Fear of Success (Or How Can I Handle all these Clients?)

By: Shama Hyder

One of the first things I do when I work with a new client is help them get over their "marketing fears." It’s a crucial step when it comes to marketing successfully. Even the most self-confident professionals have a few looming fears in their heart of hearts.

One common fear that I encounter is "fear of success." This fear manifests itself in many ways. Take a look at some of these-

  • "If I get too many clients, how will I have time for my family?"
  • "What if I get the clients and then mess up?"
  • "I will turn into a workaholic"
  • "What if I am not as good as I think I am?"

These fears feel very real to the individuals who harbor them. There are many ways to get rid of negative thoughts. One powerful process that I am a big fan of is called The Work. The Work was invented by Byron Katie to help people get rid of their stressful thoughts by a process of simple questioning. It involves taking any stressful thought and turning it around using four questions.

Let’s try it now on a thought related to the fear of success.

Client’s Fear: If I get too many clients, I will turn into a workaholic.

Q1- Is it true?

Client: Yes. My dad was the same way. He built up his business and then turned into a workaholic.

Q2- Can you ABSOLUTELY know it’s true? (Can you ABSOLUTELY know that you will turn into a workaholic if you get too many clients?)

Client: I suppose I have no "absolute" proof because I have never had too many clients. *smirk*

Q3- How do you react when you think that thought? (How do you react when you think you will turn into a workaholic?)

Client- My shoulders start to feel heavy. I can just see my family moving away from me…missing my son’s baseball games, being tired all the time. It’s a feeling of fatigue.

Q4- Who would you be without that thought?

Client- *Laughs* I’d be happier! I guess I wouldn’t be so scared to tell more people what I do. I hold myself back at networking events. I wouldn’t carry the fear of losing my family all the time.

(Now what’s known as the "turnaround" happens. This is where a statement that feels true as or truer than the earlier sentiment replaces the stressful thought.)

One Potential Turnaround: There is no proof that I will turn into a workaholic. I am not like my father. In many ways, I am his complete opposite.

This practice can be applied to any area of life. I find that it’s very helpful in battling marketing fears.

What do you think?

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