the fear of success

Welcome to the world of self sabotage.

Fear of success. It's a not-so-new phenomenon we've heard more than a few times now. Artists are more afraid of success than failure. We are afraid of being the best we can be. Afraid of the spotlight. Afraid of the one thing we work our entire careers to accomplish or attain.

For many of us, what we want the most in our lives, or career (which, let's face it, is our lives), can be precisely what we are most afraid of achieving. We work, we train, we dream big, dig deep, and use our positive energy to attract exactly what we want, and when the universe finally gives it to us, our ego freaks out and says, "You're not ready."

Self sabotage. She is one sneaky little bitch. It is absolutely incredible how good she is at creeping into our brains and affecting our every day lives. Absolutely, incredible. But to be fair, she's had years and years of practice, without getting caught.

In just a short eight months of living in London, I had managed to accomplish quite a bit. My ego would strongly disagree, but under that thick layer of bullshit, I knew I'd done pretty well. In many ways that I am very grateful for, I had been successful.

After teaching an audition for a large agency here in London, I received a lot of praise and attention. The more I got, the more uncomfortable I felt. First of all, I thought, why are asking me to teach? There are one hundred other amazing choreographers here in London that could do a better job. Then came the, "Thank you for your talent today Christie. You have truly raised the bar," from the director. Great, I thought. Now I have that to live up to. Later that week? "Oh, you're Christie Lee Manning? I've read your article/watched your video/seen you in so-and-so's class."

The more successful I seemed, the more afraid I became. The more attention I got, the worse I felt.

Is this hitting home for anyone else?

Every one of us, every single day, is practicing some sort of self sabotage. We all battle the same disease. This is not something we will beat, or overcome. It is a constant battle, one that we will face every day as we choose to continue to work and live the lifestyle we lead. What matters now, is how we deal with it.

What we have to remember is this. Everything we believe about ourselves, we were taught. We were all born pure, and as we grew, we were taught lessons, about the world, and about ourselves. Everything we believe, we learned from someone else, which they learned, from yet someone else. Those lessons came with their own personal story. So ask yourself, are you believing your own story, or somebody else’s?

I was deathly afraid of success. I was afraid of it because, I didn't want to ever give people a reason to not like me. I didn't want to be alone. I didn't want to intimidate others, to the point that I downplay any success that I do have, in order to save others from feeling uncomfortable. I was afraid of the, "You're not as good as you think you are," and the, "Who does she think she is?" I was afraid of power, strength, and other people's judgement. I was afraid of not being accepted, not being loved, and not being as good as I think I am.

This served absolutely no one.

Let's make a pact. Let us all commit, to standing in our own power. It's a scary thought, I know. But remember this. We cannot save people from their own insecurities. That is a story they have to figure out on their own. All we can do is work on ourselves. By learning to stand in our own power, we can inspire others to do the same. We have nothing to live up to, except our own unrealistic expectations. When people project their own fears on to us through the energy of intimidation, we cannot adopt their story as your own. Don't be afraid of the top, the dream so big, most people would say it was unattainable. Because what they say is true. The only thing getting in the way of us achieving that dream, is ourselves.

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