Does our fear of "success" supersede our fear of failure, or does our fear of failure cripple our chances of success? It’s a human condition to fear the "success" that we crave but also intimidates us into taking chances and failing. Failure is well…Failure. And "success" is this mountain top that we hold in the highest esteem. In our minds, once we reach that pinnacle of our desires, we did it! Part of the fear of "success" is to not want the journey to be over. So we have all of these cruel little tactics to self-sabotage our ambition. Why? Because we hate ourselves, or because we love ourselves?
"Success" Can be defined by a myriad of metrics. "Success" to you 10 years ago might be different from what "success" means to you today. How do we avoid the pitfalls of worrying about the outcome of "success?" And what actually is "success" anyway?
Every single "successful" person that you aspire to be has gone through these exact same struggles. Here are 5 ways to avoid derailing your hopes before your train even leaves the station.
By: Justin Gray
Define your "success" - Your definition of success does not have to be "I will win a Grammy." At least not today. Maybe your definition of "success" today is "I’m going to complete a song." Try not to add any other expectations to that song. The "success" today is just putting in the work, and being satisfied with an outcome.
Set expectations - Everyone loves to dream. What would I do if I won the lottery? To be honest, a hit song is a bit like winning the lottery. It opens up all the doors, perceptively it makes everything easier. By setting those realistic expectations, and being able to meet those expectations, you’re reinforcing positive behavior that will really allow you to keep going. This might be more psychological than practical, but practically speaking, as long as you’re feeling like you’re succeeding in meeting YOUR expectations, YOU will be inspired to continue on YOUR creative path.
Avoid self-sabotage - We all do it!! If you’re reading this, you’re guilty of it too. We deliberately create obstacles that impede us from our inevitable "success." What are your obstacles? Where do you self-sabotage? At times, for me, I’ve taken on too much work. What that means is I can’t focus on the most important things. I constantly need to remind myself…"Do 4 amazing things, not 20 things just so-so." Those 4 amazing things will give you a lot more career currency than the 20 things with NO VALUE. Overwhelming yourself is a form of self-sabotage. Avoiding the work is a form of self-sabotage. Setting unrealistic expectations is a form of self-sabotage. In my world...if I want to be skinnier, stop eating donuts...yum donuts. Dammit!
I want to implore a tactic that I use in my everyday life. I have been doing it for years. Typically around my birthday, I metaphorically time travel backwards to talk to 12 months ago ME.
I say to myself…
"In the next 12 months, these things are going to happen to your career."
"You are going to write this many songs."
"You are going to get this many placements."
"You are going to make this much money."
"Does that sound good to you?"
One year ago ME, would have looked at today ME, and said wow if I can accomplish half of that I’ll be really happy. Look back on your year, transport yourself back in time, and then look forward as if perfectly predicting your own future.
How did you do?
My guess is pretty good. And if not, what changes do you need to make to become satisfied.
Put in the work and commit to yourself. Success has a way of finding you at the exact perfect time.
See you next week…and keep writing those hits!