, I couldn’t learn.  This was easier for her to cope with than believing that she just wasn’t a good tutor for me.

I carried the belief that I wasn’t good at math into college and got Cs and Ds. I then asked myself what I was most afraid of with math that I believed didn’t allow me to become successful.

I couldn’t remember the formulas and rules and I had a lot of questions. So I resolved that I would strengthen my memory and help myself learn how to memorize better and that I would raise my hand even if I was uncomfortable and embarrassed. 

My next two math classes I got As because I knew how to bridge the gap between my own strengths and weaknesses and increase my confidence. I began tutoring math after that.

In summary, you can defeat your fear of success with these three reminders: 

  1. Stay focused and avoid distractions – distractions repel your success and make you procrastinate.
  2. Listen to what people say about your persistence and ambition – These are the keys to success. The persistent will always achieve what they conceive and believe.
  3. Increase your confidence by making your weaknesses your strengths – Either improve yourself where you are weak or delegate takes to a virtual assistant who can support you where you are weak with their own strengths.

happy black womanWhere do you lack confidence? What weaknesses do you have that contribute to your lack of confidence?

8 thoughts on “Black Women – The Ultimate Procrastinator

  • August 6, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Brilliant post! I could relate so much to what you shared here. I have always had a great fear of failure. It goes so far that sometimes I would rather purposely fail that try hard and fail. I’m not sure if that makes sense to you lol.
    I have quite high expectations of myself and if I fail at something I take it really hard. Instead I need to pick myself up, learn from it and whatever was not working just change it and try again.
    This was exactly what I needed to read today, thank you.

    • August 6, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      Thank you for being so candid and explaining your fears. It takes a lot to even admit where your fears are! The fear of failure and sometimes sabotaging your ability to succeed out of the comfort of knowing you’re going to fail makes a lot of sense to me – I know I have been there. The only problem with success without failure is that life happens. Mistakes happen, failures happen when we don’t test what we put in place first, and it is hard to test for everything. It’s impossible to be ready for it all. Learning from your failures allows you to continue toward success. So as long as you don’t quit, you’re on the right track!

  • August 6, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Tamara, a great read with excellent insights into what happens when the fear of success takes hold. Fear of failure and fear of success are basically different sides of the same coin.

    Your article gave me a few aha moments, like choosing to clean the house instead of working on my business…lol…I can relate. I like your suggestion of turning a weakness into a strength, and especially that sometimes we might need the strength of someone else to help us through.

    The first step is becoming aware of the problem. It’s easier to recognize when we have a tangible fear, such as fear of snakes or fear of heights, but sometimes more challenging to admit that one might be afraid to succeed. The information you have provided will help those who need to recognize and overcome their fear. I look forward to reading more from you. ~Jude

    • August 26, 2015 at 4:21 am

      Hi Jude,

      Thank you for the compliments! You’re right, fear of failure and fear of success can go hand-in-hand. It’s good to know that you can make mistakes and still learn valuable lessons from them, as well as knowing that you can become successful and that you’re worthy to do so. You are certainly right that it is more challenging to recognize when you are afraid of success and that the fear is making you avoid your goals. Procrastination is a good indicator of fear of success as well. Thank you for your comments!

  • August 6, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Very clean website and very detailed write up. I suggest you use shorter paragraphs and bullet conclusion points to make it easier to read. Perhaps a little more visuals and happy images. Overall, I find the information to be very interesting.

    • August 28, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      Thank you for your constructive comment. I have taken your advice in mind when writing and I hope to be approaching the mark. I appreciate your feedback.

  • August 6, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Hey Tamara I think this is an important topic you’ve covered and doesn’t get enough exposure.
    Imagine if someone planted a vegetable garden and they watered and weeded it each day. Then after a few weeks when the plants were really becoming established imagine the gardener stomping all over their patch destroying it completely.
    This sounds somewhat bizarre yet this is exactly what some people do when they’re on the cusp of success. There can be many reasons like the ones you’ve pointed out. I especially found the last one very intriguing make your weaknesses into strengths.
    We give meaning to things that may not have a base in reality. You thought you were bad at math until you challenged it by putting in extra effort and asking more questions.
    Thanks again Tamara as this article has reminded me of an old adage ” the map is not the territory.”

    • August 6, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      Thank you, Chris! I am glad that you found my post insightful and valuable. We destroy what we create all the time for fear that it won’t be appreciated, or that our efforts won’t be appreciated, or for countless other reasons that point back to our confidence and sense of value. If we work to build that confidence and sense of value for ourselves, we won’t require the validation from other people to be worthy of success. I love that adage! It really gives perspective.


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