Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monthly Newsletter Article: Are you Afraid of Success?

Most of my clients are afraid of being successful.  Heck, even I struggle with it.  It's been popping up a lot lately when I'm coaching artists and crafters, so I thought an article was in order.  Are you afraid of being a successful artist or craftsperson?  Read on to find see the symptoms and get some tips for overcoming your fears.

Symptoms of fear of success

  • Procrastination. Do I really need to say more about this one?
  • Lack of follow through.  Did that famous blogger email you and ask you if you wanted to do a blog a swap?  Do you find you are too busy to get back to her to schedule it? Or maybe a manufacturer has asked you to submit some artwork to them, but you just haven't been able to get to the post office to mail the package?
  • Perfectionism.  I hear excuses like the following a lot.  "I can't start marketing my blog because I want a better blog banner." "I'm not ready to tell people about my Etsy shop yet, because I want to put up better pictures first."
If this sounds like you, you may be your worst enemy right now.  Take some time to start working through your fears and discover your fullest potential.  A great place to start is to figure out WHY you are afraid of success. 

Why are you afraid of success?
  • Are you afraid you will have to change your lifestyle?  If you become successful, do you feel like you will lose the ability to have balance in your life?  That you might be expected to be a "workaholic"?  Or won't be able to spend enough time with your children?  Or maybe you are afraid you won't have time to create art?
  • Are you afraid of the expectations that you think will come with success?  That you will have to keep producing bigger and better pieces of art?  That if you get a book published, you will be expected to have another one published?  
Once you have identified your fear and why you are afraid, it's time to start working on ways to overcome your fears and beliefs.

Ways to Overcome your fear of success.
  • Celebrate your daily successes.  I used to keep a monthly journal and I would write down all the great things that happened to me in the past month.  I found that if I waited longer than a month, I would forget small, but important, victories.  By documenting your success you will start to realize that you are experiencing success often and nothing bad is happening as result!
  • Find a support system to help you manage your success.  Find people to cheer you on.  People who will remind you of your successes.  But also find people who can help you manage your success.  One of my coaching clients hired me when a publisher accepted her book proposal.  She knew she would need help staying on track with deadlines and was able to manage her fear of deadlines, by hiring someone (me!) to help her create processes that would enable her to enjoy her success and limit her stress.
  • Remember you are in charge. The best thing about working for yourself is that you are in charge.  I carefully manage my success by remembering what's important to me.  I accept opportunities if they fit into my purpose in life (to help other artists and crafters succeed in business and maintain balance in their lives) and if they work in my schedule.  Right now, I don't feel I can embrace success in licensing because my daughter is young and I don't have the time to meet tight deadlines.  I do have time to accept success with my ecourses though.  Take some time to figure out, honestly, the success you can accept in your life and then welcome it with open arms.
I hope this article helps you take a look at your business and it's perceived limits in a different light.  If you have any tips for overcoming fear of success, please leave them in the comments below.  If you are interested in learning more about my coaching services, please feel free to email me for a free proposal.

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