Saturday, December 23, 2006

Fear of Success

I've reached the point in my life where I'm more afraid of failure than I am of success.

It feels strange to say that — the last part, especially — but the truth is I've always been one to hold back. Why? The more you do, and the better you do it, the more people expect from you.

And I'm not comfortable with expectations.

I suppose if I had enough confidence not to care what people think ... well, I'm getting there.

But the fear of success is more than that. I won a state-wide award once when I was in high school, and my best friend wondered if I would still hang out with him. Really. That's what he told me. Not at the time, but later.

So the thing to fear, I think, is that success changes people in unpredictable ways.

If I were successful — wildest dreams successful — would I turn into a pompous ass? Would I be too good for my friends. Would they think so even if I didn't?

Would new friends be real friends? Would they tell me the truth or just what I wanted to hear?

Would I lose the spark that drove me to be successful in the first place?

All of which sounds just a little ridiculous when my wildest dreams remain out of reach.

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